These are responses I posted on the Ask Curezone board, but thought I would post them here as well since I think they would make a great disucssion:
i totally agree with you. many of those who precribe herbs are not medical doctors and do not how the herbs can affect the body.
ROTFLMAO!!!! Most doctors don't have a clue how the drugs they prescribe effect the body!!!! I could give you all sorts of examples such as the ER doctor that ordered a potassium IV on a patient with hyperkalemia (excessive potassium). Or the idiot doctor that prescribed a sleeping pill for a friend of mine. He hallucinated on the pill, a well known side effect of these drugs. So he was given a different type of sleeping pill and again he hallucinated. Yet the doctor did not know that one these drugs cause hallucinations, and tow that even the drug companies admit these drugs do not work. Since the fool did not know that a common side effect of these drugs was hallucinations the doctor instead determined that my friend had developed Alzheimer's over night, which by the way anyone knowing medicine would know is impossible. Now that he is off the drugs he is fine. My grandfather was killed by the repetitive use of the blood thinner heparin because the m*o*o*nic doctors did not know that repetitive heparin therapy causes blood clots (white thrombus syndrome). They also don't seem to be aware of the facts that the osteoporosis bisphonate drugs actually increase the risk of fractures and can also cause a permanent burning pain. Or that the statin drugs used to treat high cholesterol actually cause heart failure. Or that antidepressants can cause suicidal depression, which I have also seen cases of personally in several adults. They only admit to this side effect in children and adolescents. Or that Coumadin (Warfarin) frequently prescribed to prevent strokes actually causes strokes................. I can go on all day long with examples of this. Doctors learn how to cover up symptoms by prescribing drugs. Most of their knowledge of these drugs comes from the sales reps who are not going to emphasize the failures or dangers of these drugs.
one major problem is that herbs have not been studied properly and have been tested to assess the effects and/or problems they may cause. unfortunately we are the guinea pigs.
This is another very persistent MYTH I frequently hear. If we change the word "herbs" to "pharmaceutical drugs" then you will be spot on. Do you know how badly manipulated the studies of pharmaceutical drugs are? As an example it was reported in JAMA by several doctors that the drug companies were testing chemotherapy drugs for effectiveness. If a person died or did not respond though the person was dropped from the final results so the drug would appear to be effective. This is actually a common practice for all drugs. As an example of this though NOVA did a program on the development of the angiogenesis inhibitor Endostatin. They followed two men undergoing the drug trial for their cancers. The first man died during the trial so you know he was dropped from the study results. And this is evidenced by the second man who at the end of the program we were told was dropped from the study because "his tumor grew beyond the parameters of the study". In other words the drug failed to even slow the growth so they dropped him from the study before he died from the tumor. Again this kind of manipulation is VERY COMMON in drug testing. Misinterpretation of finding is another common manipulation tactic to make dangerous and worthless drugs appear safe and effective. Again the bisphonate drugs are a great example. To make the drugs appear effective the drug companies only tested bone density in on one part of the body. Anyone knowing how bones develop would know exactly why this is manipulative. But the bottom line is that th drug companies told the public that the drugs worked because of increased bone hardness. Problem is that hardness and strength are two separate issues, which is why the bisphonate drugs have been found to increase the risk of bone fracturing. To make matters worse they don't tell the public that it can take up to 10 years to get these drugs back out of the body. This is why they now have the monthly pill or the yearly shot. They did not tweak the drug to make its effects last longer, it has always been the same dangerous drug.
Another big problem with drug studies is that the drug companies test the drugs on animals other than humans. You will notice that sometimes they use a particular species or sex of rat, or a pig, monkey, dog......... What they are doing it choosing the animal that is most likely to respond positively to their drug. This is because different animals will respond differently to drugs. Humans can eat chocolate and grapes, but these can kill a dog. Sheep can tolerate arsenic levels that would kill a human. Humans take aspirin all the time, but it can kill a cat..............
Most of our knowledge of herbs though has come from non-manipulated human use. For example Chinese medicine is the oldest medical system in the world. All herbs were tested on thousands of prisoners prior to giving anything to the Emperor. Since there was no financial incentive behind the testing as there is with pharmaceuticals the testing was not manipulated or misinterpreted to make the drugs appear effective. The same applies to the use of herbs by the Native Americans, South American tribes, in Ayurvedic medicine, etc. So our knowledge of herbs comes from real life HUMAN experience, not manipulated and misinterpreted animal testing commonly used to make pharmaceutical drugs appear safe and effective.
most natural specialists are doubting that the ashwagandha caused my thyrotoxicosis. hell, is says that it caused thyrotoxicosis in lab rats
We are not rats. See above.
and the report of it happening with a Dutch woman is all over the internet.
One case? And it is assumed that the ashwagandha was responsible? Do you even have a clue how often herbs are blamed for thins that are not really to blame. Ephedra was blamed for over 40 deaths when there was really only one and that was an overdose. All the other deaths were from PHARMACEUTICAL ephedrine HCl. Chaparral was blamed for 13 isolated cases of hepatitis. But the public was not told that out of those 13 cases that most had pre-existing liver failure and the others were on pharmaceutical drugs known to cause liver damage. Then there is the case of the lady named Rosemary who they claim developed argyria from using colloidal silver. The fact is that she was using a pharmaceutical silver salt nose spray, which is way different than colloidal silver.
This is a great example of how the Internet can be a great research tool but it is also full of misinformation, especially when it comes to herbs and supplements.
no one really knows how many herbs work in the first place, so to say that ashwagandha does not cause thyrotoxicosis is contradicting empirical evidence.
Again so much more is known about the chemistry and effects of herbs than pharmaceutical drugs. And to make matters worse even drugs known not to work are still are left on the market. As an example in 1969 the FDA was Court ordered to remove 710 drugs from the market that were found to be to dangerous for human use or that just did not work. The FDA found a loophole and left all 710 drugs on the market. One of those drugs was dextromethorphan (DM) used in many cough medicines, which was found to be no more effective than placebo. About 10 years ago another study was reported in the J. of Pediatrics, which also found the drug to be worthless. Yet the drug still remains on the market with full FDA approval despite the fact that it does not work but it does have adverse effects. And as I pointed out earlier the pharmaceutical companies claims that their sleep aids Ambien and Lunesta do not work. Yet they still remain on the market causing dangerous side effects. Again when money is behind the findings manipulation and misinterpretation will abound to try and make pharmaceutical drugs safe and effective and herbs and supplements dangerous.
As another example there was a pharmaceutical company here in the US that use a advertise heavily that their drug was found to reduce the risk of a second heart attack by 50%. The commercials were finally pulled, likely because the claims were fraudulent. It was exposed that what the pharmaceutical company had tested the drug on 100 people. Then they took 6 of the 100 and found that 3 of these 6 had not had a second heart attack within that short time frame and thus claimed a reduction of second heart attacks by 50%. Again fraud is massively rampant in the pharmaceutical industry because money and greed lead to manipulation and misinterpretation for the purpose of misleading the public.