Some of the History of Medicinehorse and buggy going down a country dirt road

Some Study of the History of Medicine  title woman doctor

History of Medicine

A Bit About Myself--Why I Am Writing This

These are some thoughts I have about the history of medicine and medicine in general.  click here to read a disclaimer in German and English

Maybe I should tell you a little bit about where I am coming from.

First off, I am not a doctor or healthcare professional.  This page is in no way meant to treat or diagnose disease.  You take any advice on this whole site at your own risk!!  On this page, I try not to list any remedies I have taken that have brought me relief because of liability issues.  If A remedy brought me relief, that doesn't mean it will help you.  If you need to know the name of the remedy, ask me.  Tell me why you want to know it.  I may send the name to you along with the risks and benefits that I know of.  A trained medical professional will give you even better advice.  This page is meant only as food for thought.  If you read this page you will find out that I am not a scientist.  My knowledge is limited.  You will have to bear with me.  Some of the time I am writing to pose questions about things I have read or seen in documentaries.  There are a lot of things in the medical field that do not make sense. 

Here is something I just learned about.  I may use the term Allopath and Allopathic wrong.  I use "Allopathic Medicine" or "Allopathic Doctor" on this web site.  It could be the wrong usage.  Here is a paper about the misuse of the term, "Allopathy".

One of the things that doesn't make sense is the debate between the "anti-quacks" and what they call the "quacks".  I know that some of the quacks are very "ducky".  But some "alternative medicine" is genuine.  I saw one web site, that gave medical advice to parents, that basically said, “alternative medicine” was another term for “health fraud”.  It is seeing statements like that which inspired me to write this page.  

I suppose I would be called an “irrational skeptic” or “religious anti-rationalist” by some people on the Internet.  Supposedly I would be called “irrational” because I know the Bible is true.  I see it as just the opposite though.  Aren't the people who don't know that the Bible is true, the irrational ones? (That is just a case of “semantics” maybe.)  And also, I would be called “irrational” because I am skeptical of some aspects of modern medicine when it has been scientifically proven to be safe and effective.  (Ha!)  Would the FDA let something on the market, if it wasn’t proven safe and effective?  Ask the people who took the diet drug that messed up their heart valves.

I firmly agree with, Sir John William Dawson when he said, "a godless view of nature would lead to the degradation of man." I have seen that many times during my life.  Because, people hold this idea that humans are no better than any other animal, they show a careless disregard for human life.  You cannot study medicine without studying nature.  I do not see how anyone could properly study nature without studying the Creator!

I know that, Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to God!  I do not just “believe”, I KNOW the Bible is not a myth!!  True science corroborates God’s Word. “Progress” is not a good thing if it tramples the rights and freedoms of men.  When one man is enslaved in order to free another, that is not “progress”!  Socialized medicine is going to cost somebody something.  There is a quote by P.J. O'Rourke floating on the net, about health care becoming very expensive once it is “free”. 

(One of the main reasons health care is so expensive in the U.S., is health insurance.  When doctors can get out from under the health insurance burden, they can cut costs dramatically. You can read on this web site how doctors can opt out of Medicare and other insurance. They show the cost benefits too.)

I know that the text on this page is somewhat “anecdotal”.  I will try to document things as I write them.  The thing is, I see a lot of documentaries and read things in old books.  I do not always remember where I read or see things.  I will do my best to document my statements.  Some of the items in this document will seem very fantastic to some people.  I am not a “real” historian.  Sometimes I am writing about my “impressions” or “how I understand things”. I try to tell you when I am doing that.  If you have any questions about this page or any of the other pages, please see the “feedback / contact page”.  I have also written about similar sorts of things on my blog.  You can view it at

About my grammar:  Sorry if there are grammar mistakes.  I do the best I can with grammar, but I am not perfect.  I try to spell everything correctly but somehow a word might get missed by the spell checker.  I use the all inclusive pronoun “man” to mean “humans”, as in the “human race”.  I also use “he” when the gender is not know of the person being referred to.  Sorry if those things are  offensive to you, when I was in school they were still, “proper English”. 

One of the main reasons I am writing this page is that people easily forget the lessons learned from history.  About 100 years ago medicine was full of similar controversies to the ones we have today.  The debate was raging over what constituted “quack” medicine and what was “scientific”, medicine.  The “experts” of the day also argued over what made up “proper diets” and so on.

Secondly, one of my interests is the history of medicine.  I have some old medical text books.  Then there are the other old books that tell about medicine and “home remedies”.  Some of them are a real laugh. Ha!  The household hints that tell you things like, to put benzene onto furniture to keep away the moths are very poignant.  Benzene by the way is one of the most cancer causing agents known to man!  One interesting books is, “The Horse and Buggy Doctor”, by Arthur E. Hertzler, M.D.  The 100 year old, obstetrics nursing textbook is really informative also.  When you read such things as the fact that doctors once treated syphilis by injecting patients with malaria; it is easy to become skeptical of the medical profession.  Of course being a female person, and having experienced the routine “pat on the head” type treatment from more than one doctor, (male and female!) has added to my skepticism.  I realize that even though medicine has changed a great deal in the last 100 years, some doctors still have the same attitude.  It is as if they teach a sort of arrogance in medical school, an “I have been to medical school and have all the answers that there are at present and you are not so educated” attitude. 

Here are some of the reasons that I do not visit a doctor very often. It is very simple really. (This is about routine office visits.  I don’t need 100% of this to be satisfied, but some of it would be helpful.) Speaking for myself, I do not want to visit a doctor who won’t take me seriously or won’t believe what I am saying.  I don’t want the doctor to have a “superior” attitude.  Even though the doctor doesn’t know it, I may at least think I know a little about the human body.  Work with what knowledge I have, don’t patronize me.  I want a doctor who will believe that my complaint is genuine and not “all in my head”. I want time to be able to discuss “whatever is ailing me”, with a doctor.  I do not want to feel as if I am taking the doctor away from more “serious” patients.  I want as much of a “concrete” diagnosis as is available.  I want to be prescribed a real genuine solution to the problem. I do not want to be handed a quickly written prescription for a remedy that only masks my symptoms or makes things worse in the long run.  I want the doctor, nurse or other “health care professional”, to be able to do whatever it takes to solve the problem.  I do not want to be given an expensive prescription, that I will have to take the rest of my life, when a known perfectly safe "low tech" alternative could "cure" the situation! This means, that it should be available legally for the “health care professional”, to prescribe or give me any medicine or treatment that he or she feels is necessary. (I do NOT believe in ALL forms of "alternative" medicine.)  I believe that scientists should be “explorers”.  I see doctors as scientists.  As explorers, they should not be closed minded to “new” ideas.  Scientists should be willing to investigate all sorts of medicines and treatments no matter how much like “snake oil” the idea sounds.  (I do not believe in ALL kinds of Alternative medicine!!)  I would think that a scientist would be excited to study these things and potentially make new discoveries.  At one time, the Wright brothers sounded like “quacks”.  Now we send men and women into outer space.  It is easy to condemn “The Church’s” treatment of Galileo.  But what about science’s treatment of “modern Galileos”?  Am I asking for too much? 

Ok here is a story from my own life.   This is not a scientific story, but it does show why I do not always like to visit doctors.  Bear with me on this one--there is a madness to my method.  I was having a difficulty with the big toe on my right foot.  It would swell up around the nail as if I had an infected ingrown toe nail.  I would poke the swollen part to try and let out the puss yet there was no puss.  I took aspirin once and the pain and inflammation went away.  The pain and swelling wasn't something that would happen every day.  I would never know when the toe would, "flare up".  Sometimes it happened in the middle of the night.  My husband would be woken up as I was awoken by the pain.  At some point a woman I worked with suggested that the problem with my toe could be a nail fungus.  I bought some over the counter nail fungus "medicine" (an acid).  The bottle said that the "medicine" wouldn't work on the nail bed, but it would work for fungus around the nail.  I thought, what good is that going to do me?  I used it some anyway.  Eventually I lost the nail from my toe.  Not because of the medicine, but because of the infection I assume.  The medicine didn't seem to do much.  The fungus was probably in the nail bed.  But when the nail fell off, I used the medicine on the nail bed.  I think I may have lost the nail twice during the duration of the "problem".  Finally my husband got tired of being woken up in the night. He made me see a doctor. By that time the problem was probably gone.  I had doctored the nail bed with the acid.  I hadn't had any problems with the toe for some time. But by the time I got the appointment made and they could see me, it was several days, if not a week or week and a half after my "cure".  When I went to the doctor, he looked at my toe and couldn't see anything wrong with it.  The nail had grown back maybe and the toe looked fine.  He said he could do some blood work to see if there was a problem.  He went to order the blood test, when I reminded him that they couldn't "find a vein" before and he had sent me to a blood clinic.  In that case, he wouldn't do the blood test.  He remembered something PRIVATE I had told him on another visit.  It was something about my life here.  His whole outlook about my toe changed.  You could see it in his attitude.  Suddenly my toe waking me up in the night wasn't a problem that needed medical attention.  It was psychological.  It was the private situation causing my toe to hurt and waking me up---so that my husband would wake up and be angry.  Maybe he thought that my toe never really hurt at all, but that I was having difficulty at night because of the other situation.   I do not remember exactly what he said.  But he said something that gave me the indication that my other situation was on his mind. The next thing you know he said something about inflammation. He gave me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory.  It was as if he was giving me something just to placate me.  It wasn't me that needed placating--it was my husband.  Of course my husband MADE me take the whole bottle as prescribed.  I didn't need any of this.  The doctor's visit wasted my time and his.  The pills wasted our money. 

I can't remember if this visit was the time that the doctor argued with someone I thought was a woman over the phone.  If this happened when I was in with my toe, it could have influenced his decisions.  I think these happened at the same time.  A pharmacy called, because they couldn't automatically renew an antibiotic prescription for a woman.  The woman believed she was still sick.  The pharmacist said she needed to see the doctor again in order to have the prescription renewed.  The woman kept insisting.  The pharmacist probably talked to a nurse or receptionist.  That didn't work.  The pharmacist talked to the doctor. That didn't work.  So the pharmacist put the woman on the phone with the doctor.  They argued for a good while.  Finally the doctor gave in. 

Here is more about that doctor's practice.  It wasn't too long before he would be retiring.  We had gone to the doctor that delivered my husband.  He retired and transferred his patients to this other doctor, who was going to retire some day soon.  He was a busy doctor anyway, probably.  But his patient load was even more burdensome when our original doctor retired.  You would sit for a long time, maybe an hour to see him.  There would be screaming kids and so on.  I always felt like I should lighten his load.  Eventually we did just that.  We found another doctor. 

  Pellagra the Deadly Epidemic of the Southern U.S.

This is an example of a scientist who is on the right track, but his fellow scientists nearly laugh him out of the medical profession.  It is also an example of how important it is to have real foods that haven't been stripped of their nutrients.

I once heard a radio documentary over the BBC World Service about this disease epidemic of the south. The way I remember the story, there was this huge epidemic in the Southern U.S. of this disease. It caused people to have paralysis, dementia and death. Of course these are the worst fears for a lot of people. Loosing the mind, being unable to care for oneself and then death. If someone got a diagnosis, it was a death sentence. There was no cure. Then this doctor or scientist began research to find a cause of the disease. At the time the scientific community thought it was an infectious disease. This guy studied it and began to believe it was a vitamin deficiency. Of course he suffered ridicule. He died a poor broken man. It wasn’t until two other researchers discovered his work that they discovered the cause of the Pellagra epidemic. It was indeed a vitamin deficiency---niacin or B3 deficiency.

You see, this guy went to Central and South America and saw the natives eating corn tortillas and beans. They lived perfectly healthy lives. He went back and told whomever that “they” should get the poor of the south to eat like this and it would meet their nutritional needs. So, people in the Southern U.S. ate beans and cornbread. But why were these people experiencing disease that the South and Central Americans didn’t. What struck me was how they described the reason that people in the U.S. were getting sick, where as the other, “Americans” weren’t. It seemed to me that the only word to describe it is GREED. The food manufacturers were taking out the nutrients and oils from the cornmeal. They weren’t processing it in the same manner that the Natives of South and Central America were. The manufacturers wanted the cornmeal to have a longer shelf life. It made me angry.

One of the main reasons I remembered this story, was because my Granny always cooked meals she called, “beans and cornbread”. They were simple home cooked meals. These meals, didn’t always contain beans and cornbread. Yet, calling them by that name implies to me that this eating of beans and cornbread was quite pervasive in rural Southern culture. It was part of the fabric of the South.

Another reason I remembered this story, is that the food manufacturers have not learned much. I had a doctor explain to me once about, “white bread”. They stripped the nutrients from the flour and the government made the companies reintroduce the vitamins or “fortify” the flour. Of course I have learned that these vitamins, they use to fortify the flour, are not always in their optimal state for use in the human body. They still take corn (maize) and strip the nutrients from it and feed that to cattle. Then they take what is left and add that to human food. If you look at food packages, a great deal of the processed foods on the supermarket shelves today, contain, “high fructose corn syrup”.

If you want to read more about the Pellagra epidemic look at the following web site. It has all the names dates etc. This is a very good article from the Southern Medical Journal. Pellagra in the United States: A Historical Perspective by Kumaravel Rajakumar, M.D.

The Murky World of High Fructose Corn Syrup 

The Double Danger of High Fructose Corn Syrup  The Truth About High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).  Site put out by, "The Corn Refiners Association".

It Matters Where Your Vitamins Come From; Man's Arrogance; Did "Quacks" Influence Our Dietary Guidelines?; Etc.

According to what I read on an anti-quackery web site, it doesn’t matter the source of the vitamins you ingest. Vitamins are simply atoms strung together to make molecules. Mostly all (with minor exception) of the man made molecules are the same as the ones made by nature. They were saying it didn’t make sense (cents!) to pay for natural vitamins extracted from foods, when you could get the vitamins directly from the foods themselves. Ideally that should be the case. I won’t go into detail here, but with depleted soils, and the improper feeding of food animals, amongst other things, we do not necessarily get proper nutrients from our foods.

I do not know why, but I cannot believe that man knows everything now. Scientists are men are they not? There seems to be this arrogance that science has all the answers. It just seems to me that they admit that science doesn’t have all the answers now, but yet if you act on that belief there is something wrong with your beliefs. For example, if a scientist is reputable, they will admit they don't know all there is to know about the human immune system.  There are always things they can learn about it.  So, if you are skeptical about their immune system knowledge and you avoid vaccines, there is something wrong with your beliefs. You then are, "irrational". Man has always thought they were better than God at figuring things out.

Another example is the nutrients in foods. Nobody that I know of has figured out every last thing the human body needs from foods. I do not see how they could even know all the nutrients we get from the soils. I would imagine there are microscopic things in foods and soils they still have not found. I do not think man has had time to figure it all out. But man thinks that he can artificially provide the nutrients for plants via hydroponics. And of course those plants lack no nutrients that humans need to survive! I have read on the anti-quackery web site, that if the soils are depleted and plants do not get proper nutrients, they simply won’t grow. That is not 100% true. I know this from my own gardening experience. I have had soil deficiencies and I try to grow pumpkins. These pumpkins grow but it has not been optimal growth. Fertilizer helped considerably. Then we get grass and weeds that thrive in this depleted soil. The other thing is, I am not a pumpkin. The things that pumpkins need to live are not necessarily what keep me going and vice versa. What if for me to be healthy, that pumpkin needs to absorb something from the soil that is beneficial for me to live, but has no benefit for the pumpkin? I don’t know enough about botany to know if that is what happens. It would be interesting to find out. Has anyone ever looked into it? Right now, I do not think that because the plants seem to be growing healthy, that we can use that as a judge of how good the soils are for human health. If I am wrong, let me know.

For years, the leading cause of death in the U.S. was infectious disease. Then around the turn of the 20th century we implemented stringent public health and sanitation campaigns. We cleaned up our cities, taught people how to clean and taught the importance of being clean. We also instituted vaccination campaigns. Around the same time we went from eating traditional foods to eating more processed foods with fats from man made sources. In the process, we went from a nation that died from infectious disease, to a nation that died from heart disease.

There are differences in vitamins.  Take for instance "Vitamin A".  A lot of people think you get Vitamin A from carotenes, either from vegetables like carrots or in pill form.  The thing is, the best Vitamin A is "fat soluble Vitamin A". The fat soluble Vitamin A, is very different from carotenes. VITAMIN A VAGARY by Sally Fallon.  This article has since been expanded and updated on the Weston A Price Foundation site as "Vitamin A Saga" Vitamin Primer

God designed the body to get vitamins and minerals in different ways. The intestines absorb lots of our vitamins and minerals.  You need some in combination with others in order for the body to absorb and utilize them.  For example if you do not get Vitamin D when you get Calcium, the Calcium won't be absorbed properly.  At least I think "absorbed" is the correct term.  In other words, the Calcium won't work without Vitamin D.  As I understand it, you need fat soluble Vitamin A in order to get the full effects of the Vitamin D. 

Man is arrogant when he thinks he can manufacture foods that are, "just as good" if not, "better" than foods from nature.  Ideally it is best to get your nutrients from food.  As we here in the U.S. live in a very modern society, that is not always possible.  Remember that not all supplements are equal.  Try and buy supplements that are closest to the forms of vitamins and nutrients from nature. 

A really neat book you might want to invest in is, "The Story of Man and His Food" by C.C. Furnas and S.M. Furnas.  My copy is copyright in 1937.  The authors give a glowing review of the work of Weston A. Price.  Here are a few paragraphs where the authors compare Margarine (Oleo) with butter. It is from a section where they are writing about the chemistry of plants. I am putting it here because it shows man's arrogance as regards science and nutrition. Remember this was copyright in 1937.

Sugars are relatively simple materials but fats and proteins are hardly understood.  Plant proteins and plant fats are much less expensive than animal fats and proteins.  But human beings live better if they use some of the animal products, even though chemical analysis shows the materials to be the same.   Why?  Many a dead rat and many a broken test tube stands between the present and the answer.  When the answer is found and plant fats and proteins can be modified to be as nutritionally efficient as those of animals, there will be a very bitter battle between the producers of the two kingdoms.  A small skirmish of that sort has been in the guerilla state for some decades now:  oleomargarine vs. butter.  The principal source of plant fat for margarine is cocoanut oil.  The dairymen do not care to hear oleo mentioned for it is much cheaper than butter and takes away business.  Oleo is good food--not as good as butter but certainly better than no fat at all.  For the dairy interests to damn it publicly is one of the lesser breeds of slander.  Compared to butter, oleo is chiefly deficient in vitamin A and some of the unsaturated fatty acids essential to animals.  Vitamin A can easily be incorporated as a concentrate.  It is quite within reason to suppose that before a great many years the chemists and food manufacturers will be able to supply oleo with the essential fatty acids and vitamin A, at small expense.  Then, when the essential difference between the nutritive qualities of the plant and animal materials is explained, it will be possible to have other fats as complete and nutritionally as good as butter.  It will take more than a sheaf of tax laws to prevent this from happening.  Here is something for the dairy industry to think about between sessions of the legislature.

The Protein situation is quite parallel.  It is possible to live on the proteins of soy beans.  Children who are sensitive to milk and eggs can be reared on soy-bean preparations.  But milk gives better growth and health even though the vegetable proteins are "complete."  Purely vegetarian races have never been satisfactorily nourished. There still are some essential things about proteins or their attending impurities which are by no means explained.  When they are, there will be another shifting of the center of gravity of human nutrition, for vegetable products are less expensive than animal ones.  If the vegetarians want to convert the world to their point of view let them finance research until plant foods can be made as satisfactory in every respect as animal products.  Until that day comes the average human being, if he has the means, will be partially carnivorous. 

The main advantage to be gained from using properly modified vegetable materials in place of animal products is that plant growing processes, although very inefficient, are much more efficient than the animal ones.  In their best performances plants use only one or two per cent of the solar energy falling on their leaf surface for the making of chemical compounds .  A chemical manufacturer, if he know as much chemistry as the plant, should be able to do much better.                                                           

To my knowledge the margarine manufactures have never been able to duplicate the good qualities of butter.  I do not know if the "scientists" every tried to make margarine to equal the nutrition of butter.  Now days I think they make it out of soy bean oil.  I have heard about the dairyman / margarine manufacturer fight.  At one time there were laws in most? states saying that margarine had to be pink.  I know people used to buy it and they had to add the color to it.  Margarine came with a color pack which had to be added to it.

We do not eat margarine in this house.  That is for various reasons, mainly because butter seems better.  It tastes better at least. And it seems to be healthier.  There are some, "urban legends" I have heard about margarine.  I am telling them here to show that margarine has a "reputation". I can believe that one could happen.  I do not have enough evidence to believe the other legend.  When I lived at the commune, they used margarine exclusively.  One of the things someone said, was that if the margarine was cooked at too high a temperature, it would turn to plastic.  I can't confirm that this will happen.  That is why I call it a legend.  The second legend I heard on the radio.  A guy on the radio said he left margarine on a windowsill.  He said it sat there for several days and even squirrels wouldn't touch it.  I could see that happening, but I have no proof it did.  I can't imagine squirrels being interested in anything like butter or margarine.  I am no squirrel expert either.

Soy has never been something that humans have been able to eat without some sort of modification.  I remember when I was in high school American history class the teacher seemed to become board towards the end of the year.  I guess the students did not want to participate in the lessons.  So, she taught history as if it were a trivia game.  She would pull questions out of a shoe box, or she would read out of books like, "The Book of Lists".  One of the lists hit me hard.  I had just come to that school after living at a, "commune" for a time.  We ate lots of soy beans there.  I had lots of intestinal gas.  When my history teacher read from the book, the 10 beans that cause the most gas, I was riveted.  Soy beans topped the list.  So that explains why I had such a problem!

I have a theory that not everyone with persistent heartburn who gets a diagnosis of, "acid reflux", has this condition.  It seems like it might be a "rare" condition that people are being diagnosed with more and more.  I think that if people took better care of their digestion, they wouldn't have so much heartburn.  A doctor is very willing to dole out a prescription acid reducer for the problem.  I worked in a discount drug store (chemists) and we sold tons of over the counter stomach remedies.  I used to take an over the counter antacid, after a meal for heartburn.  I noticed that sometimes I would get a slight upset stomach after taking it. One thing and another happened. I had stopped taking the antacid. Years went by.  During that time, I learned  what foods cause heartburn.  I was drinking lots of peppermint tea for example.  Then I realized that I needed digestive acids to digest the food I had eaten.  I then knew that an antacid wasn't helping my digestion if I took it right after a meal.  When I started seeing the prescription medications for acid reflux advertised on television, the possible side effects seemed horrible!!  Then I started to wonder if the drug companies were capitalizing on a problem that was easily solved with cheaper solutions.  Could changing the diet to a healthier one, and introducing to the diet things like "probiotics", help the sufferer more than the prescription?  I wanted to solve the problem of my digestion.  I didn't want to take a prescription the rest of my life.  I had gone to a doctor once and said something about the heartburn. The doctor never tried to figure out the cause, or what was going on with my digestion. He handed me samples of a prescription. Of course I didn't take it all.  After I saw the new medicines advertised on television, I wouldn't have dared bring up heartburn to a doctor.  I don't know if I would get any real help.  Besides the side effects they list at the end of the ads sound worse than the heartburn. 

I thought the whole purpose of "medicine" was to get the person healed.  I have heard people say that if doctors actually cured the patient, they wouldn't have as much business and there would go the profits.  I am sure some doctors must operate on this principle.  But I doubt that most do.  I think they are just taught a mind set in medical school and it is difficult to change that. 

I have a book," 100,000,000 Guinea Pigs, Dangers in Everyday Foods, Drugs, and Cosmetics".  It is by Arthur Kallet and F.J. Schlink.  This copy is from 1935.  In this book, the authors warn about the possible non-"digestibility" of "Crisco".  I was shocked.  I remember in the 1960's and 1970's watching "As The Worm Squirms" (As The World Turns!) with my Granny.  Between ads for, "Ivory Liquid", and "Tide" were ads for "Crisco". Their slogan for many years, was "It's Digestible".  This book warns that Crisco may not be so digestible, because of its high melting point. In The Kitchen With Mother Linda: The Rise and Fall of Crisco

Another thing Kallet and Schlink write about is, "roughage".  They were, "against the feeding of rabbit food to humans".  Although I know the value of eating some "rabbit food", like raw vegetables, I think there is something to their stance.  I remember an incident during the "high fiber" craze in the late 1970's and very early 1980's.  This bread company made headlines when their bread was found to have wood pulp as an ingredient.  I have a cartoon that shows a guy in his doctor's exam room. The man has tree branches growing out of him.  The doctor says something like, he sees that this man has been eating that new bread with the wood pulp in it.  I know we need some fiber in our diets.  It is the amount that I wonder about.  And then there is the way in which we are supposed to get our fiber that bothers me.  According to Kallet and Schlink, there was a Dr. Alvarez who "figure(d) that the craze for roughage (was) worth$300 a month to any good stomach specialist".  I see the name "Kellogg's" in this section.  I know that cereal manufactures always advertise that you can get your fiber from their products.  Was grain meant to be eaten after it was put through those processes?  If you read what they do to the grains to make the cereal you will be amazed. 

What amazes me is the fact that a lot of the cereal companies came out of the "sanitariums" of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  The men who ran these "sanitariums" were part the "alternative" health field of their day.  Everybody had their own theories about what we needed to be healthy.  One of the big things was elimination.  Here is another quote from Dr. Alvarez via Kallet and Schlink.  Four hundred and seventy doctors filled out a questionnaire sent out by the Minnesota State Medical Association.  A lot of these doctors were against the use of bran.  "But then I remembered that it is not the medical profession that has been leading the crusade for more...roughage; this fight has been waged largely by lay women, amateur dietitians, self-appointed guardians of the public health, and cranks of all kinds". 

The Kellogg's cereal manufacturing company was not founded by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, but his brother William.  The anti-quack people call Dr. Kellogg a quack.  I know he did have some strange ideas.  But if he is such a quack then why does the recommended diets pushed by the anti-quack people resemble Dr. Kellogg's catalogue?  I have a booklet, "How To Eat To Build and To Maintain Good Health".  For sale are foods such as, "Lima Bean Rice Flakes", "Soy Gluten Bread", and "Saucettes" a soy sausage that came in a can (tin).  Kellogg advocated a vegetarian diet.  This booklet is full of, "foods" made of processed grains.  There are other soy products.  I am just thumbing through it again now.  I have always been struck at how some of the ideas that these early health advocates pushed ended up in the mainstream.  And now that the cereal companies are big business they spend the money for research that pays for things like the famous, "Food Pyramid". 

In Canada they have seen the light.  They recognize that Health Canada needs to be able to fund independent research on drugs.  It is a shame when the people who are paying for the research are the ones who have a vested financial interest in the results.  It would be nice if the FDA could fund independent research.  We have large companies funding the research into whether their foods and drugs are safe or effective.  They have too much at stake. 

I once saw a consumer program over Canadian television.  They were asking whether cell phones were safe or not.  They were interviewing some, "independent" researchers who were looking into that on behalf of the cell phone industry.  They admitted on camera that they had to adjust their figures in favor of cell phones.  If they didn't produce favorable results then their company could loose contracts.  Now, I am not saying cell phones are bad for you.  I have seen it recommended that you be careful using cell phones.  There is no evidence saying they are totally bad.  The reason I told the cell phone story, was because it illustrates why we need, as unbiased as possible, independent research of food and drugs in this country.  Too many people are dying and being harmed. 

Health Canada slammed over drug safety Thousands die, MPs are told
Report decries lack of scrutiny Robin Harvey, Life Writer.

Alternative Medicine

I have some experience in alternative medicine.  I used to visit an Doctor of Osteopathy in Texas who used some alternative methods.  And, I have self medicated myself at times.  Mostly with homeopathic and herbal remedies.  I am very cautious what I take.  I believe "in general" the homeopathic principle of, "like cures like".  I can get behind that end of it.  It makes sense to me that you can stimulate the body's own way of healing itself.  As far as water having a memory or whatever else the homeopaths believe, I don't know...  Only if they can scientifically prove it.  I do not think that homeopathy can cure every disease either.  It makes sense to me, "in principle".  I have taken some homeopathic remedies for some things and I have gotten some help.  I am not 100% cured, but the situation is not as bad as it once was. Homeo Watch Your Skeptical Guide to Homeopathic

I don't really believe in the "life force" that some "alternative" practitioners talk about.  I know that humans are alive and that means there is something there keeping them alive.  Bible believers call it a "soul".  It is what makes, YOU the person you are.  The "soul" is NOT "immortal"!!  If you breathe you have a soul.  My cats have souls, but they cannot be "born again" though.  (That is a story for another page.)  Scientists haven't discovered the soul.  There is even debate about the "mind" now.  (They can't find that either.) There is something that keeps the heart ticking and the synapses sparking (or whatever you would call it.).  But it isn't the "mystical" thing that the "alternative medicine" proponents believe in.

I do not believe 100% in traditional Chinese medicine.  I do have a pen pal in main land China.  He explains to me some aspects of it.  He is no expert of Chinese medicine though.  You will never erase this part of Chinese culture.  It is part of their cultural "fabric".  The aspect of "yin and yang" I can agree with to a point.  I think that the body can become imbalanced and you can solve some problems by giving a remedy that is the opposite of the problem.  For example, if the body is too acidic, then taking or eating something alkaline will benefit that problem.  Once I had a slight fever and my friend said, if I remember correctly, something about it being "fire".  I forget if he said the fever was yin or yang.  Anyway, he said to drink green tea.  I did "feel" better.  I think that drinking warm liquids can have a relaxing benefit to me.  I don't know that the green tea itself helped any.  I do not believe that green tea would cure a fever.  If you have a fever take appropriate action for it.  My fever was only slight--mild. My friend was also telling me about the recipes for remedies, the Chinese take to their traditional medicine "pharmacy" (don't know the proper term for this, "pharmacy").  These recipes can be hundreds of years old. They are passed down from father to son, from grandfather to grandson etc.  Some of the traditional Chinese medicine could possibly have a genuine benefit to people.  But from what I have seen in documentaries of these, "pharmacies" snake skins and other items equal, "snake oil". 

I know that some alternative medicine is good. I know that people should be allowed to medicate themselves. It should be “informed consent” all the way though. People should be educated HOW to do things safely.  People should be able to "self medicate" themselves through the advice of competent health care professionals, or by studying up on the subject from reputable sources.  The thing is, there will always be this debate about what is a "competent health care professional".  And they will always debate what is a "reputable source".  (also see below in the "Future of Medicine" section)

The only "alternative medicine" that I know more about is "Herbal Medicine".  I have been studying up on it for some time now.  I am no expert on herbal medicine!!  I have been trying to grow plants for a long time.  We grow flowers and vegetable and fruit plants.  I started growing hops in the hopes of making yeast for bread.  I haven't made any yeast yet though.  Anybody want some hops?  I am getting too many.  They multiply rapidly. 

I have been studying herbs a lot in recent years. I try to learn how to grow things. I really want to learn how to identify plants. We get some really “nasty” weeds in the yard here. I know that to some people “weeds” are pests. To other people, “weeds” are “wildflowers” or maybe even “medicine”. I want to know which ones are medicinal. It would be nice to know which plants to keep fighting and which ones to leave alone.

I believe that there is something to herbal medicine.  I do not believe it is 100% quackery!  I think it should be regulated some how. If an herb does what, "they" claim it does, then by law it should be regulated as a drug.  That is how the law is set up.  I think scientists should take herbs seriously!!!!  They should find out if an herb is good for an ailment or not.  I still think people ought to be taught the proper way to medicate themselves in certain situations.  I do not think that doctors should have a monopoly on health care.  Herbal medicine can be safe; but only if you take the herbs correctly.

What I am writing about in this paper, is herbs you grow as opposed to herbs you buy in pill form.  I am not 100% familiar with herbs in pill form.  The way I know to take herbs is either dried from the health food store or from the plants.  I have bought the pills in the past, but I didn't take all of them.  I only take one remedy that way now.  I would think taking it from the plant and not in a pill would be the best way to do it.  But that is my opinion.  I am not an expert.   

Another thing about herbs in pill form.  I think they should be regulated as to how much of the herb is in the pill.  There should be some controls.  The dietary supplement industry should self regulate itself to insure quality and potency.  There should be some way to for the industry to make sure that the products are safe, effective and correct.  What I mean by "correct", is that the industry should guarantee that if you buy an herb in pill form, that herb in certain amounts should be in the pill.  The industry should do this on their own BEFORE the U.S. Government steps in and does it.  That way they can keep control of their product.  I think every company should put people before profits. Even the supplement companies should be held to that standard.  I know of one company that seems to do that.  (see the "Healthy Eating Links" page)

When Does It End?  Now a point or two about regulating herbs.  What happens when an herb does what people claim it does, and that puts the herb into the legal category of a "drug"?  This is how the laws are written at the moment.  There is no getting around it.  If a substance does the following, legally it is a "drug".  "(A) articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease... and (B) articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals" [FD&C Act, sec. 201(g)(1)].  

I wonder what happens when herbs become regulated.  Dandelions are a common herb used in herbal medicine.  There are a "gazillion" things you can do with dandelions.  You can dye fabric, make salads and make tonics from the plant.  They are also a very common "weed" in the U.S.  If you class dandelions as a drug, would it be illegal to grow them?  Would it become illegal to serve the leaves in a salad?  What about the business owner who doesn't control the weeds on his property properly?  Would he go to jail for growing a controlled substance if he allows dandelions to grow along a fence?  What about all the other "weeds" that grow in people's yards.  How many people would go to jail simply because they didn't take proper care of their weeds, and unwittingly allowed controlled substances to grow?

As far as the difference between herbs and the synthesizing of the "active ingredient"  and putting it into pill form goes...  I have, "heard" that there can be ingredients in the plant forms of herbs that are complimentary to the active ingredient. It is said, that you need the whole part of the plant that is used, in order to get the benefits of the herb. I don't know if that is 100% true, as I have never done a scientific study of it.  It would seem to me that getting the medicine from the "whole" source would be better.  I know getting vitamins and minerals from "whole" foods is ideal.  I know what the herb people say and what the anti-quackery people say.  Don't know the definitive answer.

From what I understand the only time herbal medicines caused death was when people took too much of the herb and did not take it as recommended. For instance, they drank the herb tea as a beverage and not as a medicine. Of course I do not know the actual statistics of the situations.  I have read warnings online for different herbs.  It seems that most of the examples they use of people who were harmed by herbs, took more of the herb than was recommended.  For example, some people drink an herb tea as a beverage.  If it has any chemicals in it, that can cause harm, it will harm in large amounts.  Other times the herb must be boiled or prepared in some way for use.  This will in some cases take away the poisons. 

I have seen calls to ban certain herbs on the Internet. They say that this herb or that herb is dangerous. But if you read the details, these herbs caused problems because the person drank the herbal tea as a beverage. NOT because they took it as would have been recommended, by a competent herbalist. Those against these herbs also quote studies that say that animals given so much of the herb had liver or other organ damage. Well, for one thing, they give the animal more of the herb than a human should normally take for the specified condition. Then they don’t take into account that animals are not humans. Humans have a very different physiology from animals!! Duh!!!!

There is an herb that I take to clear out the lungs.  I had walking pneumonia at least three times in the 1990's.  I would recommend that you see a doctor if you have anything remotely resembling pneumonia.  But I did not always do that.  The first time I had it, I couldn't understand why I couldn't breath.  I thought that by accidentally breathing in some foot powder at work, it caused some lung trouble.  No! My problem was diagnosed by a doctor as walking pneumonia.  He prescribed some antibiotics which at the time were about $65.00 a bottle.  He warned me that they would be expensive because he knew we didn't have insurance at the time.  They were like horse pills.  The antibiotic worked in the long run, but while I took it, I still couldn't breath.  Eventually I discovered this herb.  Someone I know from the country of Latvia drank a tea made from the flowers.  She told me about this tea.  They go into their local forest to pick the flowers in the spring.  They dry them so that they have tea all year long.  I looked it up in my herb book and then online.  I discovered that this herb is used for the lungs, throat and coughs.  The next time I got pneumonia I drank this tea. I did not find the flowers in the local health food shop, I bought the dried leaves.   I didn't see a doctor.  I know, this was probably not very wise, but I had my reasons. It is now two or three years after I had pneumonia the first time.  By this point the pills would have been even more expensive.  We still did not have good health insurance.  I knew what disease I had.  The doctor's treatment wouldn't cause me to breath any better.  Besides I did not know anyone who knew the drug interactions of this herb.  What if I went to the doctor, got the anti-biotic and drank the tea, so that I could breath while the anti-biotic did its thing?  What if the herb and the anti-biotic did not mix well in my system?  I could have gotten even more sick.  I knew my body would rid itself of the pneumonia eventually.  I wanted to breathe NOW.  I thought that if I went to the doctor, I would get a prescription and then still be unable to breath. I drank the tea only as I absolutely needed it.  It cleared my lungs and I could breath.  It was amazing.  I was very cautious about taking this herb.  All the information that I could read about this herb, said it could potentially harm the liver.  They did not say it WOULD harm the liver.  There are a lot of warnings not to take this herb. (And there are maybe some calls to ban it?)  Everything else that I read which is from a reputable source says that scientific evidence suggests that boiling this herb may take out the chemical that causes the liver problems. 

To me it is no different than people taking the anti-cholesterol prescriptions.  The warnings at the end of those adds are frightening!  They warn that "your" doctor may do tests to look for liver damage.  They warn that you could possibly get liver damage from the drug.  They have a long list of side effects.  Yet the doctors call these drugs, "safe and effective".  I bet they neglect to tell their patients that the liver produces cholesterol! 

All I know is, that I looked at both sides of the herb I take.  I determined for myself that the benefits outweighed the risks.  I would only "recommend" this herb to someone else if the person read all the "literature" and were able to make an informed decision too. I know that not all herbs are, "safe and effective".  If they work like this one did for me, they should be legally classed as drugs.  That is the law.  They ought to study this one to see what it does and why.  They should study it to see if it really can cause liver damage.    The occurrence of liver damage from the anti-cholesterol drugs must be low or they wouldn't leave them on the market, correct? If the possibility of my getting liver damage from this herb, is as low as the anti-cholesterol drugs, why have these warnings about it?

My herb book is really good.  It has photographs of the plants. It tells you what part of the plant people use.  What parts are poisonous.  It tells you what uses the plant has.  But then it also tells you what science knew about the plant at the time the book was published.  It is not just "herbal", it is scientific.  The only problem that I have with it, is that it doesn't have in it all the plants that grow in my yard.  I am trying to figure out which "weeds" to fight and which ones to allow to grow. 

The name of the books is "Herbs".  The Author is Lesley Bremness. It is from "Eyewitness Handbooks", "Dorling Kindersley".  Copyright 1994.  ISBN 1-56458-496-8  (flexibinding)

One of the main things I like about this book, is that it doesn't have anything to do with astrology.  This book does not give the astrology sign of the plants. 

What I do not understand about herbs, is why people claim that it is "quackery".  These "scientists" claim that herbal medicine won't work or that the herbs are not as effective as medicine.  Yet they will admit that they sometimes have chemicals in them that harm. I know they are doing studies on some herbs, like St. John's Wort.  I wish they would study all the herbs used as medicine.  Maybe the people who fund research do not believe that there is any profit to be made from plants that someone can grow in their back yard.  Maybe if they make herbs a regulated drug---and therefore make it a crime to grow things like dandelions---then they can make a profit off these plants.  When it is available to make a profit off these plants, then and only then will it be profitable to study herbal medicine in earnest.

A doctor or health care professional has to weigh the benefits vs. the risks with the patient. The patient needs to be able to make an informed decision.  Right now, I do not know that there is enough information for the "patient" to make an informed decision about all or most of the herbs.  It is not enough for the doctor to simply say, “There’s no scientific evidence that it works. You can take it if you want to. But we don’t know if it will hurt you or not”. There has to be some scientific evidence supporting the benefits or risks of the herb.

Herbal medicine is one large circular argument. It makes me angry the attitude people have sometimes!!

On the one hand “they” don’t know how safe or effective some of the various herbs are because there have been no long term studies.

If anyone goes to fund long term studies of “alternative medicine” there is a huge outcry in the scientific community. These “scientists” don’t want money wasted trying to prove “witchcraft”.

Some scientists say that herbal medicine is no more effective than “witchcraft”. It has never been proven effective. Some of the herbs are down right dangerous or deadly. It takes someone to die before the FDA can do anything to ban these dangerous substances.

If there is “nothing to” herbal medicine then why are a good deal of the prescription and over the counter drugs derived from plants???

Why do the giant pharmaceutical companies go to places like the rain forest and learn about traditional medicine and bring back the medicinal plants? They synthesize the active ingredients from those plants, make up a drug for whatever disease would make the drug profitable. Then they do trials of the drug and so on.

Why is it that in recent years the indigenous peoples of the rainforests etc. have been patenting their traditional medicines? They are getting patents on the plants. Then the people of India are getting patents on their traditional medicine as well. They are trying to get back some of the profits that the big drug companies “steal” from them.

I have even seen for sale a book, the “PDR for Herbal Medicines”. Garden weeds 'could combat cancer' 

Patent to protect ancient knowledge

UN moves to curb bio-piracy

Traditional medicine takes on the world 

Traditional knowledge 'in peril'

US tree patent challenged 

Neem tree patent revoked 

Indians move to guard traditional know-how 

Patent protection for traditional African remedies 

Health India to protect herbal remedies 

World: South Asia Indian appeal over indigenous medicine  Association of Health Care Journalists  Covering the Quality of Health Care: A Resource Guide for Journalists--Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Measuring Quality on the Fringes of Health care--Why it matters: Consumers are confused

Herbal medicine has always had a mixed response from the mainstream medical community. It is my understanding that it was the “Eclectic” school that introduced a lot of herbal drugs to the “Materia Medica” or pharmacopeia. The pharmacopeia is the list of drugs available to the pharmacist and doctor. If I understand correctly a great deal of the drugs available today are synthesized from plants. The native peoples of South and Central America are getting patents on their traditional herbal plants. They are tired of the big drug companies learning what they use for what, going back and synthesizing the active ingredient from their plants, and then making huge profits off the drug. I think the people of India are patenting their traditional medicine too. I know drug companies do this, they advertised the fact on television back in the 1980’s. I also know that aspirin originally was synthesized from the bark of the white willow tree. If this is the case, that a lot of modern medicine is derived from plants; then why do doctors consider herbal medicine “quackery”!!??? I read a statement on an anti-quackery web site and the author said (roughly) that if a doctor had a book saying that a certain root was good for something, he would own it only as a curiosity. He said that doctors would place this sort of book on a shelf next to the book on witchcraft.

The British government is working out regulations that would give a minimum standard for people who call themselves acupuncturists or herbalists. In a way I think this is a good idea. I know that those in the hard line “allopathic” (Oops! "Regular medicine") field will not like this at all. The regulations give some “legitimacy” to “deviant” methods of “medicine”. Requiring someone to meet some minimum standards is a good thing. That way when you visit an alternative health practitioner, you know they at least have some training. They just don’t read up on herbs via the Internet and books; pay the dues to join the “herbalists society or association”; and then say they are an herbalist. I would imagine that it would take years of experience to know what herb would help what disease or condition. I would also like it if the practitioner had some “first aide” knowledge. If you go into shock in their office, because you are allergic to an herb and did not know it—it would be nice if the herbalist knew how to deal with that and they wouldn’t panic. CPR is always good to know in such situations!!

Here are some articles about bacteria causing stomach ulcers. An Australian scientist discovered that these ulcers can be cured easily with antibiotics.  Then he had to convince the rest of the medical community.  As I understand it, he had to infect himself in order for other scientists to believe him.  This story shows that it is difficult for doctors to, "cotton to" (accept) new ideas.

 Bacteria Cause Ulcers? You're Kidding! 

Stomach ulcers? Blame it on bacteria by  Theresa Manavalan.  “It’s taken nearly two decades to debunk one of medicine’s most entrenched beliefs that stress causes stomach ulcers.” 

The H. pylori Story: How Two Australian Researchers Discovered the True Cause of Most Peptic Ulcers 

Can you believe it? At one time the idea of doctor’s washing their hands between patients was very controversial.  But when the idea was adopted, it saved many lives!!

Medical Monopoly

What I think it all boils down to is, "medical" doctor's wanting to have a monopoly on medicine.  If you study the history of medicine, there has been this move by "doctors" to have a monopoly.

I once saw a documentary about nurses on PBS.  It was a history of the nursing profession.  In the 1800's, the only nurses in a hospital were the patients who were ambulatory.  That is, the patients who could get up and get around, they were the nurses.  Then women started doing the nursing.  Of course there was Clara Barton and Florence Nightingale who nursed soldiers in war.  I forget how it happened, but the idea caught on here in the U.S.  Hospitals started to train nurses.  Of course doctors did not appreciate the intrusion on their "monopoly" of knowledge.  It was especially bad because the intrusion came from WOMEN.  The hospitals would use the services of the trainee nurses.  But once they were trained they had to find work elsewhere.  For a long time we had the Visiting Nurses Association. (Oops! We still do.) Visiting Nurses Association of America.  If I remember my history correctly, these nurses were at one time the primary health care provider for many people.  Now days, those sorts of people make it to emergency rooms when they are desperate.  Alas, we do not have the health care in this country that we once had. 

I am originally from Texas.  For a long time I went to an Osteopath (D.O.--Doctor of Osteopathy) as my primary care physician.  I needed to have some wisdom teeth out.  At that time in the Ft. Worth area, people were dying in the dentist chair.  There probably wasn't an, "epidemic" or anything.  It is just that some memorable cases had been reported on television and in the newspapers in recent years.  My doctor heard that I needed some teeth taken out.  He recommended that I have it done in a hospital operating room.  He said it would be safer.  He said he knew a good oral surgeon.  At the time my parents had the best insurance in the world.  So, I went into the hospital to have all four wisdom teeth taken out.  They did it all at once.   It was painless!! I highly recommend this type of surgery to deal with problem wisdom teeth!  (So long as you can pay for it.)  The hospital I went to was an Osteopathic hospital.  My mother was warned by a good friend that I shouldn't be allowed anywhere near this hospital.  Mom told me, or I overheard her talk about what she was told.  I had heard this sort of thing before.  I always wondered why there were Osteopathic and "regular" hospitals.  She told me that the Osteopaths used some methods (Chiropractic) that "regular" doctors didn't believe in.  For a long time Osteopaths couldn't practice in "regular" hospitals.  They had to build their own hospitals.  Other than an Osteopath being more apt to believe in "alternative" methods, I didn't see much difference in the two "schools". 

Some doctors do not call Osteopathy "medicine".  Dubious Aspects of Osteopathy Stephen Barrett, M.D.

I wasn't sure where to stick this one.  But it needed to be added to this page. It is an article about scientists with "non-mainstream" ideas. BBC News Health, "Science creates 'own mavericks'". 

It is as if there is this historical "rivalry" between the two "schools" of medicine. I thought the object of medicine was to help people.  Why all the mud slinging?  Just think of the amount of people you all (ya'll) could help if you just quit bickering and got on to helping one another out!  I doubt that would ever happen.  There is always going to be someone who wants to be the one proved "right" and to have their "pet theory" become the standard.  That's just life I guess.

In the late 1800’s they had several “schools” of medicine at work in this country. I have an old book, by what could be described as a “quack”. The author is R.V. Pierce M.D. He had a “hospital” and he sold a “curative” that supposedly had opiates in it. By today’s standards he might be considered a “quack”. But because things were so “new” and they didn’t know any better, maybe he wasn’t called a quack in the 1890’s. (I don't know.) The book is “The Common Sense Medical Adviser” (1895). I am reading from his section, called, “Rational Medicine”, Chapter 1,“The Progress of Medicine”. “To insure the future advancement of the healing art, physicians must instruct mankind in Physiology, Hygiene, and Medicine. When people understand the nature of diseases, their causes, methods of prevention and cure, they will not be easily deceived, and practitioners will be obliged to qualify themselves better for their labors”. “New and improved methods of treating disease are being discovered and developed, and the conscientious physician will avail himself of all the means, by a knowledge of which he may benefit his fellow-men”. At that time, they had the “Allopathic, Regular, or Old School of Medicine”. “Conservative in its character, it has ever been slow to recognize new theories and methods of practice, and has failed to adopt them until they have been incontrovertibly established”. Then they had “Homoeopathy”. “While it may be exceedingly difficult for a member of another school to accept this doctrine and comprehend the method founded upon it, yet no one can deny that it contains some elements of truth”. There was also, “The Eclectic School”. “The members of this new school proclaimed that the action of heroic and noxious medicines was opposed to the operation of the vital forces, and proposed to substitute in their place safer and more efficacious agents, derived exclusively from the vegetable kingdom… …In 1852 a committee on ‘Indigenous Medical Botany,’ appointed by the ‘American Medical Association,’ acknowledged that the practitioners of the regular school had been extremely ignorant of the medical virtues of plants, even of those of their own neighborhoods. The employment of podophyllin and leptandrin as substitutes for mercurials has been so successful that they are now used by practitioners of all schools”. After “The Eclectic School” he lists, “The Liberal and Independent Physician”. This is the type of doctor employed at R.V. Pierces’ “Invalids’ Hotel and Surgical Institute”. “Among them are to be found graduates from the colleges of all the different schools. They are not restricted by the tenets of any one sect, but claim the right and privilege, nay, consider it a duty, to select from all, such remedies as careful investigation, scientific research, and an extensive experience, have proved valuable. They resort to any agent which has been proved efficacious, whether it be vegetable or mineral. And here arises a distinction between sanative remedial agents and those which are noxious. Many practitioners deplore the use of poisons, and advocate innocuous medicines which produce only curative results. We agree with them in one proposition, namely, that improper medicines not only poison, but frequently utterly destroy the health and body of the patient”. There were three eras of medicine according to the author. “Empiricism”; “Herioc era” and the “Liberal era of medicine”. I like his last statement; “To be successful, a physician must be independent, free from all bigotry, having no narrow prejudice against his fellow-men, liberal, accepting new truths from whatever source they come, free from the restrictions of societies, and an earnest laborer in the interests of the Great Physician”. These are wonderful statements. I am not sure that Dr. Pierce followed them 100%. His curative that he sold many bottles of, supposedly had opiates in it. A good deal of this book is testimonials from people who claimed that this curative was a blessing. (I could have “sworn” that he said something about “Osteopathy” in here, but I guess I am mistaken. Maybe that is in another part of the book?)

Online "Museums" and Antique Medical Device Collecting-- New--Old Names for Diseases Antiquus Morbus The Genealogist's Resource for Interpreting Causes of Death. Antiquus Morbus is a collection of old medical terms and their modern definitions.  Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health The Museum of Questionable Medical Devices Online Collect Medical Antiques

(WARNING! This is from an ADULT web site!!)                                                                               There were, "Illustrations from Vintage and Antique Medical Publications" at this site:  But when you go to this address, the address changes and you get a sign up page to an extremely pornographic website.  These pages may still be on there.  I wouldn't view them if I were you. (WARNING! This is from an ADULT web site!!) Mystery Date One Gal's Guide to Good Stuff X-ray Film Database for Speech Research Alex Peck Antique Scientifica (medical instruments) Sources for Identification of Antique Medical Instruments in Print and on the Internet The Internet Resource for collecting medical, surgical, apothecary, dental, and bloodletting antiques The Collection of Dr. Michael Echols A Day In The Life Of C.S. Best (country doctor) Health Heritage Research Services (PRESERVING, PROMOTING & PROFITING

More Of My Medical Monopoly Section

Another thing that bothers me in regards the "medical monopoly" is illnesses that get called, "psychosomatic".  I am talking about real illnesses that are newly discovered.  Or maybe they are old diseases, but they are not recognized as diseases yet. 

One example is Fibromyalgia.  I was shocked when I saw that the anti-quack web site considered it a real physical disease. I was under the impression that "mainstream" medicine considered it, "all in a woman's head". But then my mother has been diagnosed with it for some time now. And her doctors are very much "mainstream". Another thing is, recently--in the last week or two, there was a story on the news about how they found out some of what was going on in the brains of Fibromyalgia patients. They could actually see in a scan what was going on in the brains. This means that there is something they can measure or, "see". (Today is April 3, 2004) It is the brain not processing pain properly.

You can look up online, the term "Fibromyalgia Update". There is some sort of person who claims to have a cure. Then there is a German web site. "Hospital for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy". There is something on their site, "Fibromyalgie-update! Plazebo-up-to-date?". (Plazebo = German, "placebo".) I don't know if they are saying that Fibromyalgia is psychosomatic in total? Or are they writing about how to treat the degree of pain associated with Fibromyalgia? I am sure this disease is like a lot of other ones, if you sit and moan about how bad it hurts it hurts worse. I know about that principle and I use it all the time. Once I was rushing around to leave the at a certain time. I was packing and getting ready to go on a weekend trip. As I was rushing around, I went to sit on the sofa so I could do something. As I did, I sat on the corner of a lap board. (It is a "desk" that sits on your lap, so you can work while sitting on the sofa.) The corner of this thing tried to make a hole in my upper leg near the hip. It hurt like a _________! Of course I said to myself that it hurt so bad because I was tired and I was making a big deal out of it. I went on with my day and eventually the pain wasn't so bad. I never noticed the injury. Then as I was getting dressed the next day or two, my husband saw the bruise. He wondered what I did. It wasn't until I saw the wound in a mirror that I realized why it originally hurt so bad.
I am not saying that the pain isn't real. It is the degree with which someone feels the pain that is what can be, "all in the mind".

From,  if doctors lack a "physiological explanation" for symptoms they are apt to say the patient has, "mental problems" or "malingering".  Women are less likely to be believed. 
What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgie - update!
Plazebo - up-to-date? 

The German society for the study of the pain-- Die Deutsche Gesellschaft zum Studium des Schmerzes 

Why is it if “they” can’t find a cause for a “pain” it must be psychosomatic? It may come as a shock to you but, doctors don’t know everything yet. There is a lot to learn. Couldn’t there be a physical cause for the problem that they don’t know how to find yet?  Could some cases of “hypochondria” simply be cases of doctors not giving the patient the attention they need? Could there be a real physical illness and the patient is only searching for a doctor who will take them seriously? They are told by several doctors that there is nothing wrong, but yet they keep searching for an answer.  There was the case of a guy in England with throat cancer.  He searched and searched for a doctor to take his sore throat seriously.  They couldn't find anything wrong.  Finally one doctor said he should, "go home and live his life".  Eventually they found the cancer, but by then it was too late.

Cancer 'blunder' man dies

Below is a "fictional" story that I use to illustrate an aspect of this medical monopoly. 

I know there are, “quacks”. Some of the, “quacks” are in existence because they fulfill a, “need” in society. They treat patients when no one else will take the patient seriously. Some of these sorts of “quacks” are genuine doctors. But some of the, “quacks” are indeed, awful, “ducky” [as in, “if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck etc. it must be a duck”]. We see birds flying in the sky. Not being much of a bird watcher, my husband is apt to mistake geese for ducks. I tell him they aren’t, “quackers”, they are “honkers”. So, if it quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it may not be a duck. It all depends on who is looking at this, “duck”. If someone doesn’t know what a duck’s quack sounds like, how can they be believed when they say it quacks like a duck? If a doctor or scientist hasn’t done the double blind study or some other scientific study, (i.e. he doesn’t have all the facts) how can he say that something is quackery!!??? (If you are saying, “You can take that if you want to. There is no science that says it works. We don’t know if it will hurt you or not”. Then why don’t you do the scientific study on it!!!????)

For example, Doctor “Goodbody” is in business in the good sized city of Rhubarb. He is seeing patients for the colds, flues and high cholesterol of the average family practice. But all of a sudden he, finds that more and more women are coming to him with a similar complaint. They all have vague abdominal pains and extreme fatigue. It hurts to run a vacuum cleaner. And as the patient shakes her finger to scold her children it causes extreme fatigue.

Now, a good many doctors believe that these symptoms are not the cause of a, “physical” disease, but one that is purely psychological. They can’t find any cause for this pain and fatigue. The women are not able to be very specific when describing their symptoms. “Besides”, these doctors reason, “there is no basis in science for wagging the finger to cause such fatigue”. The patient probably has too much time on her hands. Sitting around with only a house to clean, kids to take care of and soap operas to watch, can lead the poor woman to sit and think about how much pain she is in. Or then again, maybe the women have too many duties, what with raising the kids, and getting them to all their activities, plus taking care of the home and job. These women are very much, “stressed out”. Either way, the person is, not “sick” but reacting to their home situations. Because they are unhappy in their home lives, their mental torment is causing their physical bodies to exhibit these symptoms.

Because these patients are female persons, they get patted on the head, told, “there, there”, and handed a referral for psychological treatment.

(I do know that some illnesses can be psychological. I wish that doctors would do an exhaustive search for a physical cause before they just, “write the complaint off”, as, “all in your head”.)

Some Articles About A "Disorder" That Is Called, "Arctic Hysteria" Sarah Efron Arctic Hysteria at "Discovery documentary comes to Danvers" An article about a documentary that mentions Arctic Hysteria Introduction to Culture-Bound Syndromes by Ronald C. Simons, M.D., M.A.

Can't find it because I don't know what to look for... but there was an article on the net about someone (a guy?) who researched Arctic Hysteria (piblocto, piblokto).  He found there wasn't such a word in the native language.  He discovered it was probably a cultural misinterpretation of a situation since the only people to write about seeing this "disorder" were white European males.  This person even wrote to the psychiatrists and tried to get them to take this "disorder" off their list of "disorders".  They wouldn't do that because there wasn't enough evidence?  Maybe they just didn't want to?  I may have printed out this article and if I did it is in a box.  It could be in only one of three boxes.  If I go through these boxes and find the article I will put the title and author if not the URL on here. 

Back To Our Story

...Because these patients are female persons, they get patted on the head, told, “there, there”, and handed a referral for psychological treatment.

Now, other doctors are so perplexed by not being able to find a “diagnosis” for these women’s complaints they set out to, “discover” something new. Most of these doctors genuinely want to help these patients. They consider themselves to be, “explorers”. Because of that, they will become, “pioneers” in new treatments if they have to.

Doctor Goodbody is one of these, “explorers”. He discovers that the pain and fatigue of these women is caused by a muscle condition similar to “fallen arches”. Since it effects, the index finger, he calls it, “fallen finger”. Shaking or wagging the finger causes a chain reaction. The muscles in the index finger are damaged and overworked. This causes muscles from the hand to the abdomen to become damaged as well. One muscle must work harder to compensate for the damage of the first one etc. Eventually there are pains in the abdomen. With all these muscles being effected, it takes a lot out of the woman when she does simple tasks like vacuuming the carpets.

Dr. Goodbody and his colleagues find that exercise and a proper diet are great helps to these women. With research it is found that at the onset of symptoms, common analgesics taken along with doing strengthening exercises can greatly reduce the severity of this disease. This is the breakthrough Dr. Goodbody has been hoping for. Many women are getting relief for the first time in years. Dr. Goodbody considers himself an expert on, “fallen finger”. Still many in the medical profession consider Dr. Goodbody to be a, “quack” who is pushing unscientific treatments onto people who are not really sick. These “doctors” and scientists consider him a “quack” who has “medicalized” a trivial psychological complaint. These women are so desperate for attention, that they will latch onto anyone who takes them seriously. Dr. Goodbody is seen as a doctor who is taking advantage of that vulnerability. This becomes one of the hotly disputed subjects of medicine.

On the other hand, there are genuine quacks—doctors who are solely out to make money. They see many patients who travel from doctor to doctor trying to get relief. These doctors are bound and determined to be that relief.

Now enters Doctor Dabrook. He is also practicing in the city of Rhubarb. Doctor Dabrook has a thriving practice where he and his colleagues treat, “diseases of the week”. “Fallen finger”, just happens to be a, “disease of the week”.

The diagnosis and treatment of “fallen finger” are relatively new. Some doctors say that there are so many new diagnoses of “fallen finger” because it is recently stuck into many doctor’s minds. Dr. Goodbody and his colleagues, believe that because “we” know about “fallen finger” now, we are able to find patients who were previously diagnosed as having something else.

Dr. Dabrook on the other hand, believes he is finding patients who never even knew they had “fallen finger”. He has never been convinced that exercise, simple analgesics, and a good diet would do anything to help, “fallen finger” patients. So, he concocts a supplement that is guaranteed to relieve his “fallen finger” patients. He puts “fish scales”, and "swamp water" into pill form. He charges his patients $40.00 a bottle.

Some of his clients have given him glowing testimonials for his “fallen finger” pills. If these pills do anything it is either because they MAY provide a vitamin, mineral or other nutrient to the patient they are missing. Mostly the effects of these pills are purely psychological.

The Future Of Medicine?

There is a quote by P.J. O'Rourke floating around on the net, about how expensive medicine will be once it is free.  It is my understanding that insurance is one of the causes of the rising cost of health care in the U.S.  I do not know what to type into "Google" in order to find any articles supporting this.  (You can find articles on this web site, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc., which tell about doctors opting out of Medicare and insurance.) 

I was once writing a fiction story about this guy who fell asleep at the wheel of a pick up truck in the early 1960's.  His truck hit a tree and he was knocked unconscious.  He was in a coma for some time.  He dreamed that he was in a strange land or maybe he was in the not so distant future.  This "place" had universal health care.  Because of the tax payers paying for everyone's health care they had very restrictive "health" laws.  They even had police officers nicknamed the "fat police" who would make sure that people were abiding by the health laws.  These fat police were something like the drug enforcement police we have today.  They tried to stamp out the trade in contraband foods and other items.  Cigarettes were not the only, black market item on their lists.  Anyone who ate the contraband foods, was blanketly known as a "butter eater".  The whole society was based on science.  They even had a "scientific" religion---simply because they realized that "man" was hardwired to worship "something".  This religion had a pantheon of great scientists as "saints". 

The main part of the story that applies here are the laws of this "land" regarding health.  If we adopt socialized medicine or universal healthcare in this country, will we eventually adopt such laws ourselves?  Are we going to see these laws in Europe some day? 

The government of this fictional land couldn't allow any other health care but the official universal "scientific" healthcare.  There was no legal "alternative" medicine.  It would not be considered "medicine" anyway, since it is not proved by science.  Because it was paid for by society, and every one participated, the doctors had a right to tell you how to eat, drink and "be healthy".  If you consistently violated the health directives, you would not be treated by a doctor if you caused yourself to be sick. If  a person eats contraband butter; they do not keep their weight at accepted levels, and then they have a heart attack, no hospital or doctor would treat their condition.  There would not be any money to waste on "butter eaters".  Instead of taxing junk food, they would ban unhealthy foods or products.  A person could be "ordered" by their doctor to loose weight.  If they didn't comply with doctors orders, they could be charged with the crime of "self harm".  If they were found guilty, then they would have to submit to weigh ins. It would either be in some sort of jail like hospital setting or at home.  The, "fat police" could arrest anyone committing "self harm".  There would be a black market in things like, butter, eggs, meat, chocolates, potato chips (crisps) and other such "junk food". 

Of course I was writing my story as if the scientists in this land were operating on the flawed science that they use in this country today.  I mean here in our own world, people ate things like butter and lard for centuries, but the main cause of death was infectious disease.  It is either that people didn't live long enough to have heart disease or they didn't diagnose it?  OR butter and lard are not so bad for us after all.  It is only after we cleaned up and stopped dying of infectious disease that we started dying of heart disease.  Is it a coincidence that this coincides with our consuming more and more, fats and oils from vegetable sources?  I am surprised they don't call for a ban of butter, it is so vilified in our culture. 

Is this the future of medicine in the U.S.? 

More Articles About The History Of Medicine The early botanical medical movement as a reflection of life, liberty, and literacy in Jacksonian America

Don't know if I agree with everything on this page The Anti-Closed-Mind Site (see: "Part 3 - Medical Mistakes")

Pain Specialists etc.:

It really irritates me that doctors who are chronic pain specialists are under threat by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency).  If someone has chronic pain, it is difficult to find a doctor that will take the person seriously.  Then when they do find a good doctor, that doctor can be thought of as a glorified drugs pusher.  It isn't fair!!  Some of these are on other subjects but they are about doctors or healthcare in some way. Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.  Lots of recourses by, for and about doctors treating chronic pain.

American Pain Institute Cato Institute A DEA Crackdown That's Going to Hurt Those in Pain
by Patrick J. Michaels February 29, 2004 Sick of Doctors .com Chronic Pain Mission Physicians--List of Pain Practitioners Charged

Another article about Dr. Charles Sell From Psychiatric News-- The Case of the Delusional Dentist
Paul Appelbaum, M.D. Campaign For Truth In Medicine The War on Drugs, the War on Doctors , and the Pain Crisis in America Dr. DeLuca's Addiction & Chronic Pain Website--Alexander DeLuca, M.D. Addiction, Pain, & Public Health website The Media Awareness Project Drug Policy News-- 16 Mar 2004  CRACKDOWN ON DRUGS HITS CHRONIC-PAIN PATIENTS by Jane Spencer, Wall Street Journal April 2003  "The Agony and the Ecstasy How the OxyContin crackdown hurts patients in pain" By Melinda Ammann  April 2004 Regulation for Dummies Is the FDA necessary? Todd Seavey Think Like A Doctor Working to end drug war injustice, the November Coalition, a non-profit grassroots organization, was founded in 1997. December 29, 2003 - The Washington Post Worried Pain Doctors Decry Prosecutions By Marc Kaufman, Staff Writer The 2004 Federal Drug Strategy: Drug Czar Makes It Official -- It's War on Pain Patients, Doctors 3/5/04 National Foundation For The Treatment Of Pain The DEA's War Against Doctors The DEA's disastrous war against pain-treating drugs By Ronald Fraser