Monday, 21 March 2011


One of the statements one commonly hears from the proponents of alternative medicine is "what's the harm?' The idea being that, if conventional medicine alone is not enough, then alternative medicine, even if there is no evidence of efficacy, may give the patient some comfort. And at least there is no harm.

Anyone who thinks along those lines should read this, and this.


  1. Interesting reading, though the second link seems to be to a random collection of anecdotal hysteria that we hear everyday said about conventional medicine from our own punters.

    The first link was similarly interresting. Blaming the conventional oncologist for not taking her seriously and driving her to the arms of quacks. I have to say, I have found myself zoning out and becomig less interested in punters when they tell me they have an hormonal imbalance as their herbalist said so.

    And I thought Brian May was married to Angie off Eastenders anyway??

  2. I do have to take issue with you, however belated. If you include supplements and some herbal remedies, which you must in this 'Altmed' heading you do a great disservice to many. As I previously stated I have no time for 'quacks', be they registered with GMC (and there are quite a few) or any regulatory body, but contrary to much of mainstream medicine there are a number of supplements, vitamins and some herbs that have great promise and that are widely in use.

    Sure idiots abound in this area, but so they do in 'conventional' medicine. Those who seek out the charlatans are often rewarded with more sickness and injury in their desperation. Equally as well there are studies that support the use of Vitamin D, CoQ10, and in the matter of CKD, considerable evidence to support the use of simple bi-carbonate of soda, in the treatment of this disease. There is one here;, here; and here;

    I also feel that some in the heading you utulise, are more adversaries of various drugs and protocols, rather than proponents of alternatives. Some of us simply think we should stop doing things that cause harm, and advocate lifestyle changes and nutritional modification as a means to better health. In that, I and many others feel that the dogmatic views about diet (from Doctors) has contributed much to the proliferation of diabetes and obesity than has almost anything else. If it was founded in anything other than 'bad science' I might modify that stance. But it isn't.

    In the examples you give, it is also evident that most of the harms caused by herbs, was the adulteration of the substance with harmfull and poisonous contaminants, such as lead, not the herbs themselves, although there does have be to almost the same number of caveats about herbs interacting with each other and mainstream drugs as there does about drug interactions, which does and will continue to be a problem in medicine. Especially true when the polypharmy often employed in Diabetic treatments are considered. This is the practitioners fault, not the product.