Tag Archives: Homeopathy

Lynne McTaggart Stands Up to the Attack on Alternative Medicine

Meditation

Many Intent readers know and admire Lynne McTaggart, the internationally known author of several bestselling books, including The Intention Experiment, The Field, The Bond, and What Doctors Don’t Tell You.

What many may not know, without reading the British tabloids last week, is that the Rupert Murdoch-owned Times UK published an article featuring representatives from an organization which called for the banning of McTaggart’s magazine, What Doctors Don’t Tell You, (WDDTY). Members of this organization phoned British magazine stockers and agents demanding they remove WDDTY from their shelves.

In today’s world, with irate people, charges and counter-charges, many things we once took for granted come under attack. But a health magazine? Health information? Why?

The Times charged that a story in McTaggart’s 25-year old print and on-line WDDTY health news magazine, claims that homeopathy cures cancer. But that homeopathy story has never seen print. It will be published next month. Instead of waiting to see what the story actually said, based on a two-sentence teaser announcement, the Times slammed McTaggart’s magazine.

“You have no idea yet what we’re going to write about, so how can you say we’re going to write that homeopathy ‘cures’ cancer?” asked McTaggart, who delves into the attack on WDDTY.

Within days of the Times’ story, McTaggart recounts that the coverage exploded in other television and other media outlets with headlines blaring, “Warning that claims in alternative health mag could prove fatal.”

This sensationalized attack on alternative and integrative medicine—and those who practice it, use it, and seek information about it ran roughshod over time-honored traditions of honest reporting.

“Not one of the newspapers, radio shows or television stations bothered to contact us, even to solicit a comment – which is Journalism 101 when you intend to run a story on someone, pro or con. It’s also apparent from the information published in The Times and in all the media following that not one journalist or broadcaster has read one single word we’ve written,” says McTaggart.

In the rush to a deadline, perhaps the pile-on of reporters misinterpreted headlines and photos. It’s also likely that encouraged by a pharma-funded group called Sense Against Science, they willfully ignored the science that WDDTY presents.

On the WDDTY Facebook page, McTaggart, points out that the “vitamin C article never claimed that vitamin C cures AIDS. It simply quoted a study by Dr. Robert Cathcart showing a favourable response when he used it against HIV.”

This is not the first attempt to censor health information or WDDTY by the well-funded British organization, Sense Against Science, which according to its website is funded by the British Pharmaceutical Society, along with a who’s who of UK pharmaceutical and medical societies.

McTaggart further explores Singh’s background and aims in a recent blog.

Nevertheless, the public has a right to a full range of health information, not only the information, treatment approach, philosophy and science offered by one health brand or industry.

“The real story here is that the Times is allowing themselves to be the patsy of an industry backed organization by attacking a magazine that is responsibly and critically examining that industry. The job of the media, the Fourth Estate is to be the guardians of the public interest…The Times seems to be suggesting that their role is to ‘protect’ the public by censoring information that departs from standard medical line,” adds McTaggart,

Critiques of both integrative medicine and what McTaggart has called “frontier science,” are nothing new, but the virulence of the new breed of paid spokespeople, may be. Through her books, and through WDDT’s health reportage, McTaggart is one of many reporters popularizing a more expanded reach for science. By covering her work in The Lost Symbol, author Dan Brown has helped this new trend in science to reach way beyond the choir. But some vested interests feel threatened.

“Those who control or suppress access to such information say they do it to protect an ‘ignorant’ public. Don’t be fooled.  People who hide information disrespect the public and act against its interest in taking responsible personal action. Don’t trust the censors,” says James S. Turner, Board Chair of  Citizens for Health, a membership based health advocacy organization

In the current media climate, in which publishers, foundations and think tanks have ties to and funding from a range of industries, people can all too readily get confused by the ensuing misinformation, particularly when a sponsored think tank’s PR agenda gets picked up by news organizations.

In this controversy, what’s at stake is safeguarding the people’s right to make their own health care decisions and access a full range of approaches that promote and maintain health, prevent disease, and address symptoms or illness, when they arise. To do that, the public clearly needs a broad and inclusive range of health information.

McTaggart assesses the implications of the Times’ coverage within the current media climate, and asks: Are we going to allow ever increasing suppression of alternative forms of health and healing when establishment, drug-based medicine is so woefully inadequate by any standard (only 12 per cent of is proven, says the British Medical Association); corrupt (three-quarters of all drug research is PR dressed up as research); and damaging (correctly prescribed drugs are one of the leading causes of death in the West, vying with deaths from heart disease or cancer)?

McTaggart hopes that “this will become a rallying call to stand united against the larger issue and begin demanding our right to choose our own system of health care.”

***

Subscriptions to both online and internationally available print versions of What Doctors Don’t Tell You are available  here.

People can sign up for Citizens for Health’s Freedom of the Health Press Project to safeguard rights to get all health information.

Deepak Chopra: The Power of Ayurveda for Perfect Health

Does Ayurvedic medicine really work, and if so, how?

In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak Chopra is joined by Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar, an renowned Ayurvedic doctor, to explore Ayurveda as a science of health, wellness, and wholeness. How can Ayurvedic practices be used to create balance and health? Dr. Kshirsagar explains that the purpose of Ayurveda is to connect to your spiritual self and remove the fear of death and disease — that health is a by-product of enlightenment. How do we move beyond a quantitative approach to healing to a more qualitative one?

Ayurveda is the holistic approach to healing that is greatly needed in an age filled with all manners of dis-ease. It is the mind-body-spirit approach to health and wellness that can provide a powerful alternate, or at least addition, to the medical practices we are more familiar with in the West. Unfortunately not everyone is quick to accept this ancient healing wisdom.

What do you think? Would you seek out Ayurvedic healing to address various health conditions and improve overall wellness? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and check out Deepak’s book, Perfect Health!

Plants of May: Your Seasonal Guide to Food as Medicine

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The arrival of May means that no matter where you live, warm days are finally beginning to outnumber cold; daylight is beginning to stretch into the evening hours, and Pinterest boards are likely filling with recipes for barbeques, tasty salads, and Sun Tea.

In the plant world, spring is a time for new growth. Flowers introduce sweet berries, and delicate green shoots grow into edible leaves for salads and sautées. I love this time of year, and as a naturopathic doctor, I especially love the healing properties of fruits and vegetables that are seasonal in May. Here’s my sample guide to what’s in season this month and how each edible plant acts as medicine in the body:

Dandelion leaves – You may be thinking, “Wait, this is a weed not a food, right?” Actually, young dandelion leaves are an edible, slightly bitter addition to any spring salad or sauté and contain a compound, aesculin, which supports the tone of our vessels and can help with issues like swelling, puffiness and poor circulation.

Fava beans – Like large sweet peas, fava beans can be found in pods and are a beautiful rich green color. They are a substantial addition to any recipe and a great vegetarian/vegan option. In addition to providing a spectrum of vitamins and minerals (thiamin, folate, calcium, magnesium and zinc to name just a few), these beans are an excellent source of fiber. That means that in addition to filling you up, they also help to clean you out!

Mint leaves – Plants in the mint family (peppermint and spearmint are two common examples) contain menthol, a compound that provides the cooling quality these leaves are known for. Used in a tea or even rubbed on the skin, mint is used to calm digestion and may be soothing when fresh leaves are crushed and applied to insect bites or itchy skin.

Onions, sweet Vidalia – As medicine, onions are most commonly thought of for their sulfur-containing compounds that have been researched for a range of actions in the body from supporting liver function to inhibiting cancer growth. I love the sweet, mildly spicy flavor of these beautiful onions…a great addition to a vinegar-based potato salad.

Oregano leaves – A staple in most spice racks, dried oregano leaves are a common addition to all kinds of recipes. When in season, fresh leaves can be used to provide a spicy and beautiful pop of flavor and color. Oil of oregano provides a broad spectrum of anti-bacterial, viral and fungal activity and can even be found in some natural insect-repellent recipes.

 

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Photo credit: Linh H. Nguyen via Flickr

Stinging Nettle Tea: A Natural Remedy to Fight Spring Allergies

nettle intent imageI don’t know how you fare this time of year, but it’s usually right around now that I start to experience seasonal allergies.  For me that means itchy eyes and throat and sneezing, especially in the morning. However, seasonal allergies can be present in many ways, with symptoms that span from a mild runny nose to severe chronic headaches.

For the past few years, I’ve mostly just toughed it out (thankfully my symptoms are mild enough that this is an option), but this year I have a natural medicine plan: Stinging Nettle tea.

In the United States, stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is considered a weed by many given the ease with which it grows.  It’s funny name comes from the Latin verb urere, meaning “to burn,” because of its urticate (stinging) hairs that cover the stem and underside of the leaves. So, while walking through a field of this plant is probably not a good idea, using it for its anti-allergic activity can be an effective way to manage seasonal allergy symptoms. It has a nice amount of published research demonstrating positive benefit for a host of allergic and inflammatory conditions.

Stinging Nettle contains a set of compounds that act on the immune system to provide anti-inflammatory action and block histamine release. Perhaps you are familiar with over-the-counter medicines called “anti-histamines”?  Well, stinging nettle works in a similar fashion, blocking the release of histamine compounds that alert our immune system and trigger inflammation, redness, and all those pesky symptoms those of us who are sensitive to pollen, etc. experience this time of year.

Because stinging nettle doesn’t contain caffeine, you can brew it as tea and exchange it for your water source throughout the day.  Here’s my recipe/plan:

  • Add 1tsp dried Stinging Nettle leaf to 16oz hot water. Steep for 2-3 minutes.
  • Drink right away in the morning when I experience the most symptoms.
  • Re-fill tea infuser with hot water and re-use same tea leaves a couple more times throughout day (although most of the anti-histamine activity will come from the first steep, there is a mild benefit from re-using the leaves)
  • Continue as I feel like I need symptom relief throughout day

With any treatment, you should always talk to a licensed health professional and make sure the products and medicines you are using are appropriate for you. Licensed naturopathic doctors are a great source for natural therapies like this one.

 


Photo credit: John Tann

The Impact of Taking Responsibility or Not

I realize that there is no area of my life that I cannot take full responsibility for; my dogs’ health being my current area that I need to ‘wake up’ and take full responsibility for. My sweet dogs name is, Niki. She is a Shiba Inu. 

She is 6.5 years old. At about 6 months old she developed terrible allergies. After many vet appointments and thousands of dollars later, I found out she was highly allergic to:  dust, molds, and cats. She would itch to the point of making the skin around her eyes bleed. It was awful to watch… we tried allergy shots, changing her diet, supplements, etc. Finally a vet put her on prednisone; a strong steroid based drug. And since it worked so well, we (I) have kept her on it for 6 years! This summer she was diagnosed with glaucoma. I asked her vet if this was caused by the prednisone. They all assured me that the two are not related.
Recently, I am the new owner of an iPhone, anyone that knows me knows that I have been having a blast with it. And found many amazing applications that blow me away. I found one called Natural Cures. Since I am in to that, I was researching all my ailments and aliments of everyone I know. To my surprise, there is a paragraph on Glaucoma that says that it can be caused by extended use of prednisone. I knew when I was giving it to her that it was not good long term, but did not do my homework, did not take my responsibility for her health. 
We cannot take just one persons word on anything. We have to use our gut, research, knowingly and fully make choices. I was definitely feeling like I was not being responsible for doing my part in finding a better way to deal with my dog’s allergies. I went the easy route and did not try to find alternative answers fully.
Recently I too have developed allergies! And have found HUGE relief in a homeopathic supplement. Thanks to a friend. So why not try the same on my dog? We are, I have since done lots of research, of which the vet is waiting as I am for our results! Results coming soon.
What does all this have to do with business? EVERYTHING! If some aspect of your business is not where you’d like it to be, do not rest on your laurels or someone else’s, do something! Take FULL responsibility for your results. Guaranteed to get you in the driver’s seat in your business your bottom-line will love you for it!

Just How Smart is Your Body?

We all know that ah-ha! moment when a new insight or experience changes everything. But ah-ha’s are the province of the mind, aren’t they?

Like a backward beast, the body merely drags around our higher mental functions and our opposable thumbs. Despite its amazing capacity to self-heal, it’s regarded as a mere mechanical marvel, like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz–to be oiled, excised, and/or flooded with exogenous chemicals, an ingenious contraption incapable of learning, progressing, or manifesting.

But what if the body is smarter than we think? Or understands things we don’t? Perhaps it’s time for a dialogue.

For two centuries, homeopaths have engaged in an intimate conversation with the body– regarding it as not just alive, but also capable of learning, acting upon subtle information, and taking hints from nature about how to expel infections, self-regulate, and restore balance.

Homeopathic remedies begin with a given natural substance, progressively diluted (and shaken in a process known as “succussion”) until no measurable amount of the material remains. The chosen remedy induces the entire range of symptoms the person suffers and paradoxically prompts the body’s capacity to heal them. According to Dana Ullman, a homeopathic educator and author of The Homeopathic Revolution, homeopaths see symptoms as expressions of the body’s innate healing response. A homeopathic remedy, like aikido, “goes with” the symptoms, subtly amplifying the healing message so that the body “gets it.” Once the body goes “ah-ha,” the symptoms express, lessen, and then pass.

Obviously, this method and view sharply contrast with approaches that suppress symptoms, or “fight” disease, the typical “us against them” stance of mainstream western medicine.

In his book, Ullman (recently on radio on Oprah and friends) recounts homeopathy’s long history of successful use by a host of monarchs, (the British royal family), world leaders, (including Gandhi, and eleven U.S. Presidents ranging from Lincoln to Clinton), artists (Beethoven, Renoir, and Pollock), and celebrities, (Marlene Dietrich, Tina Turner, and David Beckham). Countless powerful and smart people –with ample health care options–have found homeopathy valuable.

One was Charles Darwin, whose persistent health problems (untreatable by the medicine of his day) debilitated him, making work impossible, Ullman learned. Skeptically, Darwin went to a homeopath, received treatment, and recovered, going on to do his most important research and writing (while living for three more decades.) He never publicly mentioning his homeopathic treatment for fear of his scientific colleagues’ derision.

Conventional biological scientists (then and now) resist healing mechanisms outside their paradigm. Like the man who lost his contact lens down a dark alley, but searched for it under a bright street lamp because that’s where he could see, they deny even the possibility that homeopathy could convey healing information via mechanisms they can’t measure. Since only material substances (rather than information) have agency, surely homeopathy must be either a fraud or a placebo.

Late last year, in a debate on homeopathy at the University of Connecticut, naturopath Andre Saine revealed his investigated outcomes for homeopathic treatments of typhus, meningitis, tetanus, anthrax, septicemia, malaria, and other infectious diseases–including a dozen cases of fully developed rabies with recoveries solely via homeopathic treatment.

“Despite well-documented and official reports,” Saine argued, “the results obtained by homeopathy have been almost completely ignored… as if they had occurred in a void of time and space.”

“When scientists ignore or reject healing successes outside of their paradigm, the spirit of scientific inquiry is undermined,” claims a leader in the Connecticut debate, Professor Rustum Roy, who among his credentials is Professor of the Solid State Emeritus at the Pennsylvania State University as well as Visiting Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona.

Professor Roy’s current research could lead to a sea change. While homeopaths assert that a plant “signature,” imprinted in water, carries information to the body, conventional scientists consider that impossible since homeopathic dilutions are biochemically identical to “pure water.”

Roy, however, points out that due to water’s unique properties, even weak forces can cause powerful structural changes. His lab is currently investigating a recent discovery that common radio waves can cause water to burst into flame and burn, which has immense implications for energy production. In Roy’s view, it’s not water’s biochemical content but its structure that’s ripe for exploration. Water’s structure can readily be changed by the very actions commonly used in homeopathic preparations, he says. In their research, Roy and his colleagues have found that even when remedies are biochemically indistinguishable from pure water, changes in structure differentiate them. This altered structure persists over time. Since the human body is composed of over 60% water, Roy’s research supports the working hypothesis that the water structure in homeopathic remedies can potentially carry healing information to the body. As more scientists follow the thread initiated by Roy, perhaps we’ll discover the secrets of the healing power of information.

Just How Smart is Your Body?

We all know that ah-ha! moment when a new insight or experience changes everything. But ah-ha’s are the province of the mind, aren’t they?

Like a backward beast, the body merely drags around our higher mental functions and our opposable thumbs. Despite its amazing capacity to self-heal, it’s regarded as a mere mechanical marvel, like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz–to be oiled, excised, and/or flooded with exogenous chemicals, an ingenious contraption incapable of learning, progressing, or manifesting.

But what if the body is smarter than we think? Or understands things we don’t? Perhaps it’s time for a dialogue.

For two centuries, homeopaths have engaged in an intimate conversation with the body– regarding it as not just alive, but also capable of learning, acting upon subtle information, and taking hints from nature about how to expel infections, self-regulate, and restore balance.

Homeopathic remedies begin with a given natural substance, progressively diluted (and shaken in a process known as "succussion") until no measurable amount of the material remains. The chosen remedy induces the entire range of symptoms the person suffers and paradoxically prompts the body’s capacity to heal them. According to Dana Ullman, a homeopathic educator and author of The Homeopathic Revolution, homeopaths see symptoms as expressions of the body’s innate healing response. A homeopathic remedy, like aikido, "goes with" the symptoms, subtly amplifying the healing message so that the body "gets it." Once the body goes "ah-ha," the symptoms express, lessen, and then pass.

Obviously, this method and view sharply contrast with approaches that suppress symptoms, or "fight" disease, the typical "us against them" stance of mainstream western medicine.

In his book, Ullman (recently on radio on Oprah and friends) recounts homeopathy’s long history of successful use by a host of monarchs, (the British royal family), world leaders, (including Gandhi, and eleven U.S. Presidents ranging from Lincoln to Clinton), artists (Beethoven, Renoir, and Pollock), and celebrities, (Marlene Dietrich, Tina Turner, and David Beckham). Countless powerful and smart people –with ample health care options–have found homeopathy valuable.

One was Charles Darwin, whose persistent health problems (untreatable by the medicine of his day) debilitated him, making work impossible, Ullman learned. Skeptically, Darwin went to a homeopath, received treatment, and recovered, going on to do his most important research and writing (while living for three more decades.) He never publicly mentioning his homeopathic treatment for fear of his scientific colleagues’ derision.

Conventional biological scientists (then and now) resist healing mechanisms outside their paradigm. Like the man who lost his contact lens down a dark alley, but searched for it under a bright street lamp because that’s where he could see, they deny even the possibility that homeopathy could convey healing information via mechanisms they can’t measure. Since only material substances (rather than information) have agency, surely homeopathy must be either a fraud or a placebo.

Late last year, in a debate on homeopathy at the University of Connecticut, naturopath Andre Saine revealed his investigated outcomes for homeopathic treatments of typhus, meningitis, tetanus, anthrax, septicemia, malaria, and other infectious diseases–including a dozen cases of fully developed rabies with recoveries solely via homeopathic treatment.

"Despite well-documented and official reports," Saine argued, "the results obtained by homeopathy have been almost completely ignored… as if they had occurred in a void of time and space."

"When scientists ignore or reject healing successes outside of their paradigm, the spirit of scientific inquiry is undermined," claims a leader in the Connecticut debate, Professor Rustum Roy, who among his credentials is Professor of the Solid State Emeritus at the Pennsylvania State University as well as Visiting Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona.

Professor Roy’s current research could lead to a sea change. While homeopaths assert that a plant "signature," imprinted in water, carries information to the body, conventional scientists consider that impossible since homeopathic dilutions are biochemically identical to "pure water."

Roy, however, points out that due to water’s unique properties, even weak forces can cause powerful structural changes. His lab is currently investigating a recent discovery that common radio waves can cause water to burst into flame and burn, which has immense implications for energy production. In Roy’s view, it’s not water’s biochemical content but its structure that’s ripe for exploration. Water’s structure can readily be changed by the very actions commonly used in homeopathic preparations, he says. In their research, Roy and his colleagues have found that even when remedies are biochemically indistinguishable from pure water, changes in structure differentiate them. This altered structure persists over time. Since the human body is composed of over 60% water, Roy’s research supports the working hypothesis that the water structure in homeopathic remedies can potentially carry healing information to the body. As more scientists follow the thread initiated by Roy, perhaps we’ll discover the secrets of the healing power of information.

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