Traditional use medicines and therapies - what are your thoughts?

[quote=“brendanmays, topic:15527”]
EDIT for later readers: this conversation continues on from an earlier post.

For those interested in this topic thread - please contact a legally qualified medical practitioner before making any health related decisions :man_health_worker: :woman_health_worker:.[/quote]

Often practioners only go on the information provided inmarketing material of the company selling the natural remedies.

With those who take then, there is also the placebo effect, where one beleives that something has an positive effect, but there is no clinical evidence indicating an effect. Placebo effects can be positive as they can change the mental state of individuals, making them have a more positive/favorable outlook. Placebo effects can also be obtained by other means as well, rather than potentially taking those remedies which have little or no proven effacy.

Yes, science is always catching up to determine if anecdotal information is supported by scientific/clinical evidence…and not just a placebo effect. However anecdotal claims should also be not taken as fact until such claims are studied/researched and effects independently tested.

There are many natural remedies which have been proven to have no effacy or detrimental to ones health, but this has not stopped the manufacturers making claims to the contrary. Marketing spin is dollars to these companies, and the more believers of their products there are, the more profits they make. Noting they are in the business to make as much profit as possible and why they try and walk the fine line to market their products/remedies.

There are natural remedies which do work. Some of these remedies have been taken up and massed produced, such as penicillin, massage, physio etc. But, for these products to come onto the market, there was extensive research and testing to prove its effacy.

The same level of scrutiny often does not happen with many of the natural remedies which exist. The manufacturers of these remedies often carry out research, however, results which contradict the claims on their products are often not publicised…as it could affect their bottom lines.

I agree with the approach that Choice is taken as consumers, we need to have the confidence that some of the (outlandish) claims of the natural remedy industry needs to be support with evidence and not loose information often compiled and decimated by the manufacturing companies…through the mass or social media.

There is also the alternative view that one does not know the long term impacts of taking natural remedies. Such may be able to be determined through research and clinical trials. Just because it is spruked as natural, does not mean it is safe. The plant and animal world produces many chemical compounds which are harmful to human health. Consumers also need to know that the long term use of such products are safe.


Doctors who support the TGA, epidemiologists, statisticians and pharmacologists are experienced and qualified to assess ‘natural’ medications. The idea that to assess ‘natural’ therapies they must have some extra ability is misguided. The process for assessing ‘natural’ remedies and any other substances that are claimed to have therapeutic benefits is exactly the same. Being ‘natural’ means nothing, its just a marketing label. Whether the juice comes from the manure of a lactating cow fermented in a cow’s horn buried on a root day under a descending moon, or a test tube, it can still be judged the same way.

Candidate medicines should be judged exactly the same way regardless of labelling, origin or age. This means nobody gets any free kicks whether it is a new ‘wonder drug’ from GlaxoSmithKline or a traditional treatment. If it cannot be shown to do any good then warn people not to waste their money and their hope on it.


unfortunately yes there are some ‘natural’ companies that make weird claims of cure alls. However I think any natural practitioner who is just sold on what a vitamin or supplement company says would not be practicing long. There is years of study and research to be a good natural therapist and I don’t believe they just go by what natural supplement companies write on their labels. That would not be professional. Especially after their years of study. I don’t believe they would risk their reputation on that. Unfortunately there is good and bad in every industry.

I suggest you mean “does not yet explain” - science can explain much more than you seem to give it credit for.

I have several health conditions for which science does not yet have a cure, and that have a major impact on my life. That does not mean that I should believe whatever some crank tells me about their ‘patented cure’; it just means that I have to put up with certain medications and annoying technology.

If there is any proof that your preferred nostrum is in any way efficacious (note: anecdote =/ truth, and I am very aware of the placebo effect), then the maker will be able to prove that efficacy. Using the scientific method, not their own creative rules.

The public is not qualified to do so - and when quacks get involved people tend to become ill and/or die. This is why there is a minimum standard of evidence set in relation to claims about ‘health’ products.

Show me a natural therapy that works, and I’ll show you medicine. The ‘big pharma’ you seem to think runs the world (along with sheeple like me) will happily grab whatever it can, bottle it and sell the stuff.

When it’s not based upon scientific evidence, and you have to ‘believe’ for the treatment to work, that’s charlatanism. Things like homeopathy, chiroquackty, breatharianism (the ‘inventor’ must have laughed themselves crazy when they heard someone had actually tried this - and died), reiki, acupuncture etc. are all lacking evidence of efficacy.

I don’t care how you choose to kill yourself, but if it affects children then you have a responsibility of care - and your personal preferences need to come second.

I desperately hope our medical regulators are not that crazy. It is the producer’s responsibility to show proof that what they offer does what the bottle says. That’s all TGA needs - evidence.

Good point. I wouldn’t want anyone who didn’t actually have a clue about science and medicine and the human body to be approving such things. Unfortunately, most quacks don’t have a basic medical background (ex-Doctor Wakefield is an exception - he simply had a major conflict of interest).

Unfortunately. There is no ‘alternative’ medicine - if it works, it’s medicine; if not, then it’s a waste of money.


Then make sure they get vaccinated on schedule.

One final point for anyone who enjoys bashing ‘big pharma’. They are also generally the companies that manufacture your ‘alternative’ medicines. There is no escape!

I don’t have the time or patience to reply to all of the claims you are making, @Choosegood, but while I am not a fan of chemo- or radiotherapy (having watched my father and my father-in-law die horribly), eating grass won’t cure cancer. Advocate for legal euthanasia if you want to die pain-free. And ask an expert about how chemo- and radiotherapy assist in reducing end-of-life pain.

The reason we use US government research and standards is because it’s cheaper than duplicating what has already been done!

Science works.


Well its very clear you certainly have a biased opinion. For science. It’s your right in a freedom of choice society. Hopefully people who disagree with you will have the same right. That’s democracy. There are many natural ‘cures’ that are squashed by such comments as yours and people threatened not to release them. There will never be a ‘cure’ for cancer while big pharma is making millions from it. Sometimes drugs are necessary and the way I see it there is room for both natural stuff and drugs depending on what a person needs. By the way, supplements made synthetically by big pharma are not natural supplements. They are synthetic and the body absorbs them different.

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In a democracy we all have the right to an opinion. That does not make all opinions equal by any means. The value is directly related to the strength of evidence in support. So let us see yours.

Without evidence this is just another conspiracy theory. Show us how and where a proven effective natural cure has been squashed.

Here is some information on cancer survival rates. It says survival rates have improved in a number of categories. Cancer has not been cured but we are making progress. Who has done this work? Where do you get your idea that Big Pharma is preventing a cure?

Please give us some examples of ‘natural’ supplements that are absorbed differently from synthetic ones.

What evidence do you have that such a difference exits? What evidence do you have that the difference, assuming it exists, has any medical consequences?


Sorry, I used a commonly used word there for “traditional use” and will amend it to reflect that rather than use “alternative”.


It is so unfortunate so many people out there live with blinders on. It’s all over the internet about monsanto and big pharma and doctors speaking out about all the ‘fake’ drugs around invading our society and how millions are deceived. But if you have blinders on and are happy with that then thats where you will stay guys. of course you will always read only the stuff that corroborates your view. We have a thinking mind to evaluate and we need to read everything with a grain of salt then make our decisions for ourselves. Drugs have their place, operations have their place and so does grandma’s herb cure. And no one dared asked grandma if it worked or not or why. It just did. To each his own. Bye

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oh just one last thing guys. This is what i choose to read and believe over many other things. He is a naturopath, herbalist and ayurvedic practitioner. Yes I see the disclaimer at the bottom. Pity as some people may read that and remain sick :frowning:

Its all over the internet that the earth is flat, the Illuminati is pulling the strings behind world governments and one can make a navy ship invisible.

You do find it hard to answer specific questions, instead of another generalisation please give it one more try. Who exactly are these dissenting doctors, what are these fake drugs?


I see my QFT practitioner for all my subatomic particle needs ! my universe would just fall apart otherwise :wink:


This relates to malnutrition. If one has a balanced diet and eats a range of foods, there should be no need for medical/‘health’ supplements. The body can’t use any more nutrients/vitamin/minerals that it needs, and if one consumes in excess, it will pass through the body or could impact negatively on ones health. There are also potential long term effects of over consumption.

It is also recommended that if one plans to take any supplements, they should discuss this with their medical practitioner so that professional advice based on each individual’s circumstances can be given.


There is NO place for herbs and potions that have no evidence based research to back up their claims to be sold in Pharmacies. They are only held in stock because the chemist can make huge profits on their sale. I always ask for the research that proves such vitamins and minerals are going to work. If the pharmacist cannot provide such evidence then I do not purchase them. For example, a multivitamin may be useful if you have a deficiency but it just gets pissed out in urine if you do not. A normal healthy diet will provide you all the vitamins and minerals you need.

I also note that most of these supplements state on the packaging that they MAY address certain health issues. This seems to be equal to the tabloids saying “from a reputable source” which may not even exist. Byer beware!!!


Just to be clear, science is not one single thing, or profession, or your enemy. Science is a way of figuring out how the world works - whether through observing distant galaxies or through testing new drugs to see if they work.

My praise of science is simply because it works. The scientific method is what makes your car work, your microwave oven (and your normal oven), it is what gives you the paint on your walls! It is the simple idea of testing your theory to breaking point. There is no point in starting off with an idea that ‘this works’ and then setting up tests to prove that it works. Science demands that you test to prove that it doesn’t work! It is this principle above anything else that has given us the world that we live in today and have lived in for the last hundred years. Scientists experiment, break things, then try to figure out why it didn’t work. ‘Alternative’ medicines have not been through this basic testing.

Wow. Just… wow. Who supplies you with your ‘natural’ supplements? How do you know how much of that ‘supplement’ is in what you take for whatever ails you? What does the bottle say it contains?

In fact, there is some very promising work being done on curing cancer. What you are effectively saying is “there will never be a ‘cure’ for smallpox while big pharma is making money from it”. Wait - smallpox no longer exists in the wild. How did that happen? Oh yeah - science developed a vaccine.

Cancer is quite a lot more difficult, as is obvious when you use a single word to describe over a hundred different conditions. Leukemia? Melanoma? Carcenoma? Any one of a range of breast cancers?

As has been pointed out by someone else, we all have a right to our own opinions. We do not, however, have a right to our own facts. You appear to have signed onto a bunch of conspiracy theories - be it relating to medicine, genetic modification… perhaps even ‘chemtrails’. You may want to look at some of the fact-based parts of the Internet, and learn about ‘blinders’.

I had a quick look at this Khabir Southwick’s blog entry you linked to.

  1. No link to the source study?
  2. “The only difference is their diet”? Garbage - children who experience malnutrition are growing up in poorer families and neighbourhoods. They will experience more distractions, higher levels of violence, and a whole bunch of other inputs that will affect how they behave! Unfortunately, I can’t say much more because it is not clear what the study says compared to what this unqualified quack says.
  3. “If you want to get optimum health, you’ve got to supplement your diet… superfoods like…”. No, optimum health requires a balanced diet. Furthermore, there is no such thing as a ‘superfood’. Journalists write about them from time to time - but that’s to sell papers.

Your quack is selling a pig in a poke. He hasn’t even noticed that crime rates have dropped in his own country!

But the doctor’s part of the big pharma conspiracy! /s

On a more serious note, to your comment should be added that no child in Australia should need supplements if they are eating a proper, balanced diet. If they do need supplements to their diet, then the adult carer needs to be looked into to see if they are neglecting their child. Malnutrition should not be a problem in a rich country!


given that you are into seeking the best available information, have a look at,5


Choosegood , thanks for your post!
It seems we are in the minority((, but its nice to know this country is not all doom and gloom.
The thick skin is non penetrable…

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So another round between faith and fact winds down. What was learned? Not much. What was resolved? Nothing at all. The reason is that there has been no engagement. Tanya doesn’t want to say anything other than one caustic comment. Choosegood has offered one generalisation after another but will not supply any detail or reasoning as that is not required when one has a strong opinion, in his/her opinion.

While people bag science and the scientific method but provide no facts in support of their argument nor offer any better system for understanding the world we are well on the way to the Trumpian art of the possible becoming the standard way of thinking. When you cannot discuss the evidence for or against something as concrete as vaccination policy but just take up a set position then you are doing nothing to inform people here and quite possibly you add to their confusion.

Having been given every opportunity to put your case what do we get - a Parthian shot claiming nobody listened. There was nothing to listen to.


I have travelled overseas many times to Uk, Europe, Canada and US. Never have I seen the rows and rows of Vitamins, herbs and supplements as in Australia. BIG question is, are we are nation of uneducated and ill informed humans? Or are we so gullible by fakery and promises of perfect health and well being by taking masses of pills and potions?


So called Health Food shops are often dominated by racks of pills and potions, with little in the way of actual healthy food.


I have always wondered what the additional ingredients which are added to the pills to make them pills. Some ‘active’ (used loosely) or maybe better saying labelled ingredients I expect wouldn’t compress and stay as a pill (unless they are encapulated loosely into a gel type capsule). But then it is what is in the gel capsule.

I expect that there are binding agents, preservatives/salts and possibly even dispersants/surfactants as well.

Maybe one for Choice to investigate as claims of ‘healthy’ pills may be more than meets the eye.