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Alternative medicine magazine article, treating cold sores on lips - Within Minutes

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We got a lot of advice, much of which I scribbled on a pad now stuffed into a worn manila folder full of articles from medical journals, old appointment cards, and notes from consultations with specialists that is still in my filing cabinet.
The simple names favored by the alternative medicine community provide an illusion of safety and comprehensibility that the chemical names can’t match. She seems blissfully unaware that the four-marvels powder that Walker’s naturopath recommended is a recognized pharmaceutical, just one from a pharmacopeia that she is unfamiliar with, that of traditional Chinese medicine. In 1999, in response to a growing outcry for some kind of evidence-based scientific analysis of the safety and efficacy of this blizzard of nonconventional treatments, the National Institutes of Health, then under the direction of Harold Varmus, established the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Twelve professionals from fields including anthropology, psychiatry, public health, osteopathic medicine, and substance abuse evaluated the presentations, and at the end of the conference drafted a report summarizing their collective opinion. While there is no agreement on how acupuncture might work, a number of physiological changes do occur as a result of acupuncture needling, both in animal models and in humans, along meridian lines or not, which may or may not be related to acupuncture’s proposed medicinal effects.
Since then, 16 US states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of medicinal cannabis for a variety of indications, from chronic pain to cancer- and HIV-related appetite and weight loss, nausea, and vomiting. Despite the dangers uncovered by Grollman and others, such complementary and alternative therapies, referred to now as integrative medicine, aren’t regulated as drugs in the United States. In August of last year, Ranit Mishori, a family physician at Georgetown University School of Medicine, published case reports of two patients who ended up hospitalized after a seemingly innocuous colon cleanse (Journal of Family Practice, 60: 454-57, 2011). As demand for traditional medicines booms, conservationists worry about the toll it takes on the animals and plants that serve as ingredients. Traditional folk remedies and the modern alternative medicines that harken back to such treatments rake in annual revenues of $80 billion to $200 billion worldwide. The past decade has witnessed the extinction of several high-profile species hunted, in part, for their use in traditional medicines. The use of wild fauna and flora in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), in particular, is a concern for worldwide wildlife conservation efforts.
The problem is compounded by the fact that ingredients for traditional medicines are almost always collected from the wild and seldom farmed.
Monitoring illegally traded natural products destined for the traditional medicine market is also notoriously hard due to lack of regulation, poor quality control, and often-nonexistent labeling. A major focus for the IUCN, the World Wildlife Fund, and other such organizations, however, has been to raise awareness among traditional medicine practitioners and patients in China about the origin of the products they use.

In all of the article, and the comments, not a solitary mention of essential oils and specific bioactive plant fractions from essential oils! To access Class Notes or Obituaries, please log-in using your Harvard Magazine account and verify your alumni status.
Your donation today ensures that Harvard Magazine can continue to provide high-quality content and remain an editorially independent source of news about the Harvard community. Western medicine, however, has been slow to agree with him—partly because of his message, and in his case, often because of the messenger.
Kaptchuk joined the faculty as an instructor in medicine and apprenticed himself to several seasoned clinicians and investigators. Kaptchuk’s innovative studies were among the first to separate components of the placebo effect, explains Applebaum professor of medicine Russell Phillips, director of the Center for Primary Care at HMS. Four-marvels powder, or si miao san, has long been prescribed by Chinese medicine practitioners for arthritis and other inflammatory disorders. His description of the experience in the pages of the New York Times brought the practice of traditional Chinese medicine front and center.
We sought to highlight the data that either supports or contravenes the effectiveness of these alternative therapies. With funding from the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR), researchers published studies in 2007, 2008, and 2009 that all suggested smoked cannabis possessed analgesic properties. It is the only FDA-approved synthetic cannabinoid, and offers an alternative to conventional therapies for these patients, though results have been mixed when comparing its effects to those of smoked cannabis, with the herbal version usually outperforming the synthetic. The market for such products is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, and this has conservationists worried about unsustainable hunting and gathering of the world’s fauna and flora for medicinal uses. Yet there is hope that by employing sophisticated technologies, such as next-generation sequencing and genetic barcoding, customs agents will be better able to confiscate traditional medicines that incorporate illegal ingredients, says Mike Bunce, a geneticist at Murdoch University in Australia who helped sequence mitochondrial and chloroplast DNA in 15 TCM products confiscated by Australian border protection officials earlier this year. They activate more genes than any conventional medicines and exhibit safer and more effective biological action compared to many drugs.
Similarly, cranial electrotherapy stimulation is FDA cleared for treating insomnia, depression and other stress related complaints and has a 30 year record of safety and efficacy supported by numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals.
It’s a nod to changing attitudes in Western medicine, and a direct result of the small but growing group of researchers like Kaptchuk who study not if, but how, placebo effects work.

Within a few years, he was winning National Institutes of Health grants and publishing in medicine’s top journals.
Such treatments all require deception on the part of doctors, an aspect of placebo medicine that raises serious ethical questions for practitioners. As healthcare companies increasingly reward doctors for maintaining patients’ health (rather than for the number of procedures they perform), “research like Ted’s becomes increasingly relevant,” says Minot professor of medicine and HMS dean for graduate education David Golan, a professor of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology.
Harriet Hall, a retired family physician who writes critically about alternative and complementary medicine for such publications as Skeptic Magazine and Skeptical Inquirer, this discrepancy between objective and subjective results is precisely where the danger lies. My quibble is not that it is ineffective (although many traditional medicines are pure placebos, several recent peer-reviewed studies have shown that at least one of the active drugs in four-marvels powder, quercetin, exhibits anti-inflammatory activity).
While the research suggests that there is a strong placebo component to acupuncture, that may not be a bad thing, says acupuncture practitioner and placebo researcher Tao Liu, a visiting scholar at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
But woe betide the consumer who goes for the bargain medicines available via the internet from US. With a degree in Chinese medicine from an institute in Macao, Kaptchuk is one of the few faculty members at Harvard Medical School (HMS) with neither a Ph.D.
The question ultimately inspired a pilot study, published by the peer-reviewed science and medicine journal PLOS ONE in 2010, that yielded his most famous findings to date. But to really change minds in mainstream medicine, Miller says, researchers have to show biological evidence that minds actually change—a feat achieved only in the last decade through imaging technology such as positron emission tomography (PET) scans and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). My concern is that four-marvels powder is not a chemical-free remedy but a drug, and one that Chinese medicine practitioners would hesitate to prescribe to pregnant women, which might give me pause before I started pouring it down my young child’s throat.
The article only mentioned the far-out alternatives which, except for acupuncture, are not used by qualified natural therapists. Walker recommended Montmorency cherry juice and four-marvels powder, a traditional Chinese medicine.
Probiotics are included where necessary as a support, but not expecting drug-like responses as the trials in the article did.

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