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Editorial Issue 102

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 102 - August 2004

The media and medical establishment climate we live in defies belief! According to research widely reported in the UK, more than 10,000 people in the UK, die every year from adverse reactions to drugs such as aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. Also, going into hospital puts patients at significant risk of adverse reactions to drugs administered, not to mention the potentially fatal risk of contracting a dreaded MRSA infection from the hospital ward.

In this situation which must strike patients with fear and foreboding, one would think that natural alternatives to drugs which are clinically effective, pose no dangers to health and have virtually no side effects would be welcomed with open arms by the medical community.

Quite the opposite. A recent headline ("Alert over fatal mix of herbal pills and medicines") in The Times asserts that adverse reactions to drugs triggered by herbal remedies "would undoubtedly be high…it will certainly be in the hundreds". Likely culprits quoted were St Johns Wort, Ginkgo biloba, ginseng, garlic pills, even grapefruit juice!!! The dangers cited were that GPs know nothing about herbal medicines, there is no definitive research regarding interactions between herbal medicines and drugs and that therefore, potentially people prescribed drugs such as warfarin could be at risk if they also took herbal remedies.

Quite apart from the hugely dangerous grapefruit juice, just about every food we ingest, including salt, sugar, coffee, chocolate and chips is potentially dangerous in large doses. Perhaps we ought to ban most foods so that people being prescribed warfarin and aspirin could sleep in peace! It is about time that the pharmaceutical companies and doctors take responsibility for the dangers inherent in drugs – prescribed and over-the counter.

On the other hand, essential oils including lavender, tea tree, white thyme and others have been shown to be potent and effective antimicrobials, and were used as disinfectants during the 20th century prior to the advent of antibiotics. Also, a number of physicians, as well as countless research studies, have demonstrated the potent action of vitamin C against a wide range of serious, frequently fatal diseases including polio, hepatitis, measles, mumps, encephalitis, chickenpox, influenza, rabies, AIDS, Ebola virus, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, tuberculosis, and malaria.

However, back to the current media and medical establishment unreality! Recently there have been scathing reports in the media in response to the suggestion by the Prince of Wales at a Cancer Conference that the Gerson Therapy ought to be further researched. Not only have the newspapers rolled out the usual sniggers about coffee enemas (the only part of the Gerson they ever report on); experts from the cancer establishment have weighed in with their usual bravado, claiming that cancer patients undergoing Gerson risked infection, dehydration and possibly death!

The majority of cancer patients are already at a significant risk of death from their conventional treatments, and the majority of Gerson patients have already been given up for dead by the medical fraternity. Gerson patients prepare and drink some 13 freshly made glasses of carrot and other vegetable juices, along with a vegetable soup and several coffee enemas each day (which are targeted at pain relief and detoxification of the liver). How they could be of risk of dehydration under this regime demonstrates the total lack of knowledge of these supposedly esteemed professionals.

The response of the media aficionados to a TV programme with Dr Gillian McKeith, aimed at improving the diets of sadly overweight and horribly unhealthy individuals is a similar case in point. There have been reviews in the media mocking Dr McKeith and portraying her as a 'food fascist', whereas in viewing the programme one has to wonder how the sad people portrayed ever managed to stay alive on their diets of crisps, fizzy drinks, chocolate cake, totally devoid of any healthy food. Furthermore, the transformation of these individuals, including significant loss of weight and improvement of health symptoms was nothing but inspirational.

Read Dr Neil Slade's inspiring the Use of Homeopathy in a Case of Cancer (see page 17) for an amazing regression of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma using homeopathy (put down by the Oncologist as a delayed reaction to chemotherapy!). The patient had been told there was nothing further that could be done; instead she is well and alive.

Read Dr Deepak Achary's Medicinal Plants for Curing Common Ailments in India (see page 33) for another cogent expose of how successful herbal medicines can be in combating a wide variety of illnesses.

The diversity and therapeutic clinical efficacy of virtually all 'complementary' therapies ought to be, in my opinion, the first port of call when confronted with sickness. If these harmless disciplines do not effect a cure, then one can progress down the road toward more dangerous medicines with serious side effects. Beware aspirin and ibuprofen, despite the TV commercials that they are safe for babies. Don't believe everything you read or see, or you could end up as one of the 10,000 people who die every year from adverse reactions to medicines.


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About Sandra Goodman PhD

Sandra Goodman PhD, Co-founder and Editor of Positive Health, trained as a Molecular Biology scientist in Agricultural Biotechnology in Canada and the US, focusing upon health issues since the 1980s in the UK. Author of 4 books, including Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art, Vitamin C – The Master Nutrient, Germanium: The Health and Life Enhancer and numerous articles, Dr Goodman was the lead author of the Consensus Document Nutritional and LifeStyle Guidelines for People with Cancer and compiled the Cancer and Nutrition Database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 1993. Dr Goodman is passionate about making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, clinical expertise in Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. Dr Goodman was recently featured as Doctor of the Fortnight in ThinkWellness360.

Dr Goodman and long-term partner Mike Howell seek individuals with vision, resources, and organization to continue and expand the Positive Health PH Online legacy beyond the first 30 years, with facilities for training, to fund alternative cancer research, and promote holistic organizations internationally. Read about Dr Goodman and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  She may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via:   and

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