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Natural Versus Modern Health Treatment
Natural Versus Modern Health Treatment

AIR DATE: December 15, 2011

Various health treatment options are available for consumers whether it is over the counter drugs or natural cures like herbal supplements. Some prefer natural medicines and herbal treatments to modern medicines. But, there seems to be a disconnect between patients and physicians over which of those natural treatments actually work and when modern medicine should be used. So what does work? We discuss the possibilities of a more integrative approach for health treatments.
Angela Harris, Master Herbalist, and owner, Herbally Grounded health food store
Dr. Michael Jacobs, local physician, and author, Demystifying Medicine
Sen Michael Schneider, NV-Dist 11
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    Okay, Scott Swank, you obviously have your mind made up about natural healing and that's fine. You should do exactly what you want to do with regard to your own health, but don't try to convince others that herbs are bad and do not work. The government and pharmaceutical companies should stay out of our business when it comes to choosing for ourselves what we wish to do with our own health. If doctors and pharmaceuticals are working SO well, why are people constantly turning to "alternative" methods of healing?
    ColletteDec 14, 2011 12:56:41 PM
    If herbs work then I want to have good studies that show their indications, counterindications, recommended dosage and recommended regimen. And further I want to know how well they work compared with traditional medicine, or together with traditional medicine. If they do not work then I want the bastards who sell them to stop. Most importantly I want to know the difference.
    Scott SwankDec 15, 2011 12:55:35 PM
    If you have a choice to take a natural herb or plant versus a synthetic form created in a lab that was derived from a plant made from chemicals why would'nt you take a plant? People need to wake up research herbs vs medicines and get in touch with their bodies and use common sence and think for themselves. Natural remedies would not be passed down through time if they were not effective. I have 5 children who are very healthy because I strengthen their immune system with herbs. I am very greatfull to Angela Harris for speaking out and enlightening people.
    mary mcmonigleDec 14, 2011 12:43:53 PM
    Please read up on the "naturalistic fallacy". Natural does not mean: good. As a comedian (whose name escapes me) commented, wolves are natural, but I don't recommend you go get a wolf the next time you have a headache. Poison mushrooms are natural, so are daisies. Radioactive plutonium is natural, so are tangerines.
    Scott SwankDec 15, 2011 12:52:04 PM
    Wait. Who needs to be better regulated?! 1. The drug companies that have been fined millions of dollars for pushing off label uses of their drugs with massive health consequences to increase their profits. The companies who now do clinical trials on poor people in India, China, and the Balcans and end up killing a majority of the participants! The drug companies who manufacture their drugs in poorly regulated plants in China and kill thousands here with tainted Heprin. 2. Or regulate grandma who tells you to take some olive leaf extract and some zinc to stimulate your own immune syystem during a cold.
    JackieDec 14, 2011 10:59:47 AM
    Well this was touched upon during the show. While we are not "free" to grow every herb in these United States - Grin - aren't the proposed regulations on alternative medicine directed at those who manufacture and sell them? In other words, you can still grow and consume your own. I would agree that both medical and financial regulation in these United States need some strong laxatives.
    aunty palinDec 14, 2011 12:00:43 PM
    If you go to pubmed and enter the PMID:22091246 There is a study showing milk thistle's effects on hepatitis C viral titers, fibrosis and AST/ALT (other liver function parameters)in very clear language. Another reference to look at which is a review of the literature on safety and efficacy is: PMID:21633595
    Alexandra ReimannDec 14, 2011 10:56:11 AM
    Thank you for these links.
    Aunty PalinDec 14, 2011 11:52:29 AM
    From the conclusion of that study, "The data reported in this review clearly indicate the increasing interest in silybin and its compounds as well as the continuous improvement in knowledge about the molecular actions of this substance. However, in the clinical setting, there is currently a lack of definitive data about its efficacy in patients with chronic liver disease. The only well-defined finding is the absence of adverse events at high doses. " They found that it is not harmful, and that it has indefinite effects. While I'm glad that it's not harmful, that is not a significant finding in favor of ingesting milk thistle for chronic liver diseases or damage.
    Scott SwankDec 15, 2011 12:44:59 PM
    If Angela Harris is "self-taught" then who bestowed the title of "master herbalist" upon her? Is it like being an old school DJ where one self-proclaims "Grand Master" status? She lost me when she said that carrots are good for your eyes and pears are good for your lungs. I do thank her for mentioning I would like to ask her to post some of the most useful links to milk thistle from that site. I would agree that "traditional" medicine is in need of reform but it would be foolish to just embrace "alternative" medicine. Both must be held to a high standard. I'd also say that the bar should be continually raised. Sorry but this does mean things like double blind studies. Anecdote does not fact make.
    Aunty PalinDec 14, 2011 10:43:10 AM
    Grand Master Flash was a good DJ. Your body needs vitamins, which are found in foods. Carrots are high in Vitamin A which is good for your eyes. I don't like how people can go to Walgreens and buy herbs and think they are going to work. Like I said people need to get in touch with their bodies. A Master Herbalist is someone that knows a great deal about herbs. Are you any relation to Sarah?
    Ligeia WillDec 14, 2011 10:52:25 AM
    Aliopathic medicine is based on symptom relief not finding the source of the problem. Alternative medicine is based on the body fixing itself so that you won't find specific changes in the body because illness affects all body parts in some way. Herbs will help the body get back to a normal balance. It is false to put a symptom based argument on herbs because the herbs will strengthen the weak parts which are all connected with every part of the body.
    Karen AllsmanDec 14, 2011 10:37:30 AM
    I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong with this program while I was listening to it but you just hit the nail right on the head. Thank you!!! Your are so right. I wanted to jump through my radio and wring the Doctor's neck because of his arguments, he was very closed minded and uneducated to the connection of the earth and your body.
    Ligeia WillDec 14, 2011 10:44:58 AM
    I'm bothered by the herbalists' repeated claims that the medical establishment is responsible for so many problems and deaths, while natural remedies aren't responsible for any. That's because, as she said, herbalists give "advice," shifting responsibility onto the patient. If someone tried unsuccessful holistic remedies, but finally is admitted to a hospital, too late to be saved and dies, that statistic lies in the arms of the hospital that tried to correct the mistake. There's no similar oversight over holistic medicine that could tell us statistics about problems or deaths.
    BenDec 14, 2011 10:17:22 AM
    Your comment "shifting responsibility onto the patient" is RIGHT. The responsibility should be on the patient to educate themselves on what ails them. It should be their responsibility to seek out what treatment course they want. It should be their right to choose what course to take. Your telling me I have to breathe in second hand smoke everyday all over this city and nothing will be done about that, but holistic medicines will be by prescription only? If you can't see that it is all about Dr.s, insurance and drug companies making money than maybe you need to eat more carrots because your eyesight is not clear!!!
    Ligeia WillDec 14, 2011 10:39:49 AM
    Herbs are used to support the bodies ability to fix itself. If your body has lost it's ability to fix itself it is because the person has probably waited too long before seeking help or the amount of herbs is too little to help. Aliopathic medicine is used to treat the symptoms of an "illness". Pharmaceuticals go after "specific body weaknesses". Herbs are used to support those body "processes" that help the body heal itself. If a body can no longer heal itself it won't matter if the person is given an herb or an Aaliopathic medicine. If the cells of the body are weakened so much they no longer have the energy to regenerate or repair themselves. Herbs at least don't have the negative side affects of pharmaceuticals or do damage to other body organs as is often the case with pharmaceuticals.
    KarenDec 14, 2011 12:34:56 PM
    Further, acupuncture has been shown to be completely ineffective. You can prick someone at random with toothpicks and you get the exact same result. Acupuncture has been shown to be effectively a placebo regimen.

    Acupuncture is seemingly nothing more than an effective method for moving patients' money out of their wallets.

    Scott SwankDec 14, 2011 10:15:07 AM
    I happen to know someone that used acupuncture and it WORKED. The comment about toothpicks makes no sense.
    Ligeia WillDec 14, 2011 10:32:26 AM
    After reading through all of Scott Swank's replies I suspect that he may be a mole for the pharmaceuticals. How else can he come up with so many links so fast for all his dubious statements. His arguments sound like the guy on quack watch. In the Orient they use Acupuncture for many operations instead of drugs.
    KarenDec 14, 2011 13:01:51 PM
    Thank you, the mole comment gave me a chuckle. I find the links with google, searching for terms such as "double blind". I'm not sure why simply referring to basic studies seems dubious to you, but so be it. As for acupuncture itself, there are many charts indicating where to put the needles. These charts invariably disagree with one another. Then they base their theory on an undetectable, unmeasurable, metaphysical "energy". Seriously. We're on the verge of detecting the Higgs boson (or maybe discovering that the standard model needs to be revised if we don't), but we can't detect this acupuncture meridian energy? That sounds implausible to me, and so I treat their claims accordingly. Again, I'm open to being wrong. Find me a well-designed study showing efficacy.
    Scott SwankDec 15, 2011 12:34:37 PM
    Going back hundreds of years is irrelevant. Smoking tobacco goes back hundreds of years, using leaches goes back hundreds of years.
    Scott SwankDec 14, 2011 10:08:30 AM
    Let's face it. Doctors, insurance companies and drug companies will always be against holistic medicines because there is no money in it for them. They know they will always have a blind following. It is OUR responsibility to educate ourselves.
    Ligeia WillDec 14, 2011 10:08:03 AM
    You are so right but right now Senator Durbin has a horrible bill that will put all supplements developed after 1995 under the same requirements and rules as drugs and poisons so most of the recent supplements that have followed the guidelines set forth by DSHEAH will be removed from the market like what happened in Europe this April. They also require unrealistic testing of herbs at dosages no normal human would take them at. Vitamin C dosage will be reduced to so low a dose that it will be useless to take unless you get a prescription for it.
    KarenDec 14, 2011 12:55:00 PM
    Herbs either: 1. don't have anything in them that does anything (in which case we have fraud), or 2. have chemicals in them that do something. If they in fact work, if in fact they have chemicals in them that interact with the body's systems then we should know how those chemicals work, what they do, when to take them, and when to avoid them.
    Scott SwankDec 15, 2011 12:27:18 PM
    Milk thistle has been shown to work as an anti-toxin, particularly for the ingestion of poisonous mushrooms. That does not mean that it should be taken regularly.

    Scott SwankDec 14, 2011 09:58:33 AM
    I use Fenugreek for myself and my son. Whenever you have a clogged up nose or head just put a dropper full in a little water and soon you will be completely clear. I LOVE Herbally Grounded, thank you for all you do!!!
    Ligeia WillDec 14, 2011 09:57:08 AM
    I have been using natural medicines for a while and they do work. One thing important to point out is how the food you eat is vital to this medicine working. If you are eating fast food everyday or food high in chemicals it will not work. If your diet is holistic then holistic medicine works. It really is a mind, body, earth connection. I will tell you that myself and my son are on medicaid, we are never sick. My son never misses school. I pay for my natural medicines myself. So think about how much money we have saved the State by not visiting Doctors on a regular basis for sicknesses that most children have.
    Ligeia WillDec 14, 2011 09:47:44 AM
    Socrates was killed by an herbalist of sorts.

    And yes, ginger has been shown to help nausea when taken in combination with anti-nausea medications. It has not, however, been shown to work as well as nor better than standard anti-nausea medications.

    Scott SwankDec 14, 2011 09:45:44 AM
    It was Hemlock, and they MEANT to kill him, because he thought differently!!!! He was persecuted for his beliefs, yet his beliefs were right. Can't you see the similarities. Or do you just go with the flow...
    Ligeia WillDec 14, 2011 10:02:10 AM
    This comment makes you sound very uneducated. Should we check the books on all political assassinations to discredit those parties as well? John Wilkes Booth was an actor, so should I stop watching movies?
    Alaiana S.Dec 14, 2011 13:01:43 PM
    The Socrates comment was tongue in cheek. And yes, if you argued that bullets were safe I might reference John Wilkes Booth as a counter-example. :)
    Scott SwankDec 15, 2011 12:10:51 PM
    Numerous studies have shown that echinacea does not work. It does not work at all. People who sell it are ripping off their customers under the label "natural".

    Scott SwankDec 14, 2011 09:41:40 AM
    The study you are referring to was flawed from the start. They use some, insignificant amounts of the weakest form of Echinacea. They might as well have taken dirt. They should have asked an herbalist! They didn't because it was paid for by a chemical pharmaceutical company. Obviously the researchers didn't have any experience with Echinacea themselves or they would have known this was a waist of energy.
    AbbigailDec 14, 2011 11:36:30 AM
    Those studies came out of U Pitt's medical school, U Wisconsin, and other respected, independent institutions. There are more studies showing the same thing. I have never seen a scientifically designed, double blind test showing any efficacy for echinacea. I am, however, perfectly happy to be wrong on this. Show me such a study.

    Scott SwankDec 15, 2011 12:08:45 PM
    I am a Naturopathic Physician trained at an accredited 4 year university in Wa state. NDs are licensed in 16 states. Nevada does not license NDs (yet). We need to demystify natural medicine and break down the barriers to working collaboratively with practitioners of all disciplines so that patients can recieve the very best that medicine has to offer.
    Alexandra Reimann NDDec 14, 2011 08:37:24 AM
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