posted on Jul, 28 2005 @ 02:50 PM
I think I ought to mention that I am not by any means locked in to Western allopathic methods as curatives. I think the Western world in general and
the United States in particular ought to be looking a lot more closely at the idea of non-pharma drugs, especially when they’re being used as
preventatives, like Western-medicine pharma vaccines are.
Both my wife (who is firm believer in natural healing protocols as well as being a degreed RN) and I are volunteer tour guides at a local Arboretum
State Park, where we give guided tours on a “curandero trail” and discuss the naturally-occurring medicinal plants found in the Southwest deserts
and used by Southwest Indians for millennia.
My point is, I'm not completely ignorant or close-minded on this issue.
But I don’t think that just because a drug or any other palliative has been used by people for hundreds of years means that it’s safe. For
example, paleo-archaeological finds have shown the people have practiced trepanation for thousands of years, and it was commonly used up until about
two hundred or so years ago, when people finally figured out that it was worthless. I don’t know how many people died from the trepanning
procedure, but in retrospect, it seems they all died for nothing.
And you can say the same thing about bloodletting which was based on the ideas of “humours” in the blood, and was used until only about two
hundred years ago when it was discontinued because it killed some patients and didn’t help the others.
And as far as actual drug ingestion goes, there are thousands of folk remedies used by pre-scientific people which simply didn’t work; and in many
cases, killed the patient. But that didn’t stop them from being used for generations and generations.
So I think how long a drug or procedure has been used is not the final answer to the question of whether or not it could be used; there are simply too
many folk remedies which have been used since ancient times which are bad.
And even if a traditional palliative or a cure works for one population, what if you are someone who has an ailment or a condition which will make the
drug worse? Perhaps this drug will work just fine for, say, lactating mothers, but how about lactating mothers with diabetes? It might kill them,
and the only way you can really be sure of its efficacy under most conditions is to do some pretty rigorous and well-designed testing.
Mischievous Elf says that he/she will “…trust them [Indians] thank you very much rather than organisations that allowed Thalidamide onto the
market after such 'scientific testing'.”
That’s great; you should certainly have the right to put in your body whatever you choose to. But there are a lot of Indian cures which you
probably wouldn’t take, either.
And certainly the Thalidomide debacle was a horrible one, but what do you expect? It was tested forty years ago, when we didn’t put as much
emphasis on testing procedures as we do now. When you look at all the pharma drugs which were tested and then were found out to be dangerous, you
will notice that most of them were pulled off the market at the first signs of problems – often voluntarily by the pharmas themselves, to keep them
from looking bad.
(And by the way, thalidomide was prescribed in Europe and Canada during the early 1960s to treat morning sickness in pregnant women. At that
time, it was not approved in the United States because Dr. Frances Kelsey from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated there was
insufficient proof of the drug’s safety in humans.)
I believe that people (at least competent adults) should be allowed to take whatever they choose to take, and should not need the doctor’s (or the
government’s, or anyone else’s) permission to do so.
But I also know that I am not a real expert on any kind of medicine (and I don’t think anyone else here is, either), and I like the idea of
someone -- whether it’s a bunch of universities funded by the government or a bunch of nurse practitioners or anyone else -- run a series of
comprehensive tests on these drugs and tell us what the dangers are and under what conditions it’s effective to use them.
And I don’t care whether you call St. John’s Wort and Echinacea as “dietary supplements” or “health aids” or anything else. They’re
still drugs. And if you think that we as a society should test drugs before they’re released for sale, then we should test all drugs
before they’re released for sale.
I’d think that anyone concerned about their and their families’ health would want to see that!