THE BENEFITS OF COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE


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by Gary Null and Richard Gale
Modern conventional medicine has increasingly become a culture of scientific and historical denialism. Although portending to be an objective discipline of eternal progress, the medical establishment more often than not denies the insights, discoveries, medical systems, and methodologies of the distant past and non-Western cultures.
Modern allopathic medicine has been racing rapidly toward a retro-future with blind faith in new engineered, synthetic drugs as the only solutions. Sadly, this pursuit is misconstrued as synonymous with important medical breakthroughs and the evolution of scientific medicine. Yet as the statistics show, modern medicine is on a collision course with itself, and this is especially evident in conventional medicine’s increasing failures to fight life-threatening diseases and confront the annual rise in medical-based injuries and deaths. 
On graduation, every new physician repeats, “I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan.” The Oath, supposedly written by the wise Greek sage Hippocrates, goes on to say, “I will use those dietary regimens which will benefit my patients according to my greatest ability and judgment, and I will do no harm or injustice to them.”
Hippocrates was a naturalist. Unlike physicians today, he was an expert in the healing powers found in the natural world and was a keen observer of the health benefits of different foods, plants, and herbs. Modern allopathic doctors, however, are not only largely ignorant about the natural world around them but also are far removed from the Oath they dedicate themselves to. 
How well has modern medicine lived up to its oath?
Adverse drug events (ADEs) are rising. They have become a plague on public health and our healthcare system. In 2019, prescription drug-related deaths reached an all-time high of 71,000, greater than the number of American soldiers killed during the entire Vietnam War. Yet, a US News report believes the actual figure is much higher. Annually, prescription drug injuries are between 1.3 and 1.6 million events. Every day, over 4,000 Americans experience a serious drug reaction requiring hospitalization. And an additional 770,000 people have ADEs during hospital stays. Therefore, when we consider there are nearly a million physicians in the U.S., potentially every physician in America has contributed to ADEs.  
No legitimate and highly developed alternative or natural medical practice has such a dismal track record of illness and death. Nevertheless, when a rare ADE, poisoning, or death does occur, the medical establishment and its paid-off media are quick to report the incident as a national crisis and condemn the use of traditional natural medical practice. 
According to the WHO, 80 percent of the world’s population uses herbal medicine. And this trend is increasing exponentially. With healthcare costs escalating annually and prescription ADE’s on the increase as more and more drugs are fast-tracked through the federal regulatory hurdles, relying solely on allopathic medicine is a horrible bargain.
Dr. Dominic Lu at the University of Pennsylvania and president of the American Society for Advancement of Anesthesia and Sedation recommends that Chinese herbal and Western medicine might complement each other if we make the effort to investigate their synergistic therapeutic effects. Lu believes oriental concepts of the human body should be further included in higher educational health science curriculums.
For several millennia, the history of medicine in China, and later Japan and Korea, has been one long exploration into the therapeutic effect of numerous plants and herbs and their synergistic effects. Modern drug-based medicine as we know it today has only been around for just over a century, commencing with the 1910 Flexner Report funded by the Carnegie Foundation. The National Institutes of Health’s PubMed database in the National Library of Medicine contains over 181,000 peer-reviewed papers and research referring to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Regardless of mainstream medicine’s efforts to diminish Asian medicine’s efficacy and successes, TCM is booming and extraordinary research continues to pump out positive discoveries. Even Bayer Pharmaceutical purchased the Chinese herbal company Dihon Pharmaceutical Group because of the huge potential for discovering powerful phytochemicals to treat a wide variety of diseases. Helmut Kaiser Consultancy in Germany predicts that annual revenues in Chinese botanicals will triple by 2025 from 2015 revenues of $17 billion. A Morgan Stanley review found that even among Chinese physicians trained in Western medical schools, TCM is being used as the first line of defense against disease in 30 percent of medical cases, and it is included throughout Chinese clinics and hospitals for treating SARS-CoV2 infections. 
Most evidence-based medical reviews of research conducted on the efficacy of specific Chinese herbs fail to take into account that Chinese herbology is a complete system. It is unrealistic to research a single traditional Chinese herb and reach a scientific consensus. An herbal concoction can include up to 18 or more ingredients, and these are simmered for hours to produce therapeutic properties useful for the treatment of a particular disease. This was noted in a Cochrane Database meta-analysis of Chinese medical herbs for treating acute pancreatitis. It is estimated that there are over 13,000 different medicinal ingredients found in the annals of Chinese medical texts and well over 100,000 unique decoctions and recipes.
Taking one example of TCM’s herbal combination synergistic effects is the duo Coptidis rhizoma and Evodia rutaecarpa. In traditional practice, the formula has been given for centuries to treat gastric conditions and to quickly heal ulcers. Modern research has shown that together these herbs inhibit the pathogenic bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which frequently accompanies ulcers. In the U.S., approximately 20 percent of people under 40 years and over 50 percent of those about 60 years are estimated to have an H. pylori infection that is responsible for gastritis, stomach, and duodenal ulcers, gastric lymphoma, or stomach cancer. The herbs also contain limonene – an antineoplastic molecule – and gameolenic acid used in modern pharmaceutical anti-tumor treatments. 
We may also look back at the 2017-2018 swine flu season. The promised vaccine was a dud and according to the CDC was only 36 percent effective. Later research at Rice University determined the vaccine was at best 20 percent effective.
With conventional medicine and our federal health agencies failing to protect the public, I, along with tens of thousands of other people experiencing the onset of flu-like symptoms, rushed to purchase the Chinese herbal cold formula Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa for as little as $6.00 in New York City’s Chinatown. Pei Pa Koa is one of the most popular cold, flu, and cough remedies across East Asia and Singapore. It was first formulated during the Qing dynasty in the 17th century. The results were immediate, and when we desire a rapid and safe treatment for a health condition, that’s all that matters. 

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