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The Show Must Grow On: Intermission 5/21

The Show Must Grow On: Intermission 5/21 published on 21 Comments on The Show Must Grow On: Intermission 5/21

Rowan: Hey, Rosie, keep talking? The distraction is a help.

Rosie: Of course!

So, on top of that organic painkiller I brought . . . You have the mil-grade healing crystal, and plenty of bhang chai . . .

Are you still taking those drugs?

Rowan: I’m still on my prescribed medication, yes.

Rosie: You wouldn’t be dependent on that stuff if you took my advice about superior nutritional supplements.

Rowan: It is a supplement! Just not of a nutrient you like!

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21 Comments

Oh dear Lord, is belief in this BS common through Ceannis?

Hey now, Nature-based medicine can be useful as a supplement. to, y’know, actual Evidence-Based medicine. The kind that took willowbark and made aspirin.

That’s true. However, unless it’s something only growing in middle of jungle, then it was already researched and either turned into not-so-nature based medicine or proven to be useless.

Or it was something that first grew in a region peopled by people we want to oppress. In that case, we may have just studied its dangerous properties and not its medicinal ones. While there may be one particular substance that fits this bill that inspires this comment, it’s certainly not the only one. Or we may have overlooked the fact that its dangerous properties are in fact potentially medicinal in the right circumstances. I don’t know one of these that actually exists offhand right now, but I can at least see the potential, knowing something of how the scientific community focuses on things. I mean, yes, there are plenty of things that fit this bill that the scientific community has studied anyway. Exactly what substances get the political stink eye is quite random, as is what substances get thoroughly investigated despite political stink eye.

Note that just because something hasn’t been thoroughly researched doesn’t mean that it’s actually helpful. Just because something is somewhat helpful doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s more helpful than hurtful.

All of this having been said, I have a suspicion that the most amazing breakthroughs still to be had in the pharmaceutical business is in off label uses of things. When we research new drugs, we generally focus on just one specific thing they can do. Other potential uses may start coming in as soon as the phase I trials, but doctors may or may not be as receptive as they should be to such things. There are an awful lot of patients who jump to completely inappropriate conclusions, and it’s really difficult to know what should and should not be filtered out. Corollary: this includes off-label uses for drugs that did not pass muster for their initial trials. Consider Rogaine, a failed ulcer treatment. That had a visual side effect, so it was easier for the PI to realize it wasn’t just crazy patient thoughts.

I can think of at least one drug that had loss of appetite as a side effect, so the commercials had people saying “hey, if I take this for my diabetes [or whatever] I might lose a little weight.” It’s not clear how ethically sound that was, but they sure tried it.

That said, Rosie’s problem isn’t that she believes in the effectiveness of treatments that haven’t been thoroughly studied. It’s that, when a treatment has been thoroughly studied (or at least thoroughly studied for one effect), she goes and believes the opposite of what the studies found.

That is a problem.

That having been said, I get frustrated with FDA approved drugs that have their primary indication as a possible side effect. A couple of the drugs I’ve been prescribed over the years for headaches have headaches in their side effects list. Hilariously, I found one of those actually causes me to have headaches – as determined by I get new and distinctly different pain from taking them, in addition to the pain I already had. (I think I only took four of those pills ever, and only that many due to which side of the fork I take on XKCD 242.)

Ok, I was kind of ok with Rosie’s homeopathy interests until this point. I’ve found homeopathy can be helpful, but not when it’s seen/used as a replacement for traditional medical treatment.

I think the only time it ever WAS useful was back when it was first conceived, because so much of early-18th century medicine was patently dangerous to the patient. Even glorified distilled water with a placebo effect was better than some of the stuff being peddled back then.

Well just from personal experience I find it useful. I went through a period of not being able to sleep/having very disturbed nights. I tried over the counter drugs for it and they didn’t work. I was going to go to the doctor when my aunt recommended lavender essence on my pillows. It worked a treat and now every time I can’t settle down a few nights in a row I use lavender and it helps me brilliantly.

Are you sure we’re talking about the same thing? “Lavender essence” is just a marketing term, there’s no lavender in it. But there’s also “lavender essential oil”, a widely-recommended sleep aid, which actually is highly-concentrated lavender extract.

Yup, it’s the essential oil. Thanks for the fact check.

That’s actually not homeopathy. I know, because I looked it up prepared to argue for homeopathy, since I’ve been raised in a crunchy/hippie dippy household that did both alternative stuff and prescribed meds. After further research, I believe using lavender essential oil would fall under herbalism, which is using herbs/essential oils/that sort of thing as alternative medication. Homeopathy is just BS and seems to focus on completely avoiding ANYTHING related to science. While I strongly believe in herbalism working for lots of stuff, I also know that without my pharacutical drugs, I can’t get anything done. It’s why any condition can’t just be treated by throwing drugs at it, you have to set up habits, things to deal with side effects, and monitor your eating, sleeping, and other daily habits to see if changing those will help. Most things need a combination.

It occurs to me I’m writing this at 2 am after my Ritalin has long since worn off, but since I’m on the topic, I’m just going to say that I really wish there were another essential oil that helped with sleep, because I hate the smell of lavender and it would be really useful.

I have no trouble believing that “drinking plenty of clean water” is helpful for a lot of medical issues!

The only problem is if someone tries to charge you extra based on the impurities they’ve filtered out of the water. Then it crosses the line into scamming sick people.

I’m all in favor of more natural solutions to health issues. I use essential oils and herbal supplements daily…and they sit right next to the bottle of ibuprofen for when my knee injury flairs up. 😉 It’s not all or nothing, natural or synthetic, holistic or traditional. These are all different tools in our toolbox for wellness. Sometimes you need a hammer, sometimes a saw. That doesn’t make one tool better than another or more/less dangerous than another…just more efficient for what you want to achieve. 😉

Thing is, the distinction between “natural” and “synthetic” is more about marketing than anything else.

Plenty of things are excellent for your health in their natural state — any doctor will recommend fresh fruits and vegetables, for instance. (Rowan’s bhang chai, here, is in the veggie category.) But you rarely walk into a grocery store and see a sign advertising “all-natural oranges.” It’s more common to see “natural” on products like fruit snacks or sugary juices, where they’re trying to distract you from the fact that “healthy” would be false advertising.

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