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  #1  
05-17-2011, 06:14 PM
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I recently met some hippies who were all about telling people how pharmaceuticals are bad and how herbs are more effective. My bullshit radar immediately went off. I did some research on the subject and found conflicting studies. Some suggest that herbal remedies work very well for various conditions and ailments. Other studies show no apparent benefit from the use of supplements. Any trip to the local drug store will show you that herbal supplements is a big business ($15 for a bottle of St. John's Wort, for example).

Another obvious scam closely related to herbal supplements is a pyramid scheme called Mona Vie, but I'll get into that in another thread.

What do you think? Do you have good experiences with herbs? Do you think it's all bullshit?







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05-17-2011, 06:17 PM
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Some herbs probably help in some ways. I think St. Johns Wort has been clinically shows to help with depression, although I would assume only mildly.

In the body, chemicals are chemicals.

Mona Vie is just acai juice in a nice bottle.

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05-17-2011, 06:26 PM
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Just depends, dumbass.

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05-17-2011, 06:43 PM
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I'm sure they help a little, but do they justify the claims of all the health benefits?







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05-17-2011, 06:53 PM
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No they do not. Moreover the industry is not regulated by the FDA so there is no quality control, although I believe some new minimal regulations have been introduced this month.

I believe the evidence that St. Johns Wort has an effect on depression has been thrown out. More importantly, St. Johns Wort and a lot of other herbal supplements interfere with common prescribed and OTC drugs, so it can be quite dangerous to take supplements without the supervision of your doctor.

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05-17-2011, 06:55 PM
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One natural substance that does have efficacy is melatonin for sleep. But like vitamins in general, it is best to take the generic or pharmaceutical brands rather than the natural herbal types because the natural varieties are not regulated as I said and the amount in any given pill can vary. When it comes to vitamins and drugs it's one of the times you actually want the big-industrial produced brands.

I'm not explaining myself well. I have a hunch that Kick or The Overfiend can explain it better.

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05-17-2011, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twothreeoh View Post
No they do not. Moreover the industry is not regulated by the FDA so there is no quality control, although I believe some new minimal regulations have been introduced this month.

I believe the evidence that St. Johns Wort has an effect on depression has been thrown out. More importantly, St. Johns Wort and a lot of other herbal supplements interfere with common prescribed and OTC drugs, so it can be quite dangerous to take supplements without the supervision of your doctor.
I am looking around and it appears that the evidence regarding St. Johns Wort is still in place (for mild to medium depression, whatever that means).

National Institute of Health
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/d...tural/329.html

Mayo Clinic
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/st-...nt-stjohnswort

WebMD cites studies both for and against it's effectivness
http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/st-johns-wort

In any event it doesn't appear to be completely debunked. However you are correct about the side effects with other medicines which is a big issue, and the reason it has been banned altogether in France. IIRC. And about the fact that the herbal industry is wholly unregulated.

I believe there's some beneficial uses for certain plants. There is strong (although conflicting) evidence regarding the healing properties of aloe vera, for example. No one is using it on 3rd degree burns, but it can be helpful--it definitely feels good on a mild burn or sting. However, for the most part, I'd stick to the established medicinal industry for anything remotely serious.







  #8  
05-17-2011, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnight View Post
I recently met some hippies who were all about telling people how pharmaceuticals are bad and how herbs are more effective.
This is bullshit. SOME supplements may have positive health effects but it depends on the supplement and what claims they're making. Supplements aren't legaly allowed to make claims that they can treat or cure diseases anyway. If they did, they'd have to go through FDA approval process which takes years and can cost hundreds of millons of dollars. They're only allowed to make vague claims like 'improves energy and focus'. They can't say it treats depression or ADHD.

Its true that the industry isn't regulated like the pharm industry so even if there is science supporting a supplement for a condition or disease you can't be sure what amount and grade of the substance you're getting in the pill.

As for mona vie I think it's some MLM bullshit but that's all I know about it. Brent Smith was/is pushing it to his 'coaching' students a while back trying to get them to join up lol.

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  #9  
05-17-2011, 07:43 PM
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I knew the Overfiend would show up to explain it better. Or Kick.

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  #10  
05-17-2011, 07:48 PM
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Your first mistake was talking to hippies in the first place.

I'd rather hang out with a bunch of wannabe PUA faggots than hippies.







  #11  
05-17-2011, 08:11 PM
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I have less than a handful of "poor" reviews on Amazon. Thank you.

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05-17-2011, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnight View Post
I recently met some hippies .......


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  #13  
05-17-2011, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnight View Post
I recently met some hippies who were all about telling people how pharmaceuticals are bad and how herbs are more effective. My bullshit radar
It was actually your gaydar and you wanted those two guys so badly that you thought by initiating a conversation about pharmaceuticals you can get into their pants you confirmed fag.

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  #14  
05-17-2011, 10:26 PM
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If you're thinking of a drug to "cure" a disease or symptoms of disease then most likely pharmaceuticals would be better.

I've used some herbal remedies for mild ailments though and they've worked rather well, without the nastier side effects that I'd get from taking drugs.

I think in a couple of years research from China and Japan on the herbology there might be translated into English so you could try out those formulations for yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnight View Post
I recently met some hippies who were all about telling people how pharmaceuticals are bad and how herbs are more effective. My bullshit radar immediately went off. I did some research on the subject and found conflicting studies. Some suggest that herbal remedies work very well for various conditions and ailments. Other studies show no apparent benefit from the use of supplements. Any trip to the local drug store will show you that herbal supplements is a big business ($15 for a bottle of St. John's Wort, for example).

Another obvious scam closely related to herbal supplements is a pyramid scheme called Mona Vie, but I'll get into that in another thread.

What do you think? Do you have good experiences with herbs? Do you think it's all bullshit?


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  #15  
05-18-2011, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnight View Post
I recently met some hippies who were all about telling people how pharmaceuticals are bad and how herbs are more effective. My bullshit radar immediately went off. I did some research on the subject and found conflicting studies. Some suggest that herbal remedies work very well for various conditions and ailments. Other studies show no apparent benefit from the use of supplements. Any trip to the local drug store will show you that herbal supplements is a big business ($15 for a bottle of St. John's Wort, for example).

Another obvious scam closely related to herbal supplements is a pyramid scheme called Mona Vie, but I'll get into that in another thread.

What do you think? Do you have good experiences with herbs? Do you think it's all bullshit?
USANA - mlm supplement cult,

But for herbals it's ONLY a supplement, healthy lifestyle, exercise, low stress, good healthy diet all helps.

But marketing scam makes profit by selling LIES.

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  #16  
05-18-2011, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twothreeoh View Post
One natural substance that does have efficacy is melatonin for sleep. But like vitamins in general, it is best to take the generic or pharmaceutical brands rather than the natural herbal types because the natural varieties are not regulated as I said and the amount in any given pill can vary. When it comes to vitamins and drugs it's one of the times you actually want the big-industrial produced brands.

I'm not explaining myself well. I have a hunch that Kick or The Overfiend can explain it better.

AHRQ did a systematic review and concluded that melatonin doesn't do jack:

Quote:
Conclusions
- Evidence suggests that melatonin is not effective in treating most primary sleep disorders with short-term use, although there is some evidence to suggest that melatonin is effective in treating delayed sleep phase syndrome with short-term use.
- Evidence suggests that melatonin is not effective in treating most secondary sleep disorders with short-term use.
- No evidence suggests that melatonin is effective in alleviating the sleep disturbance aspect of jet lag and shiftwork disorder.

http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/epcsums/melatsum.htm








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05-18-2011, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kick View Post
AHRQ did a systematic review and concluded that melatonin doesn't do jack:
Thanks. I figured you would have the goods.

I was trying to remember and failing to recall what I had been told about minerals and vitamins. I had to take iron for anemia last year and my doctor advised against the health store brands because the "natural" supplements contained impurities and were not as carefully measured as the industrially-produced ones.

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  #18  
05-18-2011, 09:47 AM
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Yeah, herbal supplements are a scam, and possibly dangerous.

But pharmaceuticals, while regulated for safety, can also be a scam if the evidence for them is forged. I was reading Dr Ben Goldacre's book. He writes an amazing blog over at badscience.net . In his book he looks at some of the tricks pharmaceutical companies use to fool educated professionals doctors into thinking certain drugs have strong evidence for them.

  #19  
05-18-2011, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnight View Post
I'm sure they help a little, but do they justify the claims of all the health benefits?

In most cases, the answer is no. A great source for legitimate info on herbal supplements is NCCAM: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/herbsataglance.htm

They also have legitimate info on other "natural" products and therapies: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/atoz.htm

One pitfall is that small studies or poorly designed studies may show a benefit of herbal or natural products. And that's what the quacks and the manufacturers of these products will seize on. But when these products are evaluated in large, well-designed studies, the supposed benefits often disappear and/or side effects are discovered.

But I'd be extremely wary of anybody making blanket statements about all pharmaceuticals being ineffective or inferior. Yeah, the pharmaceutical industry is greedy and profit-driven, but their products are at least subjected to intense scrutiny and by and large most of them are effective and relatively safe. Yes, they sometimes sneak a dangerous one on to the market place and they overhype the benefits and safety of their drugs, but they generally get caught for their bullshit. The herbal and natural supplements industry is just as greedy though. And they are not being watched as closely at all. And they too sneak dangerous shit onto the market place. E.g., Ephedra was killing people before it was banned. And they also prey on the vulnerable. Go into any "natural health" store and just look at all the worthless products being sold that are claimed to help people lose weight. It's all bullshit and their only interest there is raking in obscene profits.

And like others have said, herbal and dietary supplements aren't regulated, so even if they do work, it's pretty much a crap shoot as to whether you'll get the right dose and without any contaminants. To give just one example, "natural" erectile dysfunction supplements are routinely found to contain Viagra or viagra-like compounds. Not only is this illegal, it's dangerous because the side effects of Viagra can be serious, especially if you don't even know you're taking it because the label on the product is a complete lie.







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05-18-2011, 09:54 AM
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Ok, I see this is a serious thread. I posted this a long time ago. It is a fascinating article about a doctor who researches what medical research actually tells us-- it turns out not much at all. I hope you find it interesting.



http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...-science/8269/

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  #21  
05-18-2011, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyLittleBoy View Post
Yeah, herbal supplements are a scam, and possibly dangerous.

But pharmaceuticals, while regulated for safety, can also be a scam if the evidence for them is forged. I was reading Dr Ben Goldacre's book. He writes an amazing blog over at badscience.net . In his book he looks at some of the tricks pharmaceutical companies use to fool educated professionals doctors into thinking certain drugs have strong evidence for them.

Yep, that is true. Pharma loves to push their PR hype. And doctors are a big part of the problem.

Just notice the next time you're in a doctor's office all the pens and clipboards and other shit in there that has a brand name drug emblazoned upon it. All that shit came from a pharma PR person, and the docs probably have even more shit at home, like umbrellas and clocks that came from pharma. The docs shouldn't even let those PR flaks into their office, let alone accept their worthless trinkets. Doctors can't afford their own pens and clipboards and umbrellas?

And docs also accept trips and other bigger gifts from pharma. That shit is nauseating.

  #22  
05-18-2011, 10:45 AM
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You can't put all herbs (as there are 1000's of them) under one category and ask does herbs work Some do, some don't.

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  #23  
05-18-2011, 11:08 AM
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Melatonin is not a herbal supplement, it's a neurohormone. While the AHRQ review doesn't find evidence that it is useful in treating these disorders, it certainly does something. It's a prescription medicine outside of USA.

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05-18-2011, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twothreeoh View Post
Thanks. I figured you would have the goods.

I was trying to remember and failing to recall what I had been told about minerals and vitamins. I had to take iron for anemia last year and my doctor advised against the health store brands because the "natural" supplements contained impurities and were not as carefully measured as the industrially-produced ones.
Why not try blood cakes for anemia?

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05-18-2011, 01:21 PM
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Of course its not all bullshit. Are plants bullshit? Lol...herbs are plants that grow in the ground. They have THOUSANDS of cofactors and vitamins and minerals and all kinds of phytochemicals in them which all work TOGETHER to have a SAFE and most of the time, non-toxic effect. Here's a list of herbs used as medicine:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbal_...ed_as_medicine

However, they certainly aren't miracle cures for anything. But I would choose herbs over prescription drugs any day.

Prescription medication and endless drugging is a load of bull for the simple fact that all it does is try and take pain away or make certain symptoms go away, without ever getting to the bottom line of what is causing the symptoms to begin with.

It's like driving a car, having the engine light go off, and then cutting the wire which leads to the check-engine indicator light on your dashboard and then asking for a pat on the back because you have "cured the problem".

Also in order to cure, one must not cause another disease. You don't for instance have the right to claim that you fixed a leak in a pipe, by plugging up one hole, only to see a new one pop up two inches down from it. Likewise in medicine, even doctors know "cure" is a taboo word for this very simple reason: ALL modern drugs have side effects that destroy your body and have a poisoning effect on it. Some very fast (chemotherapy) some over a little longer period of time (aspirin), but they are ALL toxic.

"Medicine" is something that, when you take it, it makes you healthier and better off than you were before. But pills, and pharmaceuticals are not medicine. They are DRUGS. Medicine is not something that has a warning on the side of the bottle that says "side effects may include...."

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  #26  
05-18-2011, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by MAKEOUTMAKEOUTMAKEOUT View Post
blah blah blah i am a crazy person blah blah blah blah blah eek eek blah blah blah blah blah "
Thank you for that insightful post.

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05-18-2011, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAKEOUTMAKEOUTMAKEOUT View Post
Of course its not all bullshit. Are plants bullshit? Lol...herbs are plants that grow in the ground. They have THOUSANDS of cofactors and vitamins and minerals and all kinds of phytochemicals in them which all work TOGETHER to have a SAFE and most of the time, non-toxic effect. Here's a list of herbs used as medicine:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbal_...ed_as_medicine

However, they certainly aren't miracle cures for anything. But I would choose herbs over prescription drugs any day.

Prescription medication and endless drugging is a load of bull for the simple fact that all it does is try and take pain away or make certain symptoms go away, without ever getting to the bottom line of what is causing the symptoms to begin with.

It's like driving a car, having the engine light go off, and then cutting the wire which leads to the check-engine indicator light on your dashboard and then asking for a pat on the back because you have "cured the problem".

Also in order to cure, one must not cause another disease. You don't for instance have the right to claim that you fixed a leak in a pipe, by plugging up one hole, only to see a new one pop up two inches down from it. Likewise in medicine, even doctors know "cure" is a taboo word for this very simple reason: ALL modern drugs have side effects that destroy your body and have a poisoning effect on it. Some very fast (chemotherapy) some over a little longer period of time (aspirin), but they are ALL toxic.

"Medicine" is something that, when you take it, it makes you healthier and better off than you were before. But pills, and pharmaceuticals are not medicine. They are DRUGS. Medicine is not something that has a warning on the side of the bottle that says "side effects may include...."
You've been brainwashed. The reason side-effects are known is that the medicine has been tested in clinical studies.

You want to choose herbs with no proven effect over medicine which has undergone clinical trials when your life is at risk, go ahead. Have fun dying.

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  #28  
05-18-2011, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAKEOUTMAKEOUTMAKEOUT View Post
Prescription medication and endless drugging is a load of bull for the simple fact that all it does is try and take pain away or make certain symptoms go away, without ever getting to the bottom line of what is causing the symptoms to begin with.

To take just one example, have you never heard of penicillin? Or do you just not understand how it works?

As an aside, penicillin was initially derived from a fungus, so if you prefer the "all-natural" route for your medicines, why would you reject it just because it became a very successful pharmaceutical that saved lives and prevented otherwise unpreventable deaths?







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05-19-2011, 12:20 PM
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You've been brainwashed. The reason side-effects are known is that the medicine has been tested in clinical studies.

You want to choose herbs with no proven effect over medicine which has undergone clinical trials when your life is at risk, go ahead. Have fun dying.
This is because herbs have inadequate testing or no testing at all. I would love to see a clinic try to compare a natural, non-toxic therapy to their invasive and harmful side-effect prone ones. I would love that. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

But if my life is at risk, or if there is an emergency, I want a surgeon, in fact I even want the drugs they are going to use to numb the pain, to clot the blood faster, to slow the heart, etc etc etc.

I draw a line between emergency medicine and general care medicine. Emergency medicine has become highly advanced. I'm not at all suggesting we don't need our surgeons and EMTs and all the people who take care of us when we have emergency accidents and unexpected disasters.

However, treating disease with drugs doesn't work. That's just the bottom line. All you have to do is look at the adverse effects of drugs, all the damage they do, the stats on iatrogenesis (properly used medicine each year results in over 100,000 unneeded deaths for example). Vioxx, thalidomide, etc etc.

There is a tendency to give excuses when people die from standard medication taken as directed, and then criticize when people use what we call "alternative" methods.

The fact is, the entire field of "alternative" medicine contains a whole host of different substances, practices and modalities which range from totally ineffective all the way to borderline miraculous.

The modern medical paradigm cannot in any way shape or form reverse diabetes, clean clogged arteries or reduce high blood pressure without side effects. The so called "alternative" to the medicine we are told is the "proven best form of treatment" can reverse all these conditions, without side effects, and be sustained for life. Yet nobody does this. Why? Because it's not a pill or a simple quick fix. But there is a scientifically documented and peer reviewed, proven, understood way of doing it. It happens to be cheap, has nothing to do with the pharmaceutical industries, and it requires will-power of the patient.

Quote:
To take just one example, have you never heard of penicillin? Or do you just not understand how it works?
Lol, yes I know how penicillin works. Penicillin and other antibiotics are not cure-alls. They are not side effect free meds. They are dangerous and should only be used in extreme cases. They are not the answer to our ills.

Antibiotics are some of the most overly-prescribed, abused, and unwarranted substances that we have available. This is why many types of bacteria are resistant.

The great attributes we give to antibiotics are from uses they had in treating severely more malnourished people than we have today. And even then they didn't prolong life expectancies. If we compared people of today in developed nations to people of 75-100 years ago...there are minor differences.

Quote:
As an aside, penicillin was initially derived from a fungus, so if you prefer the "all-natural" route for your medicines, why would you reject it just because it became a very successful pharmaceutical that saved lives and prevented otherwise unpreventable deaths?
This is a good question. By that logic, I could say battery acid made from corn is "natural" as well. But the fact that over 50% of the drugs that are made come from natural compounds is interesting though, because the same people who make these drugs from natural compounds (often times herbs) are the same people saying "ohh you can't use those herbs, they don't work."

Medicine, is largely not natural or herbal, but CHEMICAL. And I can assure you this because this is how "medicine" works:

They find an herb or plant compound that is an "active element." They then map out its organic chemical structure. They then find ways of synthesizing it from petrol, corn, or some other form of organic matter. They do not simply extract the herbs themselves or something. So no, medicine is not largely herbal and any synthetic chemist working as a pharmaceutical pill producer will tell you this.

Are there medicines out there that are indeed useful? Are there diseases which really do have genetic causes or instances where synthetic medication is useful? Yes. But they comprise less than 1% of all diseases we deal with. Most diseases we deal with are due to our perversions in understanding the body, the mind, and our biochemistry.

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  #30  
05-19-2011, 12:42 PM
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This is because herbs have inadequate testing or no testing at all. I would love to see a clinic try to compare a natural, non-toxic therapy to their invasive and harmful side-effect prone ones. I would love that. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

(...)

The fact is, the entire field of "alternative" medicine contains a whole host of different substances, practices and modalities which range from totally ineffective all the way to borderline miraculous.

The modern medical paradigm cannot in any way shape or form reverse diabetes, clean clogged arteries or reduce high blood pressure without side effects. The so called "alternative" to the medicine we are told is the "proven best form of treatment" can reverse all these conditions, without side effects, and be sustained for life. Yet nobody does this. Why? Because it's not a pill or a simple quick fix. But there is a scientifically documented and peer reviewed, proven, understood way of doing it. It happens to be cheap, has nothing to do with the pharmaceutical industries, and it requires will-power of the patient.



Lol, yes I know how penicillin works. Penicillin and other antibiotics are not cure-alls. They are not side effect free meds. They are dangerous and should only be used in extreme cases. They are not the answer to our ills.

Antibiotics are some of the most overly-prescribed, abused, and unwarranted substances that we have available. This is why many types of bacteria are resistant.

The great attributes we give to antibiotics are from uses they had in treating severely more malnourished people than we have today. And even then they didn't prolong life expectancies. If we compared people of today in developed nations to people of 75-100 years ago...there are minor differences.
Many herbs have proven clinical effects, many have none at all in studies. Usually people who sell you herbs as a remedy will not publish a study proving that the herb is useless, this is where the alternative medicine branch separates itself from mainstream scientifically based medicine.

What's the cheap, understood way of curing all those conditions? Would you cite some studies then perhaps?

Exactly what data did you compare to conclude that there is little difference between people today and 75-100 years ago?

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