Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Herbal Treatment Of Cancer: A Cautionary Note

Herbal medicine has been touted as an alternative to our modern medicine. However, although there are many claims that traditional herbs and medicinal plants can cure cancer; there are still no reliable records show of consistency success rates.


Other than that, there are many lookalike species when applied wrongly may yield quite different results: for example Justicia Betonica (white shrimp plant) and Adhatoda Ventricosa (大駁骨), Hedyotis Diffusa Willd (白花蛇舌草) and Hedyotis Corymbosa Lamk. (水線草) etc.


It is a matter of fact that through some clinical studies, herbs and medicinal plants are effective in curing certain illnesses. But there is still no solid evidence shows these herbs and plants can cure cancers clinically.


So it is advisable for anyone who wants to take advantage of these medicinal plants for daily consumption or for treating cancers to exercise caution. Otherwise not only the original illness cannot be cured, other health issues may entail.


Causes of cancer in the perspective of folk medicine:


·         Unhealthy life style:

o   Late sleep, too much rich food, no exercises, too much supper, smoke and drink etc.

·         Environmental issues (and Feng Shui too!)

o   House near a cement plant, sawmill, rock quarry etc.

·         Personal behaviors

o   People who like to keep things to themselves or people who have tendencies to have mood swing etc.

·         Unhealthy food and drinks

o   Too much oily or barbecued food, alcohol, soft drinks, cigarettes, processed food, drugs etc.

·         Karma and spiritual issues

o   Spirits can also cause cancers. Old folks believe that spirits can mask out the detection of cancers during diagnostic stage.


Basic cure of cancer (just a suggestion):


·         Take medicine according to your doctor’s advice; but reduce the intake when one feels well and okay. (We don’t want to kill all the good cells in our body)

·         Move to a healthier and cleaner place.

·         Change a life style: remember that it is precisely the current life style that has cause the cancer; so, drop everything and start a new life in another way.

·         Change personal behaviors: go out to the nature for a walk, meet more people, be more open, exercise more etc.

·         Stop consuming meat and processed food stuffs, alcohols, cigarettes etc.

·         Only praying, magical and religious ceremonies help too!


So, what are herbs and medicinal plants good for?


Well, for one thing; each type of herbs can cure specific discomfort. For example, if throat cancer patient finds difficulty to talk due to sore throat; certain herbs can reduce this patient’s pain considerably in a reasonably short time. With his or her pain relieved, this patient can continue to consume food and hence restoring health.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Herbal SEA: Traditional & Folk Medicine

Southeast Asia houses many herbs and medicinal plants. As with various magical practices of Southeast Asia; there are certainly many types of herbs in Southeast Asia: from India, China, Europe, Middle East and many more native SEA species. Many of this type of applied herbal knowledge are handled down from mouth to ear by our forefathers and seldom being written down. I call this type of healing arts the “SEA folk medicine”.


I am not sure if there is a clear separation line between the “folk medicine” and “traditional medicine”; personally I treat “folk medicine” as rules of thumb that are taken as it is and may or may not be fully tested. On the other hand, the “traditional medicine” is built upon a set of treatment theories; no treatments and medications can be administered without referring to these theories.


A TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioner once told me that it will be indeed over his dead body to ask him to consume something that he does not know. I am sure you will do the same, but for the proponent of folk medicines; certain herbs are thought to be a “cure all” solution.


There are claims that many herbs can cure cancerous illness, tumors, high blood, diabetes and the like. I am not a doctor and let us pass this task to the field experts. But what I do know is that some of the herbs can treat fever, sore throat and the like pretty effectively.


Having said so, please don’t take the herbs daily as if we are taking tea. Majority of the herbs can be bitter, possess mild toxicity and having cold characteristics. I have a pal who consumed too much of Andrograhis Paniculata Nees or “the king of bitterness” and later found difficulties in controlling his muscles.


However, if one apply the herbs correctly; the curing effect is simply amazing. At time a simple herb can save one’s life from snake bite in wilderness far away from civilization. Another example:


My pal from Johor were having cough for 2 weeks. He visited a renowned TCM practitioner for 3 visits; each visit costs him $35. So he spent a total of $105 on the consultation fees. At the mean time, he drank 6 bottles of cough syrup that would cost him $18 per bottle. Hence he has spent $108 on the cough syrup. So he spent a total of $213 on the TCM medication. Likewise, a visit to a medical doctor would cost about $50 per visit.


So, how much was the medicine I prescribed to my friend?




Well… He only took the first dose that has substantially relieved his cough. That would be only $3! For the rest of $9 was a throat reliever drink. Now do you think we should go further into the SEA herbs? Check out: