What complementary remedies are there for H1N1 Influenza?

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Offline Simpleton

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Dear Forum members,

There seems to have been a great deal of chat within the forums (and externally) about the Influenza virus (H1N1, H5N1, Swine Flu) including what it is, how it affects us, what effects vaccines have on us etc etc. From my understanding, if you become infected and have no previous resistance, you and your immune system have to deal with the current strain for between 5-7 days. As the virus takes a hold within the cells and the immune system kicks in sending white soldiers to the battle, the first response (on medical advice) is to take the Anti-viral medicine Relenza or Tamiflu, within 24-48 hours of fever. What I would like to know is, "Is that it?"

What natural complementary remedies are there?
Are they likely to be any of help?
Can the list below be used in conjunction with Tamiflu?

What about Garlic?
or Vitamin C
or White Tea
or Fern-leaved Biscuit-root (Lomatium dissectum)
or Betulinic Acid
or Black Elder berries
or Goji berries,
or Icelandic angelica
or Prunella vulgaris
or Vitamin D
or even Ozone therapy

Based on the current national and international advice, if I become ill with H1N1 like symptoms I should not go to my doctor, for risk of infecting others. If I get really sick (bad breathing or organ complications) I could go to hospital if beds are available at this time, mmm.... For a moment, I imagine myself at home with the onset of fever, so there I am with my medical kit containing some Asprin and Paracetamol and my dose of Tamiflu or Relenza or both?, hoping & praying the current virus has not already found partial or full immunity to those products or indeed mutated and is even stronger than the reported mild version.

That's it? That's my defence? My life could depend on this! Is that all the scientific and medical community can offer me? Come on, this is 2009...We are off to Mars soon!

What about if my first aid kit contained some or all of the list above, measured into the correct dosages, together with a precise plan of when to take what and in what order. Are my chances of survival likely to be greater or not?

What other complementary medicines are there?
What remedies helped in previous outbreaks?
Is anyone interested in helping to put a more concise list together?
Would like to also document dosages and a specific timetable for the 5-7 days?

Kind of hoped the WHO and various world government organisations, even pharmaceuticals would do all this for me, but seems not to be the case...its up to me personally, a Simpleton! It appears they all seem too busy buying vaccines, setting up advice lines and ensuring, together with the world media, that the public is in enough panic!

Looking forward to your response & collaboration.
« Last Edit: 04/08/2009 01:38:00 by Simpleton »

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Offline Bored chemist

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Re: What complementary remedies are there for H1N1 Influenza?
« Reply #1 on: 03/08/2009 20:29:22 »
Conventional medicine is medical treatment which has been shown to work.
What does that leave as the "alternative"?

That list of "remedies" is a list of things that have been not shown to work for other flu strains; why try them on this strain?


Even in the 21st century we rely on our immune system for practically everything.
We have been done it since before we knew what immunity was. It works pretty well in most cases.

The advice from the doctors is the best availlable guess at the best thing to do.
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Offline Simpleton

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Re: What complementary remedies are there for H1N1 Influenza?
« Reply #2 on: 04/08/2009 01:33:18 »
Conventional medicine is medical treatment which has been shown to work.

"Mmm. So as-far-as conventional medicine is concerned, Acupuncture, Herbalism and Homeopathy, for example, are at best, complementary medicines that problably do not work, and at worst witch-craft? One of the words used to define conventional medicine is "Western Medicine". Are we still living in a world where Western (conventional) doctors believe they are somehow better than medicinal doctors from other schools of thought? Oh dear. However, I don't really think that individual doctors believe this, I think it is more to do with what governments and pharmaceuticals think and what they then encourage (enforce) via doctors."

In the following definition (medicinenet.com), I dont see any reference to medical treatment that has been shown to work, actually find it a bit arrogant, actually very arrogant and quite naive, but guess that's how conventional medical dictatorship works.

Definition of Conventional medicine

Conventional medicine: Medicine as practiced by holders of M.D. (medical doctor) or D.O. (doctor of osteopathy) degrees and by their allied health professionals, such as physical therapists, psychologists, and registered nurses. Other terms for conventional medicine include allopathy and allopathic medicine; Western medicine, mainstream medicine, orthodox medicine, and regular medicine; and biomedicine."

What does that leave as the "alternative"?

"If I were to change the word from alternative to complementary, would that that mean I was able to consider my list of items as something potentially useful in conjunction with conventential medicine and therefore potentially useful for my first aid box? I would be really amazed if a conventional western doctor tried to argue that Acupuncture, Herbalism and Homoeopathy are disciplines that have no use in treating ailments in the 21st century. I think amazed is too light, actually I think the doctor would be laughed off the face of the planet."

Definition of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM).

Alternative medicine: Healing arts not taught in traditional Western medical schools that promote options to conventional medicine that is taught in these schools. An example of an alternative therapy is using a special diet to treat cancer instead of undergoing surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy that has been recommended by a Western physician. Complementary medicine is different from alternative medicine. Whereas complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine, alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine.

Complementary medicine: A group of diagnostic and therapeutic disciplines that are used together with conventional medicine. An example of a complementary therapy is using aromatherapy to help lessen a patient's discomfort following surgery."

That list of "remedies" is a list of things that have been not shown to work for other flu strains; why try them on this strain?

"Mmmm. Aha, So my list of "complementary" medicines has been shown not to work (by the fact they have not been monetised by conventional medicine??) or is there another list saying they dont work, full stop. Does that then mean, for example, Lomatium dissectum, in terms of conventional medicine, is to be disregarded as a medicinal plant that could not possibly help fight against H1N1?

Desert parsley (Lomatium dissectum) has been used by many Native American tribes to treat a wide variety of infections, mainly of the lungs. Historical and traditional sources report that desert parsley was used during the influenza pandemic of 1917 with positive results. http://www.healthline.com/natstandardcontent/desert-parsley [nofollow]

Is the above citation false or misleading or pure speculation possibly even based on witch-craft? Aha, moment, I see how it works now, I can cleary see the problem with the above paragraph..."Native Amercian tribe". Even if historical and tradional sources report positive results with its use, it cannot be considered anymore use than eating straw as it is not Western? Or did I slip up somewhere?"

Even in the 21st century we rely on our immune system for practically everything.

"Huh? So trying to strenghen the immune system with anything other than conventional medicine is a pointless exercise, even when an illness like the 2009 H1N1 virus, which no-one has immunity too, arises, and even when it may have had documented positive results in the past?"

We have been done it since before we knew what immunity was. It works pretty well in most cases.

"I agree (if I decipher your meaning correctly), the immune system is a wonderful part of the human makeup and is our first line defense against illness, and in most cases it functions as it was designed to do, perfectly. However I would strongly argue that this is not "most cases" and even would go so far as to say Epedemics, now a Panademic, is the total opposite of most cases."

The advice from the doctors is the best availlable guess at the best thing to do.

"Doctors being, Conventitional or Western Doctors, ok?  I must say the "best available guess" phrase does not give me an overiding sense of security when it comes to dealing with a virus that has no known cure and where previous bouts resulted worldwide in 10's of millions dying.

What is so wrong (apart from it not being conventional) with considering complementary medicine? Often in history, complementary remedies and practices have been shown, through years if not centurys or milleniums of actual practice, to be the basis for conventional medicinal "products".  I am quite sure in the 21st century we have collectively moved beyond the concept that we in the West know better than everyone else. You only have to look at the example of Eastern medicines and how the industry has exploded  over the past 20 years in the UK, times have most certainly changed.

I thankyou for your comment, especially from someone who has posted many comments on this forum (almost 4000) and is non other than a "Hero member". It certainly helped me to clearly see some of the differences between conventional, alternative and complementry medicine.

Sadly, it appears your advice (do what conventional doctors tell you to do, take prescription drugs) and you hardline stance on conventional medicine will prevent you from adding worth to my quest, that being, the creation of a personal Complementary First Aid Kit for H1N1 and other Influenza A & B strains.

Best regards."

« Last Edit: 04/08/2009 01:46:40 by Simpleton »

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Offline Simpleton

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Re: What complementary remedies are there for H1N1 Influenza?
« Reply #3 on: 04/08/2009 01:35:41 »
PS, Have changed the title of this conversation to read, complementary rather than alternative, in the hope more people feel safer to comment or participate.
« Last Edit: 04/08/2009 11:41:23 by Simpleton »

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Offline BenV

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What complementary remedies are there for H1N1 Influenza?
« Reply #4 on: 04/08/2009 12:10:11 »
It seems to me you were prepared for a more aggressive response than Bored Chemist's rather reasonable comment above. 

Non-conventional medicine does get a luke-warm reception on this forum, often because it's linked with people claiming that conventional medicine is flawed, wrong or dangerous.  You can see why this sort of thing should not be encouraged here - should someone vulnerable read these threads and decide to forgo medical advice in favour of the latest wonder-berry or super-food, the consequences could be disasterous.

However, there is nothing wrong with taking whatever you feel will make you feel better. 

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So my list of "complementary" medicines has been shown not to work (by the fact they have not been monetised by conventional medicine??)

Things being "monetised" is irrelevant - if the NHS could stave off enough swine flu cases by advising people to eat garlic and drink green tea, they would be doing so.  (Think of the bonuses that people could award themselves, having shown to cut costs and improve health!)  The advice given most often by doctors is to eat healthily and get adequate exercise - who's making money from that?

Of course conventional medicine learns from herbal/traditional/'folk' medicine - it always has done, and will continue to do so.  But should doctors recommend something that is rumoured to work, or something that has undergone extensive tests and dosages calculated for best effect/least side effects?

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Offline Simpleton

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What complementary remedies are there for H1N1 Influenza?
« Reply #5 on: 04/08/2009 13:26:46 »
Firstly, thanks for comment, I am glad this posting is sparking some reaction.

It seems to me you were prepared for a more aggressive response than Bored Chemist's rather reasonable comment above. 

"Rather reasonable comment? Which was that conventional western medicine is the only medicine you should consider against a virus that has no cure, even if we have historical evidence of positive results pertaining from complementary medicines such as herbalism; not sure about that.  To be honest, I am not here to dismiss or argue against conventional medicine, the opposite in fact. I would like to compliment the advances of conventional medicine. As there is are only a couple of medical suggestions from the conventional community ie. Relenza & Tamiflu, both of which may seem a level of resistance in a mutated version of H1N1, it would see sensible, to me, to look at complementary medicine. This would be especially true if resistance to conventional medicine is confirmed. In fact, if it was confirmed, what would be the advice from conventional doctors? Panic?

Non-conventional medicine does get a luke-warm reception on this forum, often because it's linked with people claiming that conventional medicine is flawed, wrong or dangerous.  You can see why this sort of thing should not be encouraged here - should someone vulnerable read these threads and decide to forgo medical advice in favour of the latest wonder-berry or super-food, the consequences could be disasterous.

"People who claim that conventional medicine is flawed, wrong or dangerous, are indeed Quacks! It is not that I'm looking necessarily for encouragement, but more a sharing of experiences in order to put together a complementary approach to the same problem. Perhaps science and nature can work together on this problem. To forgo conventional advice may be a choice made by people, but this post does not infer, at any time, that one should do that, in fact it is about building a first aid kit which includes conventional medicine. Another question that springs to mind...What would the consequences be of people ignoring complimentary medicine should, for example, Tamiflu and Relenza be useless in the coming months? Would that not be disasterous?"

However, there is nothing wrong with taking whatever you feel will make you feel better.

"That is clear, what I feel is only a subjective opinion, with a community of information and thought, perhaps it can be narrowed down to a more effective collection of treatments. However, the problem for most people is, which complementary forms work best, what quantities, when to dose, what to include or leave out of first aid kit, what historical evidence is there etc etc.. "

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So my list of "complementary" medicines has been shown not to work (by the fact they have not been monetised by conventional medicine??)

Things being "monetised" is irrelevant - if the NHS could stave off enough swine flu cases by advising people to eat garlic and drink green tea, they would be doing so.  (Think of the bonuses that people could award themselves, having shown to cut costs and improve health!)  The advice given most often by doctors is to eat healthily and get adequate exercise - who's making money from that?

"Ok, it was below the belt (tongue in cheek). Actually, I don't know why the NHS is not promoting foods/complementary medicines high in Anti-viral properties, such as garlic. We have a viral problem and it is well know that garlic, for example, is high in Anti-viral properties (as other items on my initial list).  Why would the NHS not want to provide the public (customer) with as many possibilities to survive the illness as possible, especially as the conventional approach may have a short life span?  I mean, a national campaign, advertising garlic increase to those entering the initial stages of H1N1 may me a good idea, don't you think?  Still cannot see why conventional medicine is not willing to work alongside complimentary medicine for the good of all. Why are there no official conventional tests on items contained on my list? It's not because they don't work, full stop, is it? Is it not because no-one can patent it and therefore make money from it?  It can't be that difficult to carry out some live studies with current infections. A) it helped, B) it did not help.

Of course conventional medicine learns from herbal/traditional/'folk' medicine - it always has done, and will continue to do so.  But should doctors recommend something that is rumoured to work, or something that has undergone extensive tests and dosages calculated for best effect/least side effects?

"Doctors should always work for the best interests of the patient. As mentioned above, why is not possible to shrug off "rumoured to work" and complete initial testing to show how complimentary medicine can help the masses.  Perhaps the real fear is patient self application. For example, I could purchase all the items on the list and use them freely if I wish, with either good/bad or indifferent results. What would therefore the role of the doctor be?"  I would like to see this as a great opportunity for conventional, alternative and complimentary medicine to harmonise on a pandemic problem.  Will it become reality? Don't know?"

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Offline BenV

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What complementary remedies are there for H1N1 Influenza?
« Reply #6 on: 04/08/2009 14:45:40 »
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Which was that conventional western medicine is the only medicine you should consider against a virus that has no cure, even if we have historical evidence of positive results pertaining from complementary medicines such as herbalism;

That's my point - that's not what he said.  He said that conventional medicine is stuff that's been proven to work - your list hasn't been proven to work, and that we really rely on our immune systems to deal with infection anyway.

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it would see sensible, to me, to look at complementary medicine. This would be especially true if resistance to conventional medicine is confirmed.

But I eat garlic almost every day - I love the stuff.  Flu would be far more likely to develop a resistance against a foodstuff that many of us eat regularly than a drug a few of us take occasionally.

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Is it not because no-one can patent it and therefore make money from it?  It can't be that difficult to carry out some live studies with current infections. A) it helped, B) it did not help.

This is a common misconception with the medical industry, that patents are all important.  I don't know how this applies in the rest of the world, but the NHS will snap at anything cheap or free, the companies who make generic drugs would also benefit (rather than risking lawsuits and prosecution).

Doing studies is actually not simple at all - the ethical issues alone take months and cost a great deal to resolve.  Sadly, it's just not that easy, and this is why the pharma industry need to spend billions on research.

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. As mentioned above, why is not possible to shrug off "rumoured to work" and complete initial testing to show how complimentary medicine can help the masses. 

Some of this testing has been done and things shown not to work, some has been done and things shown to work, after which the active components are usually identified and refined and called conventional medicine.

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Perhaps the real fear is patient self application. For example, I could purchase all the items on the list and use them freely if I wish, with either good/bad or indifferent results. What would therefore the role of the doctor be?

Sadly, the role may well be helping people to recover from taking too much, or inappropriately mixing different physiologically active compounds.


You seem to be an intelligent person who is fully able to risk assess for yourself, and can almost certainly try self-medicating with no ill effect.  The concern is that some people are not, and will harm themselves unintentionally.  As such, a doctor has a responsibility to recommend substances and courses of action that are well understood.

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Offline Simpleton

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What complementary remedies are there for H1N1 Influenza?
« Reply #7 on: 04/08/2009 15:37:24 »
Thanks for replying.

Your replies resonate a calm, rational, solid understanding of the topic. I guess what I am seeing is a long way off in the future or indeed already occurred in another time or civilisation. It currently seems too big a shift in common consciousness to prepare the masses in time.

In the meantime, will prepare my own first aid kit, will probably have to self-research quantities and dosages and naturally experiment a little. Should I be unlucky enough to catch this flu, will implement the first aid plan, including conventional advice, if it is still pertinent , and then build it up from there. If the experiment is successful, and the internet still exists as we know it, will post conclusions here.

In line with conventional medicine, I'm off for a game of tennis, will drink plenty of water and have just polished off a banana, some grapes and an apple. May add more later!

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Offline Make it Lady

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What complementary remedies are there for H1N1 Influenza?
« Reply #8 on: 04/08/2009 18:40:41 »
Prevention is always better than cure. If you build up a strong immune system you are less likely to circum to the virus. Diet is the most important ingredient along with exercise, sleep and relaxation (eg having a massage every now and then. Avoiding stress is also a good idea but I guess it is not possible for most people.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

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Offline Bored chemist

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What complementary remedies are there for H1N1 Influenza?
« Reply #9 on: 04/08/2009 19:35:16 »
"In the meantime, will prepare my own first aid kit, "
For what it's worth, I have prepared my own first aid kit for flu.

Lots of bottled orange juice. Lots of biscuits and crisps (I think they are called chips across the pond). Vitamin pills too, but nothing extraordinary- just cheap one-a-day pills, Paracetamol (acetaminophen for our US cousins) and a few boxes of tissues.

The medical advice is "drink plenty of fluids and stay in bed".
The old adage that you should feed a fever is well supported (up to a point) so that's what all those calories are for) the paracetamol is partly because you can overdo a feever and also because, while I know that the fever (and associated malaise) are part of the body's immune response, it doesn't mean that I like the effect).
The vitamins are because all that comfort food is also junk food.
The tissues are because they have fewer side effects than decongestants (and again the normal drug treatments are at odds with the body's systems for dealing with infection).

All that lot isn't ging to stop me 'phoning the hot line and asking them to send me the antivirals because those have been shown to actually help.

I'm not planning to include eye of newt or tongue of bat because I don't think there's any evidence to support their use.


Incidentally the complement of something means the opposite so "alternative medicine" and "complemenatry medicine" mean much the same thing. Once again, there's medicine which works and the complement to that; medicine that... never mind, I'm sure you will work it out.
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Offline Simpleton

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« Reply #10 on: 04/08/2009 20:12:28 »
Prevention is always better than cure. If you build up a strong immune system you are less likely to circum to the virus. Diet is the most important ingredient along with exercise, sleep and relaxation (eg having a massage every now and then. Avoiding stress is also a good idea but I guess it is not possible for most people.

"Thanks for the reply.

What if the virus does not care about how strong your immune system is. What if the virus happily infects and kills healthy young people with good strong immune systems? It seems that the press is reporting such a situation (for example: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090629200800.htm [nofollow]), not sure how accurate it is, or what the exact statistics are, but worrying enough nonetheless.  I guess then it does not matter how good your diet is or how many hours sleep you get or how less stress your life has. Perhaps the only thing that will help, if it comes to the point, is a vaccine or a power natural anti-viral remedy, known or unknown."

Please also read the next comments to Bored Chemist. Against H5N1, a strong healthy immune system is reportedly a liability!
« Last Edit: 04/08/2009 21:20:14 by Simpleton »

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Offline Simpleton

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« Reply #11 on: 04/08/2009 21:16:08 »
"In the meantime, will prepare my own first aid kit, "
For what it's worth, I have prepared my own first aid kit for flu.

Lots of bottled orange juice. Lots of biscuits and crisps (I think they are called chips across the pond). Vitamin pills too, but nothing extraordinary- just cheap one-a-day pills, Paracetamol (acetaminophen for our US cousins) and a few boxes of tissues.

It's good to hear English humour, it is somewhat lacking here in Germany!

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The medical advice is "drink plenty of fluids and stay in bed".

How difficult would it be for the medical advice to read. "drink plenty of fluids containing tincture a, b, c and stay in bed."

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The old adage that you should feed a fever is well supported (up to a point) so that's what all those calories are for) the paracetamol is partly because you can overdo a feever and also because, while I know that the fever (and associated malaise) are part of the body's immune response, it doesn't mean that I like the effect).

If it was only a fever that we were discussing, I would totally agree (love English crisps). However & unfortunately it is not. My main interests in researching plants & root & foods/fruits with high anti-viral properties are two fold; firstly, current anti-viral medicines will soon be of little or no use should the virus mutate and become more virulent (studies in the US, Canada, Japan and Germany are already indicating mutation). Secondly, the virus turns ugly and produces a Cytokine storm reaction. If the virus develops this tendency, it will indeed void out the relationship to strength and ability of the immune system to be of use. In such a situation a strong healthy immune system, will ultimately become a liability not an asset. Time will then be of the essence as the virus reproduces.  Perhaps, just perhaps, the North American tribe folk who were reportedly, very lightly affected by the 1918 flu (in comparison to the rest of the US), due to their reported intake of Lomatium dissectum. There has also been research & tests conducted, with positive results...

History: Lomatium is an exceptionally important and highly regarded plant in First Nations medicine, but appears to have escaped the notice of the physiomedicalists and Eclectics. It is difficult to imagine how this occurred, considering that other equally important and useful First Nations plants such as Echinacea and Goldenseal were identified fairly early on. The relatively recent popularity of Lomatium is due in part to academic research conducted by ethnobotanists over the last century, by herbalists that apprenticed with First Nations healers, and from clinical experimentation in naturopaths circles in the Pacific Northwest. Lomatium first attracted the attention of the medical community when it was shown to be effected in treatment an influenza epidemic in the Great Basin area during the 1920's (Bergner 2001, 231).

http://1stnationstribes.tribe.net/thread/48f314c0-09b1-48a7-89a1-e24e8ca7313e [nofollow]

Presently the H1N1 is predominately mild, as it was back in 1918, it was subsequent waves of a mutated form that caused the mass deaths, especially in young healthy people. Perhaps the mild form can be complimented with a few bags of crisps, a packet of ASDA paracetamol, some orange juice and a box of tissues, but I'm not betting on them being much use against a mutilated form that is more virulent.

It is believed that cytokine storms were responsible for many of the deaths during the 1918 influenza pandemic, which killed a disproportionate number of young adults.[1] In this case, a healthy immune system may have been a liability rather than an asset. Preliminary research results from Hong Kong also indicated this as the probable reason for many deaths during the SARS epidemic in 2003.[6] Human deaths from the bird flu H5N1 usually involve cytokine storms as well.[7] Recent reports of high mortality among healthy young adults in the 2009 swine flu outbreak has led to speculation that cytokine storms could be responsible for these deaths.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cytokine_storm [nofollow]

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All that lot isn't ging to stop me 'phoning the hot line and asking them to send me the antivirals because those have been shown to actually help.

And should they become resistant and there is no suitable alternative and no hot line? Bet you'd consider eye of newt or tongue of bat over hula hoops! When people become desperate all options are open. Before they become desperate it would be nice if they had a few more realistic options, even if they have not being billion dollar tested.

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Incidentally the complement of something means the opposite so "alternative medicine" and "complemenatry medicine" mean much the same thing. Once again, there's medicine which works and the complement to that; medicine that... never mind, I'm sure you will work it out.

Such a shame that two words, "complement and alternative" cant get on with "conventional"! 
The joys of academia.

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Offline Simpleton

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« Reply #12 on: 04/08/2009 21:46:02 »
A real story. Just been chatting to a friend on Facebook. A UK pair and their son recently developed flu like symptoms including tonsillitis. Her partners doctor refused to see him (full stop). Her doctor saw her and her young son after some persuasion and a story about interest in general illness. They eventually diagnosed tonsillitis. She says her partner and son still have flu, but it is not any worse than a normal bout. I have to say I am bit surprised by the partners doctors reaction.

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Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #13 on: 04/08/2009 22:31:05 »
"How difficult would it be for the medical advice to read. "drink plenty of fluids containing tincture a, b, c and stay in bed."
It would be easy; and dishonest.
Unless there were some real evidence that a, b, and c worked. If there is, then name a, b and c; otherwise accept that you don't have much to offer.

It's fair to say that the virus may mutate and become more of a problem.
It's equally likely  (statistically) that it will mutate and become less of a problem.
It is in the interests of the virus (if you will forgive the anthropomorphism) to become less of a problem.

Why does averyone seem to fixate on the idea that "it will get worse"; it might or it might not.

" Bet you'd consider eye of newt or tongue of bat over hula hoops! "
No I wouldn't I don't believe in magic but I do believe in evidence. Food is known to help snake oil isn't.

"Before they become desperate it would be nice if they had a few more realistic options, even if they have not being billion dollar tested."
There are at least 3 antivirals used; one (amantidine) is a bit crap (but I'd choose it rather than eye of newt) and the third is largely being kept in reserve for exactly the reasons you talk about.
Did you not realise that the people doing the planning can read wiki too? They have heard of resistance.


Incidentally, do you know that plenty of drugs are based on botanicals? Opium and it's derivatives are still used. Aspirin too has been used for a long time. More recently vincristine and taxine have been developed from plants.

If someone looks into lomatium and actually finds that it works then it too will be accepted into real medicine.
If the tests show that it doesn't work it will remain in what gets called "complementary medicine".

It will be there along with things like comfrey - known as "knitbone" because of its supposed healing properties and actually found to  be hepatotoxic and carcinogenic.


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Offline Variola

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« Reply #14 on: 04/08/2009 22:44:40 »
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Incidentally, do you know that plenty of drugs are based on botanicals? Opium and it's derivatives are still used. Aspirin too has been used for a long time. More recently vincristine and taxine have been developed from plants.

Indeed,Cyclosporine was developed from a fungus and has been instrumental in organ donation.

Quote
If someone looks into lomatium and actually finds that it works then it too will be accepted into real medicine.
If the tests show that it doesn't work it will remain in what gets called "complementary medicine".

People have, it hasn't shown to be make any difference, therefore it stays as it is.

OP you're knowledge of 1918 is a little hazy, either that or you were being deliberately selective.
The Westernized treatment  we know today have all been derived, directly or indirectly from plants and nature, when stuff that is shown to work and be effective, thats called medicine. The stuff that doesn't work, or has been shown not to have any real effect, thats called complementary medicine, or maybe just plants.



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Offline Simpleton

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« Reply #15 on: 04/08/2009 22:46:09 »
Will reply again soon. Time for a break!
Thanks for spending time contributing to this topic, it's all food for thought!
PS. Think the forum is great! Well done.

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« Reply #16 on: 04/08/2009 22:51:37 »
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People have, it hasn't shown to be make any difference, therefore it stays as it is.
Do you have a citation for that, interesting.
PS. What is OP?
« Last Edit: 04/08/2009 22:56:48 by Simpleton »

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« Reply #17 on: 04/08/2009 22:59:24 »
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People have, it hasn't shown to be make any difference, therefore it stays as it is.
Do you have a citation for that, interesting.

http://www.evitamins.com/healthnotes.asp?ContentID=2126009

Its has a 1 star rating "For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support and/or minimal health benefit."

"According to obscure sources, lomatium is reputed to have antiviral effects. One source suggests the constituents tetronic acids and a glucoside of luteolin may be potentially antiviral.2 However, little is known about how these compounds act or if other ones might be as important."

Thats from a site that would be biased on the side on benefit.
I could, I expect find more studies or reports.

What do you think happens? That herbs are investigated but then dismissed? Far from it. The drug companies are always looking for new plants herbs or remedies to studies and asses the structure of, and then test to see if they actually have any benefit.

OP means original post or poster.
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« Reply #18 on: 04/08/2009 23:29:02 »
Just read this article, coincides with previous comments.

A Tamiflu-resistant mutation of A(H1N1) had been found around the US-Mexico border in El Paso and close to McAllen, Texas, according to Maria Teresa Cerqueira, head of the Pan-American Health Organization office in La Jolla, California.

http://www.swineflunews.org/news/wire/hongkong/www.redorbit.com/news/health/1731942/tamifluresistant_swine_flu_cases_growing/index.html [nofollow]

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« Reply #19 on: 04/08/2009 23:29:53 »
The old adage that you should feed a fever...

I thought it was starve a fever, feed a cold?

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« Reply #20 on: 04/08/2009 23:33:22 »
Have removed the poll posting to focus on this, the first posting.

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« Reply #21 on: 04/08/2009 23:38:17 »
I think the general issue with considering complementary therapies is to attempt to consider the mechanism through which it works.  Setting aside placebo (which is an incredibly powerful effect), this should give you an indication of whether or not there's likely to be any as yet undiscovered physiological effect.

By this regime, herbal treatment (which may well include beneficial chemicals) shows a great deal more promise than homeopathy, and one is forced to question things like acupuncture (from what I recall, the most recent studies showed acupuncture works just as well with blunt wooden needles).

Not setting aside placebo, you're in a whole different ballpark...

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« Reply #23 on: 06/08/2009 13:49:16 »
Quote
People have, it hasn't shown to be make any difference, therefore it stays as it is.
Do you have a citation for that, interesting.

http://www.evitamins.com/healthnotes.asp?ContentID=2126009 [nofollow]

Its has a 1 star rating "For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support and/or minimal health benefit."

"According to obscure sources, lomatium is reputed to have antiviral effects. One source suggests the constituents tetronic acids and a glucoside of luteolin may be potentially antiviral.2 However, little is known about how these compounds act or if other ones might be as important."

Thats from a site that would be biased on the side on benefit.
I could, I expect find more studies or reports.

What do you think happens? That herbs are investigated but then dismissed? Far from it. The drug companies are always looking for new plants herbs or remedies to studies and asses the structure of, and then test to see

if they actually have any benefit.

OP means original post or poster.

Thanks for the link. Had a browse through the site and found that the only 2 star herbs useful against Influenza are Echinacea & Elderberry. Other interesting herbs I found were Andrographis paniculata, 3 stars, for use with colds, immune function and infections. To support the immune function, Asian ginseng, 2 stars.

Below is how my initial list fairs.

Garlic - http://www.evitamins.com/healthnotes.asp?ContentID=3601005 [nofollow]
Common cold (Extract)
Herbs, such as garlic, that stimulate the immune system to fight infections are used at the onset of the common cold. In a double-blind trial, participants took one capsule per day of a placebo or a garlic supplement that contained stabilized allicin (the amount of garlic per capsule was not specified) for 12 weeks between November and February. During that time, the garlic group had 63% fewer colds and 70% fewer days ill than did the placebo group.

Vitamin C - http://www.evitamins.com/healthnotes.asp?ContentID=2929001 [nofollow]
2 stars for Influenza and Immune function.

White Tea - http://www.evitamins.com/healthnotes.asp?ContentID=2102007 [nofollow]
1 star for Immune function

Fern-leaved Biscuit-root (Lomatium dissectum) - http://www.evitamins.com/healthnotes.asp?ContentID=2126009 [nofollow]
1 star for infection. In addition...
Historical or traditional use of lomatium (may or may not be supported by scientific studies)
Native Americans of many tribes reportedly used lomatium root to treat a wide variety of infections, particularly those affecting the lungs.1 Lomatium was used, particularly in the southwestern United States, during the influenza pandemic of 1917 with reportedly good results.

Betulinic Acid - http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VSC-48XH7DRD&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=4eff94f6a91fe083eda8a9cdb8e8875d [nofollow]
Abstract: Antiviral properties of betulin, betulinic and betulonic acids were investigated in cell cultures infected with herpes simplex type I, influenza FPV/Rostock and ECHO 6 viruses. All studied triterpenes were active against herpes simplex virus. Betulin and especially betulinic acid also suppressed ECHO 6 virus reproduction.

Elderberries - http://www.evitamins.com/healthnotes.asp?contentid=1221006 [nofollow]
2 stars for Influenza

Goji berries - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfberry [nofollow]
No stars found. High in Vit C. Reportedly good to help recover after Influenza.

Icelandic angelica - http://www.icenews.is/index.php/2009/06/16/icelandic-angelica-prevention-for-swine-flu/ [nofollow]
No stars. Not much info.
During the time of the Spanish influenza (1), there are accounts of Angelica archangelica being used as flu treatment in Denmark. Recent studies linking the origin of the swine flu virus to the Spanish influenza (2) of 1918 further suggest that the herb may prove to be an effective prophylactic for swine flu prevention people can use to avoid infection if the Influenza A virus becomes more severe.

Prunella vulgaris - http://www.biomedexperts.com/Abstract.bme/10588332/Isolation_and_characterization_of_an_anti- [nofollow]
HSV_polysaccharide_from_Prunella_vulgaris
No stars and perhaps of no use.
...but was inactive against cytomegalovirus, the human influenza virus types A and B...

Vitamin D
There is a whole discussion of this on the forum already. See...http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=21270.0 [nofollow]

Ozone therapy - http://ozonicsint.com/articles_avian.html [nofollow]
No stars found. Interesting paper.

« Last Edit: 06/08/2009 13:52:58 by Simpleton »

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« Reply #24 on: 06/08/2009 15:32:44 »
"How difficult would it be for the medical advice to read. "drink plenty of fluids containing tincture a, b, c and stay in bed."
Quote
It would be easy; and dishonest.

Ok, your right, have to agree with you on that. For the masses, without knowledge of their current aliments, individual herbs, as tinctures, could caused complications in certain people. I am grateful for everyones comments as I have learned a great deal about this issue and the problem that could face us all, a possible Flu panademic with an increased virulent strain and little or no medical protection.

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Unless there were some real evidence that a, b, and c worked. If there is, then name a, b and c; otherwise accept that you don't have much to offer.

Individually, I would personally consider a number of complementary therapies at the onset of cold and fever and with specific relationship to H1N1. Aside, for a moment, one of the current problems is identifying if you have H1N1 or just a cold or something totally else. Tamiflu, as reported, has a number of side effects and these could be avoided if a clear diagnosis could be given via a home test kit (not likely to be available). As testing has stopped or has been heavily reduced, it would be difficult to know what I had! However presuming enough of the symtoms matched, I would firstly use conventional medicine, probably Relenza, Asprin (but not for children) and complement it with, for exmaple, Lomatium dissectum, Echinacea and Andrographis together with increased intake of Fresh garlic, Ginger, Vit A, Zinc, Vit-C, in the form of elderberries, goji berries and blackcurrants.

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It's fair to say that the virus may mutate and become more of a problem. It's equally likely  (statistically) that it will mutate and become less of a problem. It is in the interests of the virus (if you will forgive the anthropomorphism) to become less of a problem.

It does appeaer, from recent reports, to be mutating, also with an increased resistence to Tamifu.  Again you are right (statisitcally) and, as everyone reading, I also hope it becomes less of a problem.  From my understanding of previous outbreaks, should it become more viscious, it will happen quickly. I do not really think there will be enough time to start planning and researching and purchasing the necessary ingredients in such a scenario.  „If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.“  And great, if nothing happens, have learnt loads and simply carry on with my great life!

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Why does averyone seem to fixate on the idea that "it will get worse"; it might or it might not.
True. Bad news is good news for some...

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" Bet you'd consider eye of newt or tongue of bat over hula hoops! " No I wouldn't I don't believe in magic but I do believe in evidence. Food is known to help snake oil isn't.

In reality, we are not really talking about tongue of bat or eye of newt are we...were talking about such things that are, in some cases, not so far away from the medical community accepting as medicine, as descriped in the above list (and my recent post...2 stars, 3 stars etc.)

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"Before they become desperate it would be nice if they had a few more realistic options, even if they have not being billion dollar tested." There are at least 3 antivirals used; one (amantidine) is a bit crap (but I'd choose it rather than eye of newt) and the third is largely being kept in reserve for exactly the reasons you talk about.


I agree would also start with the options you mentioned, but personally would not stop there...

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Did you not realise that the people doing the planning can read wiki too? They have heard of resistance. Incidentally, do you know that plenty of drugs are based on botanicals?


I did realise, thankyou (Mmmm). Which is why I am considering grey borderline treatments to compliment conventional treatment...Of course there is a certain amount of risk, but the alternative looks pretty grim too..

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It will be there along with things like comfrey - known as "knitbone" because of its supposed healing properties and actually found to be hepatotoxic and carcinogenic.


Dont know much about comfrey, but as I just said, the risks have to be indiviudally evaluated and on a personal basis accepted or not.

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« Reply #25 on: 06/08/2009 15:35:26 »
The stuff that doesn't work, or has been shown not to have any real effect, thats called complementary medicine, or maybe just plants.


Any real effect...even with some effect, perhaps it is better, for some people, than no effect at all.

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« Reply #26 on: 06/08/2009 15:43:31 »
I think the general issue with considering complementary therapies is to attempt to consider the mechanism through which it works. Setting aside placebo (which is an incredibly powerful effect), this should give you an indication of whether or not there's likely to be any as yet undiscovered physiological effect. By this regime, herbal treatment (which may well include beneficial chemicals) shows a great deal more promise than homeopathy, and one is forced to question things like acupuncture (from what I recall, the most recent studies showed acupuncture works just as well with blunt wooden needles). Not setting aside placebo, you're in a whole different ballpark...

The issue of time is a main crucial factor. Perhaps in another 10 years we will know the answers we need today, but unfortunately many pontential helpful grey area treatments may not have the necessary funding or testing to provide conclusive positive or negative results. In this case it will be highly likely that the medical community will be unable to promte the possiblity of use to the masses, leaving individuals to either take the risk themselves or to avoid the risk and not take them. The scenario produces a common dilemma; to take or not to take...

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« Reply #27 on: 06/08/2009 18:35:12 »
The stuff that doesn't work, or has been shown not to have any real effect, thats called complementary medicine, or maybe just plants.


Any real effect...even with some effect, perhaps it is better, for some people, than no effect at all.
Any real effect is good- whether you consider that as a direct benefit or as an opening for the development of another drug (as with aspirin etc).
On the other hand most of these plants have no effect and are part of "alternative medicine"- or just flower arranging.

I know that some people will choose to "suplement" their conventional medicines with herbal "remedies".
Often that's just a waste of money; but it's their money so why should I care?
Well, the idea that people are being sold a bunch of pretty flowers on the  false grounds that it cures illness is straightforward fraud. It's all the worse for picking on a group who are already having a bad time becaus they are sick.

The other thing is that you really shouldn't mix drugs with other xenobiotics.

Are you aware of one noted side effect of St John's wort?

At least one woman has become pregnant as a result of the "remedy" messing with metabolism of the real (and important) drug in "the pill".
How sure are you that these "harmless herbal remedies" won't screw up the effects of really effective antivirals like tamiflu?
(I know there's room for improvement- but it does actually help).

Unless you can show that these potions are not actively counterproductive I don't think it's morrally correct to promote their use.
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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« Reply #28 on: 07/08/2009 11:30:54 »
The Germans make Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, VW & Audi they are world renowned for quality practices, products and innovation. The German medical industry has within its portfolio a range of tested, medically licensed herbal remedies. 

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Well, the idea that people are being sold a bunch of pretty flowers on the  false grounds that it cures illness is straightforward fraud

Perhaps a picture and some translation will help...


This medicinal tea is called Cold & Flu. PZN 3761403.

Try and follow this!
This is a combination of Holunderblüten - Sambuci flos 40 g, Lindenblüten - Tiliae flos 30g, Thymian - Thymi herba 20g, Sonstige Bestandteile: Süßholzwurzel - Liquiritiae radix 5 g, Anis - Anisi fructus 5 g.
I am sure the mixture could also be used for flower arranging, but the medical community here might frown up it!

It has a PZN number. What is a PZN number?
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharmazentralnummer [nofollow]
"Die Pharmazentralnummer (PZN) ist ein in Deutschland bundeseinheitlicher Identifikationsschlüssel für Arzneimittel und andere Apothekenprodukte."  Sorry but Wiki has no English translation at the moment. Translated by Google.
The Pharma central number (PZN) in Germany is a federal identification key for medicines and other pharmacy products. A key word here is Arzneimittel or translated "medicine", see...
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arzneimittel [nofollow], then click on the English Wiki translation...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug [nofollow],
Thats right!  A combination of herbs, in water, sipped is considered a form of licensed medicine. With Ryanair, your here in a hour!

In the picture above, the first graphic is of a syringe "Schulmedizin" (Conventional), underneath "Alternativmedizin" (Complementary or Alternative). The reference point is in the middle in between Conventional and Alternative, it gets the respect of the medicinal community as it considered to have medicinal properties and is tested and licensed. Perhaps it could be called "complementary". [;)]

The next graphic is a picture of a pill and the word "Arznei", as we know now it means "Drug".

The last graphic is a plant, and means from plants.

It is produced until license by H&S Tee.
For 20x bags it costs 2,19 euros, thats 1.88 ukp.

That is one product from a range of perhaps 20 medicinal licensend medicinally herbal blends in Mercedes country!

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...the idea that people are being sold a bunch of pretty flowers on the  false grounds that it cures illness is straightforward fraud.

Either your lack of knowledge or experience regarding herbs and their ability to heal, is very limited, or you just want to put your head back in the sand, and hope that it will all go away.

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The other thing is that you really shouldn't mix drugs with other xenobiotics.
According to "Maria Treben: http://www.mariatrebenherbs.com/ [nofollow]" it's fine (in most situations). A qualified herbal practitioner can advise, as is the advice given.

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Are you aware of one noted side effect of St John's wort?
Are you aware of the noted side effects of Tamiflu, Relenza et al?
Of course there are exceptions and risks that need to be considered and explained, but side effects are part of medicine.
Quote
one woman has become pregnant as a result of the "remedy" messing with metabolism
...sounds like the start of a Daily Mirror story! Come on!

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How sure are you that these "harmless herbal remedies" won't screw up the effects of really effective antivirals like tamiflu?

The German medical community seems to think that Cold and Flu Tea (et al.) is safe and has tested benefits to help releive Flu and other ailments, who am I, a Simplton, to argue? As to whether it will alter the effects of Tamiflu, DON'T KNOW, but don't think so! And you know what mate...

If I was lying in bed with potentially only 4-5 days to live and it was possible that a blend of medicinal licensed HERBS could help me through those 5 days, I have to say, I think I would use them, wouldn't everyone? I mean if a mutated anti-viral resistant virus is going to get me anyway, then might as well go down fighting...

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Unless you can show that these potions are not actively counterproductive I don't think it's morrally correct to promote their use.
I reckon the German and Austrian medicinal & herbalist community could prove that their MEDICINE (not witch crafted potions, which time are you living in?) is not actively counter-productive...I can't personally, but I am not personally prescribing or recommending, just counter arguing.

Hope that clears up some of the myths in the UK about herbs and combining herbs for medicinal purposes.
« Last Edit: 07/08/2009 11:34:46 by Simpleton »

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« Reply #29 on: 07/08/2009 11:44:56 »
Be careful, this thread is starting to look like spam.

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Hope that clears up some of the myths in the UK about herbs and combining herbs for medicinal purposes.
Nope.  All you've done is said that you can get herbal tea in Germany that claims to help against colds and flu.  You can get herbal tea pretty much anywhere, but that doesn't mean anything about it's effectiveness or how it interacts with other chemicals.

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« Reply #30 on: 07/08/2009 12:17:36 »
Quote
Either your lack of knowledge or experience regarding herbs and their ability to heal, is very limited, or you just want to put your head back in the sand, and hope that it will all go away.

People have died because of alternative/eastern medicine practitioners persuading them to refuse conventional medicine. Some have often paid thousand and thousands of pounds to be treated with plants and conned into believing that it will beat their cancer.
That is plain outrageous, and I feel very strongly about it.
You are ignoring the very fact that the whole industry is unlicensed and unregulated.

Quote
..sounds like the start of a Daily Mirror story! Come on!


The contraceptive pill packets now coming with a warning not to take St Johns wort due to the effects it has on the hormonal balance and the pill.
I have yet to see a similar warning on packets of St Johns wort.

If you want to promote the virtues of herbal remedies then go ahead, but get your facts straight first.
Also explain how these remedies can be of so much of a benefit when advice difference wildy from one practitioner to another, and how, if these things are so great, can someone set themselves up as a herbalist/homeopath with no formal training or qualifications? Oh yes I know there are some available, but people don't have to have them.Unlike doctors, microbiologists, biochemists etc who train for years only to be told by some plant lovers that they are depriving ill people and that we are all 'scared'!!
I means, FFS!  [::)]


  A potty-mouthed, impertinent female who thinks she is God's gift to men" -JimBob

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« Reply #31 on: 07/08/2009 13:09:46 »
Be careful, this thread is starting to look like spam.

Quote
Hope that clears up some of the myths in the UK about herbs and combining herbs for medicinal purposes.
Nope.  All you've done is said that you can get herbal tea in Germany that claims to help against colds and flu.  You can get herbal tea pretty much anywhere, but that doesn't mean anything about it's effectiveness or how it interacts with other chemicals.

Spam? Thanks! Actually I would call it intelligent argument, but I am biased!
Quote
you can get herbal tea in Germany
Quote
You are ignoring the very fact that the whole industry is unlicensed and unregulated.
I think it was more than 'herbal tea'...if you read my article, I am talking about LICENSED MEDICINAL HERBAL BLENDS with a medicinal PZN, not quite the same as a general herbal tea. As with other medicines you dont get the stamp without the testing, trials etc etc. Why is it so hard to accept that these products have been tested and have been shown to be of benefit. Its hard facts (according to the Germans)...

« Last Edit: 07/08/2009 13:32:57 by Simpleton »

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« Reply #32 on: 07/08/2009 13:43:04 »
Spam? Thanks! Actually I would call it intelligent argument, but I am biased!

Not a compliment, I'm afraid - the links to websites and detailed product details make it look like you're selling things.

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« Reply #33 on: 07/08/2009 13:54:54 »
Spam? Thanks! Actually I would call it intelligent argument, but I am biased!

Not a compliment, I'm afraid - the links to websites and detailed product details make it look like you're selling things.

Indeed. Why else would the poster persist in trying to push the alternative remedy when the original post was apparently a curious one?
  A potty-mouthed, impertinent female who thinks she is God's gift to men" -JimBob

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« Reply #34 on: 07/08/2009 14:07:21 »
Either your lack of knowledge or experience regarding herbs and their ability to heal, is very limited, or you just want to put your head back in the sand, and hope that it will all go away.

Quote
People have died because of alternative/eastern medicine practitioners persuading them to refuse conventional medicine. Some have often paid thousand and thousands of pounds to be treated with plants and conned into believing that it will beat their cancer.
That is plain outrageous, and I feel very strongly about it.
You are ignoring the very fact that the whole industry is unlicensed and unregulated.

I have never put conventional medicine down. I support conventional medicine. There I have said it, again. I have spent most of time on this post defending complimentary medicine, not attacking conventional medicine. Do you really want to talk about how many peoples lives have been adversely affect from conventional medicinal mistakes. I don't think we want to go there... But yes people will have died in the pursuit to help others. That's true. Every death is sad, regardless of their chosen treatment.

"Unlicensed and Unregulated" in the UK perhaps. Not in Germany & Austria.
If I interprit your meaning, it would seem that you are saying that licensed German medicinal herbal blends are also not worth the paper they are packed in... Isn't that just a little bit arrogant...perhaps...

Quote
..sounds like the start of a Daily Mirror story! Come on!


Quote
The contraceptive pill packets now coming with a warning not to take St Johns wort due to the effects it has on the hormonal balance and the pill.
I have yet to see a similar warning on packets of St Johns wort.

Totally agree. Think that it should be contained on all packings in big bold letters, if that is now fact, and in time, I am sure it will be included and revised, the sooner the better. For all the other people on the planet who are not using the pill, St.Johns Wort has been shown to have medicinal benefits for a variety of ailments.

Quote
If you want to promote the virtues of herbal remedies then go ahead, but get your facts straight first.
Also explain how these remedies can be of so much of a benefit when advice difference wildy from one practitioner to another, and how, if these things are so great, can someone set themselves up as a herbalist/homeopath with no formal training or qualifications? Oh yes I know there are some available, but people don't have to have them.Unlike doctors, microbiologists, biochemists etc who train for years only to be told by some plant lovers that they are depriving ill people and that we are all 'scared'!!
I means, FFS!  [::)]

Actually what I want to say is, I feel it is OK to consider complimenting conventional medicine with herbs, plant, roots, foods or fruits supported by qualified professionals with the aim of improving medical conditions. Especially in RELATION to the current world situation with H1N1 and H5N1.

Not sure how the Herbalist/Homeopath qualification system exactly works in the UK (its a while since I lived there), but over here its a lengthy process similar to the education requirements to become a conventional doctor, depending on the field and level of study. If the UK just stamps the qualification, then I think a review of the system needs to happen. That is very wrong.

As someone earlier said, many medicines do derive from plants. So I guess in a way even the hard-line extremists are plant lovers too.
« Last Edit: 07/08/2009 14:21:14 by Simpleton »

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Offline Simpleton

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« Reply #35 on: 07/08/2009 14:10:59 »
Spam? Thanks! Actually I would call it intelligent argument, but I am biased!

Not a compliment, I'm afraid - the links to websites and detailed product details make it look like you're selling things.

NOT SELLING ANYTHING - No connection to any products, no commissions, just using to illustrate a point. What more can I say. In Germany I think there are 4 or 5 companies who have license to produce such blends, I chose this one at random.

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« Reply #36 on: 07/08/2009 14:16:42 »
Spam? Thanks! Actually I would call it intelligent argument, but I am biased!

Not a compliment, I'm afraid - the links to websites and detailed product details make it look like you're selling things.

Indeed. Why else would the poster persist in trying to push the alternative remedy when the original post was apparently a curious one?

The original post wanted and still wants help to develop a personal complimentary first aid kit (to include conventional medicine) to help against a potential mutated form of flu that may be arriving here, where I live, in the coming months. I personally think that is a good reason to ask Cambridge University scientific/medical forum members for their opinion. No-one until this point has anything good to say about herbs, roots, fruits etc. Shame really, as there really are some very intelligent people commenting within this forum. Perhaps I came through the wrong door... Left - Conventional medicine, Right - All others...

Also just noticed. I did NOT include any link to any website selling anything, only links to Wiki. Hope you are all satisfied on that point now.
« Last Edit: 07/08/2009 14:24:34 by Simpleton »

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Offline BenV

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« Reply #37 on: 07/08/2009 14:30:13 »
No-one until this point has anything good to say about herbs, roots, fruits etc. Shame really, as there really are some very intelligent people commenting within this forum. Perhaps I came through the wrong door... Left - Conventional medicine, Right - All others...
I wouldn't say that's true - we've acknowledged that many conventional medicines are derived from botanicals, but expressed a healthy concern as to the promotion of unquantified, untested (officially) 'folk' remedies.

I'm not sure how these things are promoted in Germany - maybe that's the root of our concern - I've seen herbal teas advertised as a cure for HIV/AIDS, and that's very worrying.

I'd be interested to hear more about the regulation of the industry in Germany - do you know what one would have to do to get a PZN number for a product?  What are the regulations on complementary therapies there?  What tests do they need to pass? What qualifications does one need to be a therapist?

I'm a little confused by the way you mention homeopathy/homeopaths alongside herbalism - surely they're an entirely different kettle of fish?

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« Reply #38 on: 07/08/2009 14:48:20 »
No-one until this point has anything good to say about herbs, roots, fruits etc. Shame really, as there really are some very intelligent people commenting within this forum. Perhaps I came through the wrong door... Left - Conventional medicine, Right - All others...

Quote
I wouldn't say that's true - we've acknowledged that many conventional medicines are derived from botanicals, but expressed a healthy concern as to the promotion of unquantified, untested (officially) 'folk' remedies.

Potions, folk remedies and so the adjectives go on throughout the comments. In General it has been a hard battle staying on my original theme...I think also there is a need for a health concern. That is why I am asking you (the forum).

Quote
I'm not sure how these things are promoted in Germany - maybe that's the root of our concern - I've seen herbal teas advertised as a cure for HIV/AIDS, and that's very worrying.

They are not really promoted as such, especially not on TV, they are just available, have been for a long time. They are available from chemists and specialised licensed distributors. Of course in every industry, especially health, you get rogues saying everything will work just to sell the product, that is very wrong and dangerous. This is not the same. This is the republic of Germany standing there saying we consider this blend of medicinal herbs to be of benefit and we will even licence according to conventional medicine testing, therefore they get the PZN.

Quote
I'd be interested to hear more about the regulation of the industry in Germany - do you know what one would have to do to get a PZN number for a product?  What are the regulations on complementary therapies there?  What tests do they need to pass? What qualifications does one need to be a therapist?

I did do some research on this some years ago. Will take a bit of time to dig out, but let me have look. It is an interesting subject, the differences between the UK & the German systems.

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I'm a little confused by the way you mention homeopathy/homeopaths alongside herbalism - surely they're an entirely different kettle of fish?

I did not put those two together, I lifted it from a comment. It was a quote from Variola Today at 12:17:36...

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...can someone set themselves up as a herbalist/homeopath with no formal training or qualifications?
« Last Edit: 07/08/2009 14:52:05 by Simpleton »

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« Reply #39 on: 07/08/2009 15:08:31 »
To BenV...

PZN. The Wiki article contains good info, only German though. Lifted and translated with Google, got the basic jist. Also PDF's to read/translate. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharmazentralnummer [nofollow]. This is a document detailing how to use PZN.

http://www.ifaffm.de/ [nofollow] - worth a study. (Translated by Google)
"We are information providers for the pharmaceutical market. We produce information with economic and legal information on nationwide products available in pharmacies.

With us you are right ...
... if you are a manufacturer or distributor of goods through pharmacies or the pharmaceutical wholesale sell or want to sell.
... If you are pharmaceutical wholesalers.
... if you have data on other drugs, dressings or other pharmaceutical products need or as a software provider to resell"

http://www.ifaffm.de/leistungen/_index.html [nofollow] (Translated by Google)
"Conditions for the inclusion of Article Data
in the IFA Information
The IFA will be information for a particular target market in the pharmaceutical and healthcare created: pharmacies, pharmaceutical wholesalers, doctors, health insurance, etc. The articles and their suppliers are therefore specific to the needs of this group corresponding user requirements. This will ensure that all legal conditions for the placing of the articles are given. There are also requirements for the identification and relevance of the article.

Contract with the IFA GmbH - Initial condition for the reception of data is an article about our service contract maintenance and publication of product data.

Distribution Rights - The provider has all the legal and factual conditions for the placing of his name registered under Article fulfill.

Apothekenüblichkeit - only medicines and other pharmaceutical products pursuant to Section 25 of Pharmacy rules. In doubtful cases, the proof of Apothekenüblichkeit through a legally binding opinion of the competent supervisory authorities will be required.

Marketability - all items must be fully negotiable. Medicines and medical devices must be either under law or medicine Medical Act authorized or the authorization of his obligation. Non-medicinal products such as cosmetics, dietary products, food supplements, etc. are subject to legal regulations on transport capacity.

Finished Products - The articles must be finished products and the product name and package size can be clearly identified without additional information such as custom sizes, or sizes, recipe information, etc. are required.

Consumer Units - In the IFA-only database of consumer units, ie forms of trade, without Auseinzeln be sold to consumers can be.

Exclusion criteria for articles
- Non-pharmaceutical products.
- Not generally negotiable item. Medicines in accordance with section 73 AMG imported.
- Level, individual and custom-made products and other items that are not finished products.
- Container shipping units, etc., which are not consumer units.
- Articles that are already in the IFA database are not multiple choice."

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« Reply #40 on: 08/08/2009 09:07:50 »
Interesting related article out of India today.

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/18514/homeopathy-can-prevent-cure-swine.html [nofollow]

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« Reply #41 on: 08/08/2009 16:10:47 »


Either your lack of knowledge or experience regarding herbs and their ability to heal, is very limited, or you just want to put your head back in the sand, and hope that it will all go away.


 
Quote
one woman has become pregnant as a result of the "remedy" messing with metabolism
...sounds like the start of a Daily Mirror story! Come on!



Let me get this stright; you are not aware of the hazardous effect of one of the most widely used herbal medicines yet you accuse me of ignorance or sticking my head in the sand.


Do you want to think a bit harder about that?
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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« Reply #42 on: 08/08/2009 21:47:28 »
Ahh, the bored chemist, I missed your comments...

I thought a bit harder about it, really I did..................but it did not help.

I then checked Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_John's_wort [nofollow]), funnily enough, they did not mention anything under "Adverse effects and drug interactions" about this ONE person on the pill having a reaction to St.Johns Wort, perhaps Wiki should also think a bit harder about that. 

I accept, I personally did not know this (recent) information (burn me at the stake why don't you)... and as I clearly stated in a previous posting, it is wrong and should be changed as soon as possible.

In my defence, I am not a herbalist, I am not a doctor (or a smart-arsed "bored chemist"), I am a Simpleton looking for a way to protect myself and family in a time when then world is searching beyond conventional medicine for complimentary solutions to a problem that conventional medicine has 3 solutions (one of which is a bit CRAP) -
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There are at least 3 antivirals used; one (amantidine) is a bit crap
,one drug is almost virus resistant, and the final one, who knows it's fate...

Is it really a wonder there are people like me asking for HELP?

Actually, what is more of a wonder to me, is that there are people, like you, looking to criticise, ridicule and add worthless petty argument to such an important topic, in order to satisfy some apparent intrinsic desire to appear worthy and intelligent before peers and onlookers...get a grip mate, its not clever and you ain't gonna win any new friends.

I mean lets look at it in a basic, honest way... what is the advice from the highest sources of medical knowledge in the UK?  The medical community says... stay in bed, take an asprin or 2, drink fluids and take a drug that is, by the day becoming less and less effective AND has unknown long-term side effects. GREAT! With the final advise being...Sorry everyone, that's it, we can't advise further and remember, please don't visit your doctor, unless you stop breathing, then call 999. Finally, don't forget, if you or your family members die, we really did give it our best shot and advised you on all the possible remedies, honestly.

Tut-tut.
« Last Edit: 08/08/2009 21:49:28 by Simpleton »

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« Reply #43 on: 08/08/2009 23:12:39 »
Interesting related article out of India today.

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/18514/homeopathy-can-prevent-cure-swine.html

I think you missed an enormous point in that article - It's even given in the headline

"Homeopathy can prevent, cure swine flu, say homeopaths"

As far as I am aware, there is no evidence that homeopathy works any better than placebo.  Furthermore, there's no reasonable mechanism through which it can work.  I'd stick to the herbs if I were you.

As we may have mentioned before, if it works for an individual, great - but promoting a product like this (and the alternative health industry is an enormous profit making industry) is risky.  Should someone decide to opt for homeopathic treatment rather than conventional treatment, the homeopaths could have blood on their hands.

I understand entirely that you are talking about complementary therapies being used in conjunction with conventional therapies - the problem is that some people will assess risks based on newspaper articles like this one.

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« Reply #44 on: 08/08/2009 23:20:31 »
I mean lets look at it in a basic, honest way... what is the advice from the highest sources of medical knowledge in the UK?  The medical community says... stay in bed, take an asprin or 2, drink fluids and take a drug that is, by the day becoming less and less effective AND has unknown long-term side effects. GREAT! With the final advise being...Sorry everyone, that's it, we can't advise further and remember, please don't visit your doctor, unless you stop breathing, then call 999. Finally, don't forget, if you or your family members die, we really did give it our best shot and advised you on all the possible remedies, honestly.

Tut-tut.

I don't think you've been reading what we've said.  It is highly irresponsible for the medical community to recommend something that there is no evidence for.  It's even more irresponsible to sell a product claiming it will do things for which there is no evidence.

How would you feel if your doctor prescribes you sugar pills?  By promoting untested therapies, that's precisely what they're doing.  Plus, the herbal concoctions also have unknown long term side effects.

What this boils down to is chemicals.  Doctors advise on the chemicals which have been tested and shown to work.  Herbal remedies contain a vast number of chemicals, some may help, some may do nothing, some may be harmful.

If you want to take complementary medicines, go ahead!  But why do you feel it's the medical industry's responsibility to advise others to do so?


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« Reply #45 on: 08/08/2009 23:22:54 »
Actually, what is more of a wonder to me, is that there are people, like you, looking to criticise, ridicule and add worthless petty argument to such an important topic, in order to satisfy some apparent intrinsic desire to appear worthy and intelligent before peers and onlookers...get a grip mate, its not clever and you ain't gonna win any new friends.

And finally, with my moderators hat on - please do not be so rude about other forum members.

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« Reply #46 on: 09/08/2009 08:25:48 »
Hi BenV,

Will add replies to your comments shortly.

Also, apologies for losing my temper with another forum member.
Will try to bite my tongue in the future and be less descriptive.

Regards
Simpleton

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« Reply #47 on: 09/08/2009 08:44:50 »
Have just seen a video (06.08.2009), courtesy of Reuters, discussing Chinese claims about herbal medicines in combination with conventional medicine. From a limited study, it is reported that the Chinese medicinal herb blends were as effective as Tamiflu and much cheaper!

http://info-wars.org/?p=4649 [nofollow]

It seems to me, that resistance to complimentary medicine is not the same across the world. Why?
Either it works, has an effect, helps or it doesn't (as has been said before).
Are countries who are more in favour, hiding scientific information that could help other countries get things in better perspective? Have tests been done that others in other countries don't know about?

The Germans, with their licensed medicinal blends of herbs, the Indians using Homoeopathy, the Chinese using their combinations effectively... Who is right, who is wrong, and when can I start to confidently build my personal complementary first aid kit against the oncoming wave on Pandemic Influenza?
« Last Edit: 09/08/2009 08:47:39 by Simpleton »

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« Reply #48 on: 09/08/2009 09:02:42 »
Quote
I think you missed an enormous point in that article - It's even given in the headline

"Homeopathy can prevent, cure swine flu, say homeopaths"

Yep, that is a good point. Well spotted!

Quote
As far as I am aware, there is no evidence that homeopathy works any better than placebo.  Furthermore, there's no reasonable mechanism through which it can work.  I'd stick to the herbs if I were you.

I don't know much about how homoeopathy works and only recently included it in posts as a result of a comment made including it with herbalism. I am more personally more interested in herbs, roots, fruits and blends of such complementary medicines.

Quote
As we may have mentioned before, if it works for an individual, great - but promoting a product like this (and the alternative health industry is an enormous profit making industry) is risky.  Should someone decide to opt for homeopathic treatment rather than conventional treatment, the homeopaths could have blood on their hands.

I think the word 'enormous' should be referenced to the Phara industry...
I would also suggest that conventional medicine has its share of blood on its hands...

Quote
I understand entirely that you are talking about complementary therapies being used in conjunction with conventional therapies - the problem is that some people will assess risks based on newspaper articles like this one.

So, for the sake of 'some' people, we should not even consider these possible therapies, even in this dramatic escalating situation...? Perhaps we simply need to educate the 'some' people better.

Thanks for your positive approach to my comments, it is appreciated.

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« Reply #49 on: 09/08/2009 09:33:15 »
Quote
I don't think you've been reading what we've said.  It is highly irresponsible for the medical community to recommend something that there is no evidence for.  It's even more irresponsible to sell a product claiming it will do things for which there is no evidence.

Oh, I have been reading very carefully what has been said (from the WE?). I would agree it would be highly irresponsible for the medical community to recommend something that there is no evidence for, further-more I agree it is even more irresponsible to sell a product claiming it will do things for which there is no evidence. Shameful, in-fact. 

But there is evidence, there have been trials, testing has been observed for 1000's of years, benefits are known, patients have been helped, its not all rogues and villains on the other side. Civilisations differ around the world. they have different opinions to you (WE). Perhaps it is more of a case that here is not really the right place to be discussing such controversial subjects? I can understand that.

I seem to have landed in a big UK grey area. I want Relenza in my first aid kit, but I want some herbs, tinctures and fruits too. That is causing the problem (not for me personally), but for openly saying it here. I cannot really imagine that someone on this forum is going to say... I  would advise, this, this, this and this from the complementary medicine range... From the onset take this in conjunction with this, monitor this, after day 2, increase to this and reduce this... etc. etc. Bit frustrating, but at the same time I am learning a lot, so it has it's benefits, I hope for others too.

Quote
How would you feel if your doctor prescribes you sugar pills?  By promoting untested therapies, that's precisely what they're doing.  Plus, the herbal concoctions also have unknown long term side effects.

Aside, My daughter has received, when ill, sugar pills with drops of medicine from her local doctor (in Germany) since being here. (Globuli; http://www.globuli.de/ [nofollow]). Conventional medicine's long term side effects are also renowned! But it's another long story!

Quote
What this boils down to is chemicals.  Doctors advise on the chemicals which have been tested and shown to work.  Herbal remedies contain a vast number of chemicals, some may help, some may do nothing, some may be harmful.

This makes sense. Thanks.
Only that some herbal remedies, without specific scientific testing, or testing that does not comply to western medicine, or unknown testing, do work in practice. As a result the grey area of medicine exists.

Quote
If you want to take complementary medicines, go ahead!  But why do you feel it's the medical industry's responsibility to advise others to do so?

Normally, I would not stick my neck out so far, really, but if the current flu situation follows any of its historical ancestors, then I feel it is the medical industries responsibility to merge its hard line approach and help in the quest to support immune systems before it becomes a real disaster.  AND... what better opportunity to test out a variety of approaches on a world wide population in the midst of a pandemic; its like, the test of all tests.