Plants and natural medicine, the other side of Rika Zaraï
The singer Rika Zaraï had a huge success in bookstores in 1985 with "My natural medicine", written with the author Dan Franck
A very popular singer in the years 1960-70, Rika Zaraï passed away at the age of 82. Known for her songs Casatchock or Exodus, she also had another passion: plants. In 1985, she was hugely successful in bookstores with My Natural Medicine, written by author Dan Franck. She sells nearly 3 million copies of the book, followed by others, such as My Natural Secrets or These Healing Emotions.
This activity has earned her the nickname "Madame tisane", as well as many mockeries. Strongly criticized in the medical community, the singer has also had trouble with the law.
An uproar in the medical world
"The pre-cancerous and cancerous state calls for help garlic and beetroot, menopause recedes especially when blackcurrant is required, obesity deflates at the sight of leek", she wrote in particular. She also asserted that honey was "an excellent food for preventing and treating cancer" and that a person with AIDS could "become seronegative again" provided they followed natural care, mainly "based on boxwood and clay".
Death of Rika Zaraï nearly 32 years after his indictment for complicity in the illegal practice of pharmacy. The singer offered treatments based on clay baths and boxwood decoctions against HIV. #LesFakeMedsQuiTuent https://t.co/VIV1ONzsAP pic.twitter.com/gtDyX2nK43- Claire Underwood (@ParisPasRose) December 23, 2020
Claims that quickly caused an uproar, in the medical world and beyond. Thus, newspapers headlined: "Rika Zaraï public danger", and on the side of the cartoonists, "Rika Zaraï? Thanks to its plants, I can finally listen to it for hours! ".
In court for illegal practice of pharmacy
With her second husband, Jean-Pierre Magnier, she created an establishment, Pronatura (near Angers), intended to supply top-quality plants. The council of the Order of Pharmacists does not like the opening of the factory and the marketing of its plants in supermarkets. In 1989, he drags Rika Zaraï and her husband to court for the illegal practice of pharmacy.
His problems make the headlines. "Until then and despite the severe and well-founded attacks of the medical institution, the" Zaraï system "seemed able to function and prosper with complete impunity", noted Le Monde in January 1989. It received in a short time 80,000 letters from public support. After years of proceedings, she was definitively released in 1994. But the bankrupt factory closed.
In 2013, a few years after having suffered a stroke, Rika Zaraï had reconsidered these accusations. “I'm not an old midinette who only sings about the flowers, the blue sky. I had studied health for ten years before writing [my books], it was not a fad. Eat five fruits and vegetables a day, I was already saying it at the time, ”she assured Le Parisien.