Wednesday, January 19, 2011
JANUARY 19, 2011 DRIVING MISS DAISY
" Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that; Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King, Jr
The dialogue is very savory and spirited. Neither the bombing of the synagogue to which Hoke has been regularly driving Miss Daisy Werthan nor the testimonial dinner for Martin Luther King, Jr can dissuade Miss Daisy from attending. This crotchety stubborn Southern woman's dementia was beautifully portrayed by the late Jessica Tandy on the screen earning her an Academy Award.Driving Miss Daisy also won Best Picture Academy 1989. It is so tearful to see Hoke visit Miss Daisy in the nursing home with her starry far away eyes and hair wisps looking at Hoke to see if she knows him or not as he feeds her a piece of pie. Last night Rick and I witnessed two characters transform as Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones, portrayed Miss Daisy and Hoke on the Broadway stage. The only character missing was Miss Daisy's maid, Idella portrayed by Esther Rolle ( known for her TV role on Good Times) When Miss Daisy states to Hoke, " Hoke, you are my best friend" I feel a nudge in my knee and hand grasp from the gentleman in seat number 112. As mannerisms, gait, speech and posture change in this 90 minute, no intermission play, we are moved no tears as the curtain closes. Do not miss this production. We had perseverance as we exchanged our tickets four times in order to see Academy/Tony winner, Miss Redgrave.
Personally, I miss the premier theatre couple.Mr and Mrs. Hume Cronyn. I was blessed to have known each and enjoyed their company during the early 1990's
I wonder what beautiful words and speeches might Martin Luther King , Jr would have spoken today if he were alive. It is hard to imagine more than forty years have passed since his untimely death. I had a chance to read and listen to his speeches again while in college. His words echo through loud and clear.
The modern Western world discovered the remarkable potential of Chinese medicine in the late 1970's.Not only was the medical community amazed at the success of traditional Chinese medicine, but marveled at the use of acupuncture, reflexology, acupressure and Chinese herbs. One of these herbs is Ginkgo biloba. All civilizations have traditions of using plants to promote healing. I had the pleasure and honor of hearing Rosita Arvigo speak about the Rainforest Remedies and Healing Herbs of Belize last year. Just as I was amazed at the use of Santa Maria (Croton sp ), western doctors were in awe of the health benefits of the ginkgo plant. The key to ginkgo's benefits is in its ability to improve circulation to every area of the body. Of course, this includes the brain. Ginkgo helps the blood vessels remain supple and elastic. Research does indicate that it is beneficial in early stages of Alzheimer's disease. There are many studies documenting the benefits of ginkgo. As many studies there are on the benefits, there are some stating no benefit. In 2009, a study of previously published data reported that a leading ginkgo extract did not reduce the decline in cognitive impairment in older adults. This was published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) . When I read a study documenting no benefits, I always want to review the data. Most of the time there is some flaw in the study. According to the American Botanical Council, there are at least 16 controlled clinical trials have evaluated various ginkgo extracts for healthy, non-cognitively impaired adults. A systematic review has shown that in 11 of these trials, ginkgo increased short-term memory, concentration, and time to process mental tasks. The other uses of ginkgo have been supported in other studies.
Clinical trials also support the use of ginkgo extract in assisting elderly patients in walking longer distances without leg pain (peripheral arterial occlusive disease, also known as intermittent claudication or peripheral artery disease - PAD). Standardized ginkgo extracts are approved for use as medicines in Germany and numerous other countries.
Can you believe that 15 years ago, in Germany, Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb) was approved by the German government for use in the treatment of cerebral insufficiency (also referred to as age-related dementia). The Europeans have accepted ginkgo as medicine. Why can't we? It is used routinely in France, Italy and Germany.
Since Ginkgo has been used for more than a thousand years, its history ( if you like history) is very interesting to read. I haven't found a good history book on Ginkgo. However one of the best history documenting herb books that I have read is Ginseng, the Divine Root. David Taylor's account and retracing the path of this plant from the forests east of the Mississippi to the busting city of Hong Kong to remote places in China is fascinating.
Mens sana in corpore sano means a sound mind in a sound body. What does this mean ? It means that there is a relationship or a hypothesis that a relationship exists between the body and the mind. It took many years for conventional doctors to acknowledge the relationship exists. Documentation of medication vs placebo proved the mind-body connection. I believe that ginkgo is the herb that can improve mental function. Is it the only herb or supplement to help with cognition and mental impairment ? No