Alternative Therapies May Cause More Harm Than Good

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When it comes to alternative medicine we are talking about a multi billion dollar industry where companies can rush herbal products and remedies to market without having to go through any of the trials and testing done by traditional prescription medications. I was reading several articles in the Associated Press about this subject and was not surprised to found that the results of over 2.5 billion dollars worth of research studies show absolutely no evidence that herbal treatments in any way help cancer patients.

In fact there are many types of herbal and alternative therapies that interfere with modern medicinal treatments of cancer and may in fact make patients worse instead of better. For example it was shown in the studies that people taking Beta Carotene supplements had higher rates of Lung Cancer, and people taking Vitamin E supplements had higher rates of prostate cancer. Some herbal therapies interfere with the bodies hormones and actually feed and fuel the cancer cells making them grow more quickly and rapidly.

Some treatments and alternative therapies that have shown to be effective in helping alleviate symptoms (but not treat the disease itself) are:

  • Ginger pills, are known and effective for reducing nausea for chemotherapy patients and this has been proven to be effective at aiding the side effects of chemotherapy.
  • Acupuncture and massage therapies are shown to reduce stress levels and reduce pain by releasing natural body chemicals that assist.

Other than the above though there hasn’t been any single proof that herbal or alternative therapies in any way help treat cancer, most would have a placebo type effect if not be worse off than not taking anything at all.  In addition during recent testing it was shown that 6 out of 9 herbal supplement pills contained either the wrong dosage of herb that was listed on the bottle, or contained some toxic metals or other substance that was harmful to the body.

I believe that some alternative therapies and herbs are helpful, I have personally used Colloidal silver to treat throat infections, Oil of Oregano for chest colds, and ginseng tea for energy.  But I would highly recommend you only rely and use alternative therapies for relatively mild illness or ailments, when it comes to life threatening diseases it is best to stick with what is known and works.  Don’t gamble with your life and trust in something that has no medical or scientific proof.

That being said there are alternative therapies that will start curing these ailments, and these include Stem Cell therapies, Immunotherapies, Gene Therapies, but these are all based in science and medicine, and none of them are derived from herbal supplements.

-Justin Germino

Updated: June 15, 2009 — 4:12 pm