Thursday, April 24, 2014

Prestigious hospitals embracing alternative meds

Sumath Reddy, WSJ, Apr 22, 2014, says some "big" hospitals--such as The Cleveland Clinic--are giving herbs and alternatives a throw.

Apparently these herbs and herbal combinations have stood the test of thousands of years of use--in China and elsewhere.

One woman with digestive issues was given a concoction that translated into "free and easy wanderer." She was also told to give it some months to show a result.

The Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern also reports more referrals from physicians. At first, they said, they were pounding on doors to prove they weren't crazy. Now docs come to them.

The problem is FDA-type proof of effectiveness and randomized trials are largely lacking. In its place--the experience of millennia.

The Cleveland Clinic's herbalists sees people on Thursdays. Chinese checkups are prolonged, many questions, pulses are taken at various body points. A the Cleveland Clinic, the consultation is $100 and followups $60. The herbs are about $60. No insurance.

Often the herbs eliminate symptoms, although they don't "cure."

And sometimes patients see no difference--even after months.

So you take your chances--like all medicine.

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