Alternative Medicines, Do They Work?

alternative medicinesEvery now and then alternative medicines are mentioned on my blog and there is a debate about whether or not they work, etc.  Me I am a skeptic on many things, but I do believe that there is some validity to many of the herbs and what some have called magical foods.

Now that does not mean that I am going to ignore modern medicine and yes I do believe in the scientific method of testing medicines.  That is why the following news article caught my eye Thousand-year-old Anglo-Saxon potion kills MRSA superbug .  I am excited to see someone testing some of these old alternative medicines.  Now that doesn’t mean I am going to mix a batch of this potion and use it instead of modern antibiotics in a life-threatening situation.  But what about after TEOTWAWKI?

I think that modern medicines along with improvements in hygiene have greatly extended our life spans.  But at the same time, I don’t think that we should ignore the past.  Many of our modern medicines such as digitalis are based on herbs.

As a result, I have collected information on various herbal and other alternative medications.  In a real emergency when modern medicine is not available, I will use these alternative medicines within reason. But at the same time we have to beware of the scams that are out there, do your research and don’t just believe everything you read on the internet.  If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

As far as how foods affect our bodies, I believe that some foods are effective in preventing certain types of illness.  For example, many of the life style illnesses such as diabetes and heart problems.  Does eating a good healthy diet reduce your chances of getting cancer or other illnesses over eating a junk food diet?  I believe it does.  I remember when they told us that smoking was not bad for us.  To some extent, I think it is like this with many of the additives in our modern diet.  Sometimes it takes science a while to catch up.

My doctor and I discussed alternative medicines a while back and he said that he feels that some of them worked.  But at the same time, he said most would never be tested by the scientific method, because there was no money to be made from the research.  In a real emergency, he would use some of them.

My suggestion is to eat a good healthy diet, get yearly checkups from your Doctor, keep your weight under control and stay in shape.  But at the same time learn all you can about both modern medicine and alternative medicines.

Howard

 

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3 Responses to Alternative Medicines, Do They Work?

  1. gonewiththewind says:

    I am a skeptic. I have looked at this for many years. I have never discovered an ancient “cure” herb or supplement that actually “cured” anything. In our lifetime (I’m 71) we have seen the greatest medical revolution in history, in fact I would say that the simple discovery of vaccines is a greater event in human history than anything else. Greater impact then WW II or the great black plague. Vaccines have over the last 60 years or so saved billions of live. At the turn of the 20th century about half the children born in the world died before age 18 and most of them before age 5. Most of those deaths were the result of what we now prevent with vaccines. Literally half the people you know today and have known in your lifetime would have died without vaccines. The second biggest and certainly revolutionary event in medical history was antibiotics. Not quite as many lives saved as vaccines but perhaps a billion or more over the period antibiotics have been around. The third great medical revolutionary event would be understanding hygiene and how to prevent disease. Again probably a billion or so lives saved. This is fact not superstition.
    I am a little skeptical of the value of this old recipe. I could name a dozen natural things of the top of my head that will destroy bacteria. But just knowing something can destroy bacteria does not equate to a dependable treatment for that bacteria. Once the bacteria infects the host it is extremely difficult to find it all and kill it. My question about any natural/organic treatment/herb/supplement is if your child or grandchild were very ill with a probably fatal disease would you treat them with the best healthcare our scientists and doctors can provide or some supplement from GNC? It’s fun to play at this and wish for some “magic” but in general it isn’t real.
    Generally a devoted herb/supplement/natural advocate will point to some herb/supplement/natural “cure” that science has already adopted and uses or was used as the basis for a more pure version of the herb/supplement/etc. I can only say that if some herb or supplement is found by science to have some value than it will no doubted be used and that has indeed happened in the past. That is not proof that any or all of the other herbs, supplements and natural foods are of any value.

  2. I read the article and the thousand-year-old MRSA cure, and was skeptical. Even if I whole-heartedly believed it, where would I get ox bile? More to the point, how would I obtain it once I found the ox?

    A man who sold natural substances and oils in his health food store told a customer that valerian would do the same thing as v****m. Put “aliu” in place. (could not post this because it looks to spammy to some sort of program) But, he explained that valerian was not as highly processed as v****m, so better for a person. He said they both came from the same plant. Was he lying or ignorant? Either way, he was trusted as he described himself as an expert who had studied drugs and natural remedies all his life.

    After the customer left, I tried to tell him that v*****m was a chemical compound, not a plant by product. He shut me up abruptly and loudly and told me I just did not know what I was talking about.

    Mostly, I avoid natural remedies. I agree with Gonewiththewind.

  3. Fred says:

    Yep,some work.For diarrhea or upset stomach take a coffee cup,half fill with blackberries,steep in hot water,mash berries,drink it all.Eat the berries.May take a second dose but is a miracle cure.And no post med constipation like immodium.
    Supposedly just the leaves in a ‘tea’ also work,never done that though.Added bonus,blackberry tea even tastes good too.

    Think about how many prescription drugs are just purified plant derivatives.

    Pneumonia,z pack would be my first choice.In a pinch,I WOULD try colloidal silver,at least have something to try.

    Point of that,BOTH types of medicine have their strong points.And dont go overboard with pharmaceuticals/western medical as end all,be all…..been in the business 40 years and a lot of traditional medicine and practices exist only to lighten your wallet,be skeptical and be informed.

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