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Chemicals VS Herbs

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posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 08:03 AM
4 years ago I survived an aortic aneurism. I won't go into the gory details, because that isn't the point of this thread.
My whole family has been "into" herbs, vitamins, avoiding chemicals in our food, etc. for quite some time now.
So when I got out of the hospital I called my Mom to ask her about all these drugs that the doctors prescribed for me. She is a respiratory therapist at a hospital. I trust her opinions because she's almost always right.
The main one she had a problem with was Coumadin.
It's a blood thinner. Also known as Warfarin. (read the ingredients on a package of rat poison for a shock).
Mom suggested that I skip the Coumadin and instead take Ginko Biloba twice a day. I still take it faithfully every day.
I told my family doctor about the ginko and he told me that he would never put the "rat poison" into his body either. We monitored how thin my blood was for more than a year and all seemed fine and still is to this day.
My "heart doctor" on the other hand told me I should leave his office because he doesn't want to watch me have a stroke and die right there in front of him.

He also said that I should leave the "Hoodoo" alone and let a professional keep me alive.

Some doctors know about herbs and others won't even consider it. I can't understand why they can be so egotistical and bullheaded.
I'm also keeping my cholesterol in check with a mixture of L-Lysine and Vitamin C. The cholesterol drugs have such nasty side effects there is no way I would ever take it.

Anyone have any insight as to why there are such big differences in doctors attitudes?
If they really want to help people, why don't they explore other options?

posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 08:15 AM

Anyone have any insight as to why there are such big differences in doctors attitudes?
If they really want to help people, why don't they explore other options?

Simple. Many doctors have big egos and don't like ANYONE to challenge there decisions. Some also have God complexes,. which again, makes it difficult for them to come off their high horse and agree that something else might work and work better.

My father died of a massive heart attack. He was on Coumadin. It did nothing for him. Now that I hear it has some ingredients that are in rat poison it makes me furious. I also have a lot of information today that I did not have 20 years ago when he died. Like Vitamin C!! And that much heart disease is caused by chronic scurvy...a deficiency of Vitamin C. For all I know, if he had been put on a strict regiment of an adequate amount of vitamin C 20 years ago, he might still be here today or at least been around much longer than he had.

It's either naivety on the parts of the doctors or outright puposeful genocide. I hate to think it's the latter, but it certainly could be.

I take plenty of Vitamin C everyday now as well as numerous amino acids including the one you mentioned, L-Lysine...all good stuff. I'm in the best shape I've ever been in in my adult life. I quit drinking over 5 years ago, run and pay attention to what goes into my body and certainly don't trust that the FDA is interested in my well-being...that's a laugh!

posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 08:32 AM
I believe in herbs and traditional medicine. I dont' trust doctors terribly much though
I use them as consultants and that is it.

My MIL also had a aortic anyeurism. She was almost killed by the coumadin. My FIL gave her her medicine twice and she ended back up in surgery(he was really tired from caring for her) She also has a ticking time bomb in her chest as there is trash floating around under her heart. If it lets loose, she is gone.

Sometimes herbs don't work. Sometimes they are more effective than drug company meds. You just have to be aware of things.

The one thing to caution people with though, is to have proper monitoring if you do go the holistic route. Even herbs are powerful drugs. Just not sold through an RX. You are having your lab levels monitored and it is working for you. You knew the risks and you have taken the proper precautions

I do believe that sometimes doctors make us sicker than if they left us alone!!!

posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 09:52 AM

I do believe that sometimes doctors make us sicker than if they left us alone!!!

Amen. It 's unfortunate that this is true!

[edit on 31-12-2005 by Excitable_Boy]

posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 10:13 AM
To be fair, Warfarin is widely (and I really do mean widely) used to prevent blood clots forming in people with Deep Vein Thrombosis, atrial fibrillation, prosthetic heart valves etc etc, and it's never been claimed that it was any *other* than a blood thinner. It's used because the consequences of *not* using it can (pulmonary embolism and/or stroke arising from clots forming) are a lot worse than taking it. If it's done right (i.e. monitored) so that your INR (a measure of how long it takes you to clot) is around 2.5 (i.e. 2.5 times slower to clot than normal) the benefit is a lot more than the risk. It can interact with a lot of 'herbs' that people self-prescribe though, and that can put your INR levels too high/low, so it's important to declare stuff like that to the specialist/pharmacologist.

I'd seriously think about the consequences of *not* listening to your specialist (as opposed to your general practitioner) because there is *obviously* a reason why you have been put on it, and the consequences of not listening to his advice may be catastrophic. That said, you're a rational adult who can make his/her own decisions, so informed consent or refusal is up to you.



posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 10:26 AM
Thank God for Wikipedia, eh?

I am open-minded about 'herbs' - I just wish that they had to go through the same trials that 'regular' drugs have to go through, as imperfect as they can be.

St John's Wort is a really good anti-depressant, with less side-effects than tricyclics etc, but because it was a 'herb' it was handed out willy-nilly by a few health stores (certainly in the UK), without people taking into account that it could have side effects as well. Think it's actually more or less been banned in Ireland as a result.

There actually has been some good work with it since (Cochrane study, I think), which puts it on a firm footing, but it's one a few 'alternative' drugs that's had anything done on it, I think.

Cheers TD

posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 04:32 PM
At the hospital my mother works at, if someone is there for anything that might require blood thinners of any kind they ask the patient if they take any ginko biloba. I've never heard of any other hospital that does that.
My family doctor knew about me taking ginko from day one. At first I went in for weekly bloodwork to check my clotting time. He says my results are staying more "even" than most patients that are taking coumadin.
He has since suggested it to other patients that needed a blood thinner.

posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 04:43 PM
My heart specialist was an egotistical ass. I have since then gone to a different heart specialist. He listens to what I have to say, writes everything down, doesn't belittle me for wanting to take control of my own health.
He's what I would consider a good doctor.

Also, he says I'm fine just the way I am and wouldn't recomend changing anything.

Excitable_Boy I've seen you in other topics, glad to have you here.

posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 04:59 PM
Beer_Guy, good on you for making the right decisions with taking herbs!

I used to be on medication for many years, but I had terrible side effects, about 2 years ago I went onto herb supplements and vitamins, they do the same job without side effects!

With regards to why doctors don't want to 'know' about other remedies, is that it keeps them employed. If they were to go into the herbs issue, they would cause big problems in the pharmacutical industry.

I know about this, and have been told it many times before....a quote that goes round studying doctors.....

"Quick lets operate on him before he gets better"

Bit sad isn't it.

Kind Regards

posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 05:17 PM
"Quick lets operate on him before he gets better"

It's sad, but that probably is a far-reaching reality.

posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 06:52 PM

Originally posted by Beer_Guy
"Quick lets operate on him before he gets better"

It's sad, but that probably is a far-reaching reality.

Thats a bit simplistic at best. The bottom line is that you got lucky with Ginko. These testamoinials can be pretty dangerous to not only yourself, but rather to the general population at large. A few isolated cases of good luck seldom translate into some sort of miracle cure for everybody. Herbs are chemicals BTW and can have the same risks that medicine offers.

In regards to "rat poison" into his body either" :shk:

Perhaps you should also give up:

Coumarin is found in a variety of plants such as Tonka bean, lavender, sweet clover grass, and licorice, but also occurs in food plants such as strawberries, apricots, cherries, and cinnamon. It is thought to work by serving as a pesticide for the plants that produce it.
Agggggggg it poison

posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 08:02 PM
My Step-dad was big on Chinese traditional medicine, had a heart problem, and didn't take his medication, the same "rat poison" you described.

And he had Heart Failure...... he's ok, but the only reason he is alive right now is thanks to western medicine.

Western Medicine for the win.

if you don't take your prescribed medication, trust me, it's just a matter of time.

posted on Dec, 31 2005 @ 11:36 PM

Originally posted by Beer_Guy
At the hospital my mother works at, if someone is there for anything that might require blood thinners of any kind they ask the patient if they take any ginko biloba. I've never heard of any other hospital that does that.

Actually, many of them here in the States do that. There have been complications in patients who took herbs such as ginko before surgery. My husband has to stop taking it a few days before his dental visits.

As to "why", well, many doctors realize that patients are going to self-medicate with herbs whether or not they're told to, and many adopt a tolerant attitude toward them.

The REAL issue with herbs is that they're not standardized. The amount of chemical in each plant can vary wildly... and this is true of plants in the same field. Chemical composition can also vary by the age of the plant... unlike manufactured drugs, which are consistant throughout many batches.

Because it's not standardized and because plants grown in different soils have different balances of chemicals, you can't be assured that the same plants that work for you this year or season (even from the same manufacturer) will work the same next season.

ANY herb is a drug... and doctors try hard to check and see that the drugs they give you don't interfere with each other. If the patient is taking herbs, this can't be assured (most herb interactions aren't known... and yes, mixing the wrong two herbs can be ineffective/cause problems.) Taking herbs with medicine can equal a disaster... there's been a number of stories in the newspapers over the past few years of problems of this sort.

The Peopl'e's Pharmacy is always a good reference source for herbs and alternative medicine. I check them first when looking for herbs.

posted on Jan, 1 2006 @ 12:19 AM
Many times when I try to point out nutritional type things with my parents, the "you aren't a doctor" phrase comes up. It's like "doctors know all" is soldered into their circuits.

Doctors can be great assets to us, but there is this assumption that "only a doctor can know...." and it is a bit disturbing. Doctor's don't have a monopoly on knowlege. Anyone can pick up a book, or look and observe things. There is no way I would put rat poison in my system. Why? Why? Why?

Why is basic nutrition, supplementation, and the like, taboo to some folks on this planet? Why do pharmacutical drugs get the most attention, when taking care of you body in the first place could have at least lessened the problems occuring?

To be fair, there can be problems with herbs, and you should deal with companies and people who are knowlegable in the field and provide dependable and consistent products.

I've been years without the Pharmacy's pills and potions, and I haven't had any significant problems, so I see no need to start now.


[edit on 1-1-2006 by cybertroy]

posted on Jan, 1 2006 @ 01:20 AM
I believe through experience and a gradma and great grandma that lived till 97 and 100 that it can be either way, depending on the ailment.

Sometimes natural is better, sometimes man-made is better.

You just have to do some homework... and not where you try to justify what you want it to be, but what it is really.

posted on Jan, 1 2006 @ 03:48 AM
if you want to take herbs or any other natural medicine, go and see a naturopath, herbalist etc. They are trained as are doctors.To take a bottle from a shelf, read the label and think you can cure your ills is foolish. I work in a hospital and let me tell you, looking at the health of our health care proffesionals is telling enough. Not to put down all doctors, I still see one to access blood testing, mri scan etc. Surgeons of course necessary.Many doctors are only in it for the money and dont seem to have compassion for their patients.I was diagnosed with m.s 4 years ago, my neurologist wanted me to immediately start to inject myself every 2nd day for the rest of my life....and this would give me about a 30% chance of postponing or maybe even prevent another attack.So I see my naturopath, osteopath and massuese occaissionally now and all is fine and no symptoms of the original attack either. So seek out alternative medicine,shop around, some are better than others and do your homework on your medication wether it be drugs or herbs/vitamins.

posted on Jan, 1 2006 @ 08:45 AM
I think the *big* development, which is going to help doctors and patients is the advent of 'Evidence Based Medicine' (or dentistry) - basically randomized controlled studies and meta-analysis(es?) that answer the big question, which is really 'does this do the patient any good?'

You can find the link here

It's going to put what doctors do on a 'scientific' footing, because people are going to have to justify what they prescribe/surgery they perform. This is probably the gold standard for all therapies in 2000's, and the sooner you start getting evidence about widely used 'herbal remedies' in there the better. Think St John's Wort is in there already - not too sure about quite a lot of others, though!

Have a good 2006 all!


posted on Jan, 1 2006 @ 08:58 AM
I always research the herbs that I use, I would never just read the label and decide right there in the store to start taking it.
Over the years, thanks to the internet, I have gained quite a few friends around the globe that are very knowledgeable about herbs and holistic practices.

A lot of great people here, with great comments, Thank You!

posted on Jan, 1 2006 @ 11:53 AM
Personly, I have a mosby's Herb Guide, and a more "natural" herbal Guide. I also "Read before I ingest".

I hate to sound like a Echo. But FredT is Right. By not taking a "blood thinner" you are putting your life in Jeoperdy.

If you must insist on taking Ginko, Then at least get your lab PT\INR labs drawn. Should be Once a week, But once a month, 3 months, etc. Is better then nothing at all.

I won't lie to you. I take Ginko as Well. And my family does have a hx of "blood thickening". But my Health care Doctor knows I take it as well. And I get my blood drawn and tested. Every Year.

And so far, "(knock on Wood)" I havn't had problems with my blood levels. But I am not suicidal Either.

Please Get a PT\INR blood level as soon as possible. If not for your sake, Then your family's Sake.

posted on Jan, 1 2006 @ 12:10 PM
msnevil, as I said above, I was getting tested weekly. Until my doctor decided that we didn't need to do it that often anymore. Just last week I went in for my yearly bloodwork and everything is great.

I admire your concern for a perfect stranger, we need more people like that in this world.

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