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Diseases and Cures


hallenrm
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Diseases, from which many people suffer are often much more mysterious then the medical science would like us to believe; so are their cures. Many people suffer from diseases which even good doctors cannot diagnose or prescribe a cure. On The other hand some people often claim to be cured using means for which conventional medical science has no explanation.

 

For example, now-a-days a so-called swami, Ramdev is much in vogue in India and several western countries. He often prescribes breathing exercises, funny yoga postures and concotations of herbs (which are supplied by his propreitory pharmacy) as cures for many diseases and thousands of people swear by the efficacy of his methods.

 

Similar is the case with Homeopathy, although allopathy practitioner pooh pooh the claim that a substance that is in a very dilute concentration can be effective, no one can dispute its growing popularity around the globe.

 

Can there be a scientific rationale for all these?:)

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Well human beings are not like automta, medical science often leads us to believe. Each human body has characteristics which it may not share with all other human bodies. (It is like saying that the gene pool of two human beings can never be identical) The human body, or for that matter the body of any multicellular organism, has dimensions which the science has so far not unraveled. Perhaps as the time passes many of such dimensions would be scientifically proved. To me medical science, read allopathy, is somewhat akin to alchemy several centuries ago. Just as we discovered many new fields of chemistry, so shall we discover many facts about human body as the time passes, and then perhaps we may find that many of the claims of the so called alternative medicine are really not non-scientific.

 

Science changes with time, we must never forget that, and trash the claims of some people without giving even a serious thought or investigation!!

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For example, now-a-days a so-called swami, Ramdev is much in vogue in India and several western countries. He often prescribes breathing exercises, funny yoga postures and concotations of herbs (which are supplied by his propreitory pharmacy) as cures for many diseases and thousands of people swear by the efficacy of his methods.

 

 

It has been very well proved that Yoga works and very well .But how ?Our body is a complex mystery to us !

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Thosands of Clinical Trials have proved, over and over again, that the most powerful pill we have in our armory is made from sugar-the placebo.

It cures nearly everthing

So this tells you something about the power of the mind over disease.

 

Recently kids in a Children's Hospital cancer unit were given a "Star Wars" type computer game where what was being shot up was the kid's cancer cells.

It seemed to work in reality too!

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A big problem is the impact of those who exploit "alternative" medicines, and they give a bad name to things that when applied properly can have enormous impact. We may not have answers to some of these questions, but it would be wrong to suggest there are none out there to be found. B)

 

Now, I'm all stressed and my blood pressure is up and my cortisol is pumping so I'm gonna do some tai chi and yoga and relax, deep breathing all the way. B)

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  • 5 weeks later...

 

Similar is the case with Homeopathy, although allopathis practitioner pooh pooh the claim that a substance that is in a very dilute concentration can be effective, no one can dispute its growing popularity around the globe.

 

Can there be a scientific rationale for all these?:beer:

I can't see a 'scientific rationale' for Homeopathy.

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People interested in homeopathic medicine are well advised to read some standard, objective descriptions of its principles and history, such as its wikipedia article. Because the term “homeopathic” is so widely used in advertising to mean, vaguely, “good for you”, it’s important to understand the actual claims of homeopathic medicine, and be able to distinguish them from advertising and enthusiast hype.

Similar is the case with Homeopathy, although allopathis practitioner pooh pooh the claim that a substance that is in a very dilute concentration can be effective, no one can dispute its growing popularity around the globe.

 

Can there be a scientific rationale for all these?

Yes, in addition to many very supersticious, unscientific, explanations, there are some serious scientific ones. The scientific controversy arises because these explanations are extraordinary, and over claims that they have been experimentally demonstrated.

 

Early in the history of homeopathy, it shared many similarities with the modern mainstream medical practice of inoculation. Homeopathy’s central “principle of similars”, which states that a substance that causes symptoms of a disease in a healthy individual can cure the disease in a sick one, sounds very much like the modern idea of “training” the immune system to respond to a pathogen, as is done with inoculation (eg: against polio). Much as vaccines must be careful designed to cause a very minor infection, not cause a full-strength case of the disease it is intended to prevent, according to homeopathic principles, the suspected disease-causing substances in homeopathic medicine must be very dilute.

 

Homeopathy became controversial, in part, because the “active” substance (eg: belladonna extract, quinine) in most modern homeopathic medicines is so dilute that a dose of it is almost certain to contain not even 1 molecule of the substance. In other words, the medicine is, chemically, pure water, or sometimes another “carrier”. Modern explanations in support of the homeopathic effect being pharmacologically real, not psychological suggestion propose that the diluting substance – usually pure water – is affected in some physically real and measurable way that causes it to “remember” having been in contact with the active substance, allowing it to pass on information about the substance to the patient’s body. There’s no convincing experimental evidence that water has any such “memory” ability, and many negative experimental results and logical arguments suggesting it does not.

 

Many supporters of homeopathy cite various supposedly well-controlled clinical studies that showing anything from minor to dramatic effectiveness of homeopathic medicines in treating various diseases (in particular, asthma). However, attempts to reproduce these results outside of research institutions founded explicitly to promote homeopathic medicine have been unsuccessful. Another often-cited work is an experiment by Demogeot, Gries, and Poitevin published in their 1994 paper ”NMR Relaxation in Very High Diluted Aqueous Solutions”. This research attempted to find evidence of the alteration of water in a homeopathic medicine by examining it using Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Although this paper is typically described in pro-homeopathic literature as “scientific proof” of all the claims of homeopathic medicine, the linked-to paper’s conclusion actually states, as do many scientific papers, that the experiments do not disprove these claims, and that further, better-controlled experiments are needed.

 

Note that many of the substances used to prepare homeopathic medicines are of known benefit in higher concentrations than their effectively zero concentration in the homeopathic medicines. The controversy, and general rejection of homeopathy by scientific biology and pharmacology, is due to these effectively zero concentrations, not, in most cases, the pharmacological properties of substances like belladonna, digitalis, and Echinacea.

 

Note also that, due to being effectively pure water, good-quality homeopathic medicine is almost certainly harmless at worst, unless a patient rejects needed mainstream medical treatment if the belief that it is unnecessary because of the homeopathic medicine.

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Note also that, due to being effectively pure water, good-quality homeopathic medicine is almost certainly harmless at worst,

Yes

"First do no harm"

I don't think homeopathy has any basis in science.

It is a matter of faith.

If homeopathy does work, what is the concoction of chlorinated hydrocarbons and organo-phosphates and heavy metals doing to us? These are taken in varying amounts in our daily diet.

You have to believe that a minute (undetectable) dose of something will have an effect on your body.

If this is the case with the pollutants we have thrown around the planet in the last 50 years we are all in trouble.!

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Dear Michael, The fact that you cannot see something does not mean that it does not exist.

 

And that is a fact of science. :hyper:

I am not saying I can't see it.

I can't see an atom either ,but I believe that it exists.

I AM saying there are no conventional scientific proofs that homeopathy works.

Homeopathy may work, but there is no scientific proof that it does.

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What is a conventional scientific proof? Do you remember that against all evidence that had accumulated at that time Einstein had once remarked in the context of Quantum Theory "I do not believe that God plays dice".

 

The reference to quantum mechanics is relevent other wise too. We know that in the macro world, classical mechanics rules the roost, it is adequate for all the purposes that we know of, but in the subatomic space it fails and quantum mechanics only is the rescue.

 

Isn't it possible that our overconfidence in the conventional chemistry paradigms that concentration is the overuling factor for the effect of any chemical reaction may really not hold in the realm of biology.

 

Secondly, forget about all theories, rely on your personal experience for awhile, have you ever tried Homeopathic remedies before discrediting them. I have, and I can say that my experience of over five years in this regard points to the fact that homeopathic remedies work at least as good as the conventional allopathic medicines(atleast in the case of common ailments like headache, fever, toothache, stomach upsets etc.)

 

:)

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  • 3 weeks later...
I don't think homeopathy has any basis in science.

It is a matter of faith.

If homeopathy does work, what is the concoction of chlorinated hydrocarbons and organo-phosphates and heavy metals doing to us? These are taken in varying amounts in our daily diet.

You have to believe that a minute (undetectable) dose of something will have an effect on your body.

 

I have some very recent thoughts on this subject. Nowadays diseases called Dengue and Chickengunia are much in news in many Asian countries. The cause of these diseases is a virus that is carried from one patient to another by a kind oh mosquito called Aegis. Now, the size and mass of a virus is common scientific knowledge.

 

Then would you explain how such a small mass can cause death so quickly. Obviously mass of the pathogen is not the determining factor.

 

Let us now consider the clinical trials that are often quoted to claim that Homeopathy is not effective.

 

Taking the same example again, it is very well known (scientifically) that there are three varieties of the virus that causes Dengue, if someone has suffered from the disease by one of these three kinds s/he is not susceptible to it again for life. So, the testing procedures for any system of medicine cannot be blind to the patient's history. One cannot test medicines by the conventional clinical procedures, simply because all patients are not like the same chemicals in different test tubes, they are most often different!

 

:)

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I agree with you that all people are different and can have very different reactions to drugs, herbs and pathogens.

One major and often un-measurable thing is the strength of the placebo effect. Still human-kind's most effective universal medicine/panacea.

 

I don't think you can say that because viruses are small and homeopathy has small doses of snake venom or some herb that they are comparable.

Viruses have a purpose, an intelligence and a reproductive ability that makes them 'alive' in my definition of life; where snake venom, or plant extracts are not 'alive' in the same way.

 

I have tried homeopathic remedies but was not impressed-others are. Regardless of what I or anyone believes we live in a rationalist society and Homeopathy needs to stand up to the same types of rigour and scrutiny that do, most if not all, other medicines.

 

I was even less impressed by an Australian who is marketing a range of Bush Flower Remedies a la homeopathy. I think they came to him in a dream. A dream of $s, obtained from the gullible, more likely

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Viruses have a purpose, an intelligence and a reproductive ability that makes them 'alive' in my definition of life; where snake venom, or plant extracts are not 'alive' in the same way.

 

Indeed, A really unscientific blind belief, with a heavy dose of bias !:)

 

Regardless of what I or anyone believes we live in a rationalist society and Homeopathy needs to stand up to the same types of rigour and scrutiny that do, most if not all, other medicines.

 

True, but not to all the biases purported by the all powerful allopathic madicine mafia. Somewhere one has to sift the potential ideas from myths while giving a fair chance.

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Regardless of what I or anyone believes we live in a rationalist society and Homeopathy needs to stand up to the same types of rigour and scrutiny that do, most if not all, other medicines.
I think Homeopathy did stand up to reasonable scientific scrutiny, but only for a few decades.

 

Homeopathy appeared around the turn of 1800, almost entirely from the work of physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). At around the same time, chemists such as John Dalton (1766–1844) were developing the first accurate scientific theories of atoms and molecules. So, in the earliest days of the theory of homeopathy, the principle objection to it – that it involves dilutions so great that the amount of the active ingredient does not physically exist in dose (or even many millions of doses) of the homeopathic medicine – would have been known to only a few of the world’s most expert chemists. As an 18-19th century physician, it’s unlikely Hahnemann would have been aware of Daltons theories until decades after he had begun work on his homeopathic theory, around the age of 50.

 

Once this objection was widely known, and atomic theory widely known and accepted, IMHO the theory of Homeopathy was disproved as a rational scientific theory. Later attempts to re-legitimize it through such difficult to substantiate hypotheses as “water memory” and “morphogenic fields” fail the test of Occam's razor, being much less reasonable than alternative hypotheses for the efficacy of homeopathic therapy, such as psychological suggestibility and placebo effect.

 

Today, with a substantial industry grown up around the promotion, manufacture, and distribution of homeopathic medicines, I fear that the argument is no longer primarily a rational one, but a combination of public distrust of mainstream science and medicine, and commercial self-promotion.

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Indeed, A really unscientific blind belief, with a heavy dose of bias !:)

No it's not.

 

 

True, but not to all the biases purported by the all powerful allopathic madicine mafia. Somewhere one has to sift the potential ideas from myths while giving a fair chance.

Yes,

Scepticism is healthy. One area of allopathic medicine that often gets in under the radar is surgery. Until recently there were very few scientific studies of its efficacy. Now we are not as quick to whip out every kid's tonsils or do radical mastectomy for cancer treatment. I am sure there are many other areas too where surgery has stopped being the first line treatment because reseach has shown it to be inneffective

(However without any surgery I would have died twice so far !- much to the detriment of this conversation:) )

Many modern medicines have some terrible side effects. See the depression (clinical) thread where a pimple medicine can make kids suicidal. It is still on the market.(!!!) I am amazed too that drug companies can live with themselves selling thalidamide the third world counties without proper precautions about pregnancy. As a consequence many badly deformed Children are being born in South America for example.

The 'allopathic medicine mafia,' as you put it, did a good job on herbal medicine early 19C in the USA funded by Drug Company adds in medical journals and the power of the AMA to approve courses of study. (See Green Pharmacy by Barbara Grigson for the fascinating story of this. It is a great book.).

But "Complimentary Medicine " is now taking root, with most medicines in the world being herbal (Much to the disgust of the multinational drug companies- I am sure.).

However there is now a demand for Evidence Based Medicine (including surgery) in all areas of medicine. All complimentary therapies need to do the research expected of others in the business. My example of the ludicrous "Australian Bush Remedies" riding on Homepathy's coat-tails is a case in point.

The Chinese and Indian governments are very supportive of their very long (2,000+ years!) and distinguished herbal medicine traditions.

It would be hoped that we might see more research $ spent on homeopathy and other Complimentary Medicines in the future in the USA and other weathy Western countries.

 

the argument is no longer primarily a rational one, but a combination of public distrust of mainstream science and medicine, and commercial self-promotion.

CraigD

Agreed, however there is self promotion on both sides. Often Comp. Medicine people grab at any little research straw and exaggerate it's importance. (The American Botanical Council is the best place in the USA to get good herbal info.)

I do have a permanent google alert (press clipping service) for "herbal medicine" for every one good report (Usually from India or China) there are 20 rubbishing herbal medicine. Most of these look like they have come out of the same Drug Company Press Release. One even hysterically rubbished Homeopathy for giving poisonous herbs such as belladonna and aconite to people; displaying total ignorance, and it was written by a Chemist!!!

 

Often poisonous components of herbs are purified by Research Chemist (pharmocognosits !) and used in stupidly high doses to kill rats and there is a panic and a regulatory over-reaction and a herb (like Comfrey) is withdrawn from sale (New Zealand racehorses are raised on Comfrey).

Again Research Chemists need to understand how herbalists and other complimentary medicine providers prescribe and work

There is ignorance, and often intollerance, on both sides

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