Hocus Pocus or True Medicine?

July 4, 2012 7:00 pm

Hocus pocus or true medicine? It’s a good question. Over the last centuries we have seen amazing advances in medical science, for the most part all of them good. Antibiotics now scorned by many were a huge step forward in medical care. My grandmother was of an era when antibiotics were not readily available and she would always tell tales of adults and children that passed away from simple infections that we no longer have to fear.

Before the arrival of antibiotics people had to rely on the meticulous nursing and care of the sick and often remedies that were available naturally to them in their environment. Antibiotics meant that infection was no longer life threatening. Is it possible that as a result we became reliant on them and that home remedies and meticulous nursing are no longer needed? That is not to say that nursing care is not good today, but we have become reliant on antibiotics to cure everything and now we are facing the challenges of antibiotic resistant bacteria. As a result, meticulous nursing care, hygiene, and herbal remedies have been resurrected.

Complementary medicine can be used alongside traditional medical science to treat disease. Both have a part to play, neither the enemy of the other. Many are of the opinion that complementary therapies do not work and cost ridiculous amounts of money with no guaranteed outcome. The problem is the lack of scientific research to support it. I am an advocate for complementary medicine.

Granted as a choice I take my children to a fully qualified doctor of medical science that uses complementary medicine  rather than an unqualified person who practices complementary medicine. Is that it? Do we need more mainstream doctors advocating the use of complementary medicine before people will trust it and more research will be funded? I believe that all treatments (whether complimentary or conventional) need to be explored in the treatment of any disease. Patients have to advocate for this with their doctors. We cannot say that conventional medicine is bad, but in some cases it could do with some healthy support and that is when complementary medicine should be used.

For example, one of my children had reflux. He was on an adult dose of prescription Losec for two years. The prescription medicine did work but it didn’t cure the underlying disease. What was the answer/cure? Dairy free and some probiotics (good bacteria daily). Out went the Losec and a happy healthy growing child resulted. All it took was a change of diet. A simple fix!

There is one product that I believe every household’s medical cabinet/magic potion cabinet should be stocked with, and that is Manuka Honey. Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand from the nectar of the Manuka or Tea Tree. Some research has shown it to have antibacterial properties but studies are not yet conclusive. It can be used for the common cold or flu, and is great as a treatment for sore throats and tonsillitis. It’s also very helpful when taken at the onset of a head cold. Honey is always good and this one has an extra kick.

Conventional medicine and complementary medicine together is the way forward. Together they will help  keep us healthier.

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