Integrative Medicine (was alternative medicine)

Brian D Williams (
Mon, 6 Jan 1997 13:06:09 -0800 (PST)

Kathryn Aegis writes:

>For those looking for scientific studies on herbal medicine, I
>understand that there is a web site run by MEDLINE that compiles
>these studies. It might be worth looking into.

>It seems that China will become a proving ground for developing a
>relationship between herbal and Western medicinal approaches, as
>their hospitals utilize both. According to the National Cancer
>Institute, Chinese hospitals have shown the highest rate of
>success in treating breast cancer.

We often forget that many of our so called "Magic Bullets" are
derived from plant sources. (Botany, the living heart of pharmacy).
Two of our most recent and powerfull anti-cancer drugs, Vincristine
(Madagascar periwinkle) with its dramatic effects on leukemias, and
Taxol (Pacific Yew tree) are botanical in origin.

I would like to recommend to all who are interested in this
discussion the books/works of Dr Andrew Weil.

A Harvard trained M.D. and an ethnobotanist. Dr Weil has a current
#1 bestseller (Spontaneous Healing) as well as a couple of other
good books including his more comprehensive manual "Natural Health
Natural Medicine.

Dr Weil calls what he is doing "Integrative Medicine" because he
stresses he is trying to create a true synthesis of allopathic and
alternative medicines.

He is big on personnel responsibility.

He calls alternative medicine a "very mixed bag" but tries to keep
an open mind as well as insisting on rigorous proof of all claims.
Local PBS stations often have his video on during their "Beg-a-
thons" so this is a good place to get an overall view.

I have been on a vitamin/mineral/herb regimen essentially right
out of his book for a month and have never felt better.

I truly feel this work is the near future of medicine.