Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The truth goes unheard

My attempt to get a weekly health column in the local newspaper to combat a new herbalist's column has been unsuccessful. The response to my request was as follows:


Thanks for your suggested alternate alternative medical column. Being somewhat of a skeptic I suppose I could write an alternative astrology column in the XXXXXX every day but I feel secure that my skepticism, mixed with a liberal dashing of tongue in cheek and a tad of pride does not allow me to.

After due consideration XXXXXX and I have decided against running the alternate, alternative column, however we offer you the age-old alternative of writing a letter to the editor. It doesn't get you published as often, but at least you get to make your point in public.


Regardless of the knock-back, I have decided to continue with the weekly health article. Each week I will submit an article to the newspaper and publish a copy here.

So. Here we go!

Welcome to the first critical thinking article on alternative medicine. Alternative medicine is those treatments that have either failed to be proven effective or have yet to be properly tested. It would be a surprise for many to realise just how widespread alternative medicine has become in Australia.

Evidence Based Medicine is not opposed to the use of herbs and natural therapies. When something is proven to work, such as the bark of the willow tree to relieve pain, Evidence Based Medicine will investigate and test the treatment. Scientists will determine which part or parts of the plant are the active ingredients that provide the positive effect. In the case of willow bark, the positive ingredient is salicylic acid.

The other factor to consider is that herbs and natural therapies can be dangerous. One of the greatest preventable killers in society today is the natural herb called tobacco. Arsenic, mercury and even uranium are naturally occurring substances. Natural does not mean safe. This is a problem with willow bark as the salicylic acid can burn a hole in your stomach.

The concentration of salicylic acid in willow bark varies from tree to tree and also from one part of the tree to another. There is no way to know how much of the active ingredient you are getting. Scientists have been able to manufacture the salicylic acid where they know the exact dosage. What’s more they found that if they converted it to acetosalicylic acid, the substance keeps its pain relieving properties, but is much less harmful.

Even when it’s proven, consumers have the choice between eating the ground up willow bark, containing an unknown quantity of the active mixed with other substances or a guaranteed known dosage of the pure active ingredient. I’ll take the safer, known dosage. It can be found on any supermarket shelf labelled “aspirin”.


At Tuesday, May 09, 2006 3:14:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with what you have said on this page, and I have been making these same comments for many years now, its a pity that Chemists, who love to take the moral high ground by criticising people for prescribing the very products they sell, wouldn't also adopt this criteria.
John Bobbin BNat

At Saturday, May 13, 2006 8:44:00 pm, Blogger Kevin Paine said...

The comment below was re-formatted with the advertising deleted. My response is posted seperately.

very good site!.I’d like to exchange idea with you about your subject.and Can I introduce Bristol website:www.xxxxxxxxx.co.uk Chinese backcare therapist website to give you a wealth of information about back pain as well as educate you about Chinese backcare therapy.It is about Dr xxx--Chinese exarmy doctor,(TCM doctor)specialises in lower back pain relief (eg.sciatica),adopting acupressure massage therapy and acupuncture,he worked in China army hospital over 20 years as medical practitioner.if you like contact him,ring:xxxxxxxxx; xxxxxx. by appointment only!

At Saturday, May 13, 2006 8:54:00 pm, Blogger Kevin Paine said...

Thanks for spamming my site with the details of your web-site and phone numbers. However, as the practice of accupuncture has shown to be of limited value (It doesn't really matter where the needles are placed) I have deleted your contact details.

Any readers that do have problems with back pain are urged to see a real doctor, not someone who would use accupuncture. Despite modern advances, the supporters of accupuncture are still yet to prove the existence of the energy force flowing through the body, which the accupuncture needles manipulate.

With the energy force being non-existent, it should not matter where needles are placed as there is no force to manipulate. This is exactly what studies have shown. When sham points are used the effect is the same as using the meridian points. This shows what a sham the practice of accupuncture is.

At Tuesday, November 28, 2006 5:04:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...


like your site.

One of the worst scams I know of at present in Australia is an MLM product called Agel with their (prepare to laugh) "gelceutical" supplements. Have you heard of it? Worthy of a write up! ;-)

People are paying up to $1700 to join this scheme to get a monthly $90 gelly product for what they could get in Centrum for $9 a month. Likewise their weight loss gel is $90 to get what they can get for about $6 a month elsewhere.

Email me and I'll send you an article I received with the details.



At Sunday, September 05, 2010 1:02:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I appreciate the effort to bring truth to light, I cannot concur that pharmaceuticals and conventional medicine are the only viable treatments for disease and the only paths toward healthy living. I've personally had several experiences wherein my conventional medicine doctor (and not just one) had no idea that a prescribed medicine could cause certain dangerous and life-altering side-effects. Or, who was ready to prescribe antibiotics for an untested diagnosis, or as a prophylactic. In fact, thousands of people die or suffer needlessly due their doctor's hubris, mistakes, and ignorance. The point is, to be aware, be educated, and don't leave all of the treating up to the "professional." They don't, and can't know it all.

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