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Junglecare

In search of a remedy for MS, a journey out of the gridlock of America’s health system and into the jungles of Belize, where medicine men promise cures for everything that ails you.

We approached a house on stilts in Roaring Creek, a humble village on the outskirts of Belmopan, Belize’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it capital, in search of a traditional bush doctor nicknamed Rico the Medicine Man. Gilbert, my hulking Belizean driver, said he could help me find Belizean bush doctors who make bitters, medicinal homebrews popular for treating anything from cancer to impotence to HIV.

But the dilapidated home we were parked in front of was protected by a chain-link fence, padlocked at the gate, and a pack of ferocious-sounding dogs barked maniacally when we pulled up. I was looking for a natural cure for MS, but I didn’t want to get out of the car.

Belize is known for its world-class scuba and snorkeling, its Mayan ruins, and its white sand beaches. But if you know where to look, it’s also a place to buy bottled, natural cures for every imaginable affliction. Nine years ago, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and every day since then I have given myself an injection of a drug called Copaxone, which has a retail price of $60,000 per year. I do not know if... Continue Reading

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Jul 21
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