There is no shortcut to health.
And while I understand the desire to treat "naturally," it's imperative to note that natural medication, as it relates to herbal and dietary supplements are still drugs-chemical substances with potential toxicities and adverse reactions when administered or applied.
Perhaps confusing because "natural" seems to imply some higher level of safety, it cannot be forgotten that natural merely refers to a natural source, e.g. plants, as opposed to synthetic drugs or pharmaceutical drugs.
A recent New York Times piece promotes the idea that herbs are safer and more effective than pharmaceuticals. The reality is, both are drugs, with risks and benefits that need to be assessed and considered. Where they differ is in the degree of scrutiny and evidence required – extensive amounts for drugs, almost none for herbs.
Our position at There's A Pharmacist In The House is one that supports root cause analysis, determining disease cause (s) and determinants, and prevention as 1st-line.
Chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, depression and others are largely attributable to nutritional assaults and deficits that if were corrected by merely replenishing the deficit and/or removing the assault, would not require use of synthetic, pharmaceutical, or natural medications.
While pharmaceutical drugs claim evidence-based use, the fact remains that
adverse reactions, disease suppression (not disease eradication), side effects, drug-drug/drug-food interactions, toxicities, idiosyncratic reactions, deficits not captured during research or clinical trials, financial toxicities and other unforeseen situations-
lie outside the grasp of evidence-based science's reach.
Concerns with natural medication are the lack of regulation, the variance from brand to brand and batch to batch, drug interactions, side effects, frequently ineffective, contamination and substitution, and labeled claims that aren't always scientifically supported.
Subsequently it should be clear that and re-emphasized that use of any medication should not be in the absence of a certified health care professional.
Our belief is that the same principled medical care should be provided for pets and animals, as well, and so we found it incredibly irresponsible, to read of UK pet (cat) owner, Denise Smith, 58, per the "advice" of an online forum, apply manuka honey to her cat Blacky's leg believing it had healing properties which would help him. But the cat, who had cancer, was forced to have its leg amputated and despite treatment from a vet later died.
Now while we respect that frequently the costs of veterinary medical care are outlandish and can present financial hardships, particularly for un-pet-insured, Blacky most likely would not have suffered with the large and cancerous wound on her leg which was so deep it had gone down to her tendon and subsequently required amputation.
Ultimately, despite the amputation and an additional period of time, Blacky had to be put down as the cancer returned.
(We note that the this case also represents a missed opportunity to determine the cause of the cancer-prevention, as with humans, treating with potential toxic and lethal medications without root cause analysis also represents a level of irresponsibility.)
Without having first hand-knowledge of the case, we also have some hesitation about the severity of punishment levied against Ms. Smith: disqualification from keeping animals for 12 months and ordered to pay £615 (approximately $815 U.S. dollars) in fines during the hearing.
...Many skin conditions can be healed with ointments, Manuka honey, and other topical solutions. However, if the condition becomes critical, such as the bacterial infection going into the blood or deep in the tissue, other treatment options are considered. Cats with abscesses need to go to the vet...
Manuka Honey USA's website probably could have used stronger wording against using Manuka Honey as an alternative to proper veterinary medical care. Subsequently, a monetary fine levied against the actual online forum/website that Ms. Smith used, would have also been in order in our opinion.
CUP OF JOE: The Blog
Conjecture, facts, and opinion on health and wellness, holistic practice, and the quest for sustainability & optimal health.