Can I use this Ayurveda Medicine along with what you had prescribed for me for Diabetes?
Can I use this 'Insulin leaf' for controlling my blood sugar?
Can I use this homeopathy medicine to prevent getting Chikungunya fever?
I hear such questions again and again.The popularity of Alternative Medicine is ever increasing.As long as there are illnesses there will be Alternative Medicine.
Recently I read an interesting article in The Guardian' titled 'A bad week for alternative medicine' by Rose Shapiro.I agree with most of her points. For those who do not have time to read the article in full here are some excerpts that I liked.
Alternative medicine users are apparently prepared to suspend all normal critical faculties when they encounter an alternative practitioner
Quacks often use language that is abstract and subjective but is ultimately meaningless. Words such as "quantum" sound impressive to those of us with only a weak grasp of theoretical physics, but are in fact nothing but pseudo-scientific window dressing designed to lure a gullible public.
Quacks will often tell you that feeling worse is a sign of getting better. Most detox regimes describe symptoms such as spots, bad breath, headaches and nausea as proof that the detox is working. Such a notion is central in homeopathy, which enables practitioners to rationalise away the worsening of their patients' symptoms
The orthodox doctor treats what you have, and the alternative practitioner says you have what she treats
Quacks are flattering and will appeal to your vanity. They tell you that you are unique and extraordinary and not like other people. On the rare occasions that they find nothing wrong they say you need maintenance treatment "in order to keep your energies in balance
Many alternative practitioners sincerely believe in what they are doing and want to help their clients. But there have surely been enough cases now of blatant recklessness if not outright deceit to confirm that practising alternative medicine is very often the last refuge of the scoundrel.
I live in an area of India were ancient Indian Medicine [Ayurveda]have strong roots. Even the name Charakan, I chose in respect of a great ancient Indian Physician called Charaka who lived about 2000 years ago. At that time Ayurveda was one of the most scientific of all medical systems, but it stagnated and went into decay as Scientific medicine within a few hundreds of years. Still, the Ayurveda practitioner used to uphold ethics of high standard. Now in the 21st century, Ayurveda is also fast deteriorating into a money-making business exploiting gullible public like all other Alternative Medical systems.
How do I answer the the above questions of my patients regarding Alternative Medicine?
I just answer 'I don't know'.
Then I explain saying, 'I have not studied Alternative Medicines. And as far as I know they don't have any scientific basis. So if you want to experiment on yourself you may take them.Otherwise don't take them.'
Then they will ask 'as there are no''side effects''what is the harm?'
My reply will be 'I have seen many patients who suffered from severe side effects due to Alternative Medicines.Also such medicines may interact with the medicines I have prescribed.'
Hearing all this most of my patients wont dare to take Alternative Medicine.