Words by Sam Levine
Fatin Phoenix Ward is a self-styled homeopathic doctor (of sorts) who makes the extraordinary claim that she has discovered a functional cure for Crohn’s disease, a terrible affliction which modern medicine has been ineffectual in treating. Ward, who took the middle name “Phoenix” to sanctify the rebirth she had upon curing her once-debilitating illness, is currently on sabbatical from doctoral research at Humboldt University in Berlin. According to Ward, there are new and burgeoning studies showing that raw consumption of cannabis and cannabis oil is an effective method for the treatment of Crohn’s disease. She suffered through almost a year of debilitating pain until, based on studies she’d read and a profound dream, she decided to try marijuana as a cure.
“I was naked, and there was some voice leading me through a huge forest. And I later realized that this forest were these huge cannabis plants. It’s a really crazy dream. And she brought me (it’s a female voice) to a white lake, and she said ‘go inside there’, and suddenly I felt like I could move again.”
She says that in the dream she had the idea to eat the leaves raw, which she began to do in an effort to avoid being high every day. Almost immediately, according to her own account, she noticed a cessation of the symptoms which had made life unbearable for so long. After eight years Ward stopped consuming marijuana all together, and not only were the symptoms gone, but they’ve continued to stay away. This implies that cannabis consumption does not merely mask the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, but actually cures it.
Her website goes into more detail regarding the science and facts which back up what could be a revolutionary discovery.
Ward is more than your typical proponent of marijuana-based cures. She has no ulterior motive, no desire to get high or allow others to get high. She is simply a woman who believes she has found something miraculous, something which she makes seem like a gift from whatever powers for good exist in the universe.
She has authored two books, one on defeating Crohn’s disease with cannabis, and another outlining the raw food diet she strictly adheres to. Her scholarly background has influenced her approach to her theories; she works hard to back up her claims with evidence.
“I think we have all the answers inside. If you can tap into that space inside yourself, anything is possible. But we’re distracted. There’s too much drama. And I think this is why people don’t take that time to go inside.”
Ward seems like an old-fashioned healer. She defies conventional thought on medicine, pushes for new rules to be made, and somehow sees incredible results. She credits a lot of her success in combating Crohn’s disease and every other adversity she’s faced in life to deep meditation and yoga.
While we sat and talked – first among the stretching mats at the YMCA, and later on record in a Starbucks – it was immediately apparent to me that I was talking to someone wholly unique. Often our conversation strayed away from Crohn’s disease and the science behind using marijuana as a potential treatment for the disease and into areas of philosophy, religion, and even doping in sports. Her attitude is one of peace.
She seems, like most of us, to be searching for a way to explain the world around her, and after suffering the trials of illness, she has reached a level of understanding of her own attitudes which I cannot help but envy. I disagreed with her on more than a few points, but it is impossible to ignore the fact that as easy as it is to not believe, she believes in what she says with complete conviction.
Honesty of thought and attitude is a rare and powerful thing. It is difficult when faced with someone with such absolute certainty of their own beliefs to dismiss those beliefs. It becomes harder still when, as in the case of Ward, the person you are listening to has a reputable background.
Fatin Phoenix Ward seems to me to be a person both ahead of and behind our time. She is firmly rooted in the idea that the mind and meditation must take precedent over the trappings of the physical world. She may well have discovered a treatment for an inconceivably terrible disease, and yet it would be foolish of me to say with confidence that the treatment works, that cannabis irreconcilably is fundamental to the curing of Crohn’s disease and many others. But then the other side of the coin: the burgeoning science of cannabis as cure, and the well-documented journal of her own experience. I am judge of neither gods nor men nor the emotions of either, and so it will be the responsibility of the reader to find for themselves a fitting answer.
A final thought: As a writer, I am driven to explore the world and share knowledge and beauty with whomever I can. What I have found in Fatin Ward is someone of high intellect who carries with them a beautiful view of the world. Whether or not she is at the forefront of a new medical revolution, it is good to remember those good people who walk among us.