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diet, parasites and cancer

derek a. zelmer zelmeda4 at WFU.EDU
Fri May 16 14:50:23 EST 1997

On 15 May 1997, Joan Marie Shields wrote:

> some long talks about the use of herbal remedies.  When you think of it, 
> many of our drugs today have their basis in herbs and other plants and 
> animals - antibiotics are a good example.  HOWEVER, this doesn't mean that 
> I, or my friend, advocate indescriminate use of herbal preparations in place
> of medicine.  Herbal preparations should be treated the same as any other
> medication - the person taking them should be educated as to their use, 
> overdose and side-effects (yes, you can overdose and suffer side-effects from 
> numerous herbs, vitamins and minerals - some overdoses can even lead to 
> death).  

This is precisely the problem with some herbal medicines. The active
ingredient may be the same, but the dosage cannot be controlled, nor can
the other associated compounds that may react with the active ingredient, 
especially when mixing and matching compounds (like herbal teas?)..
The popularity of herbal cures lies in the misconception that compounds in
herbal remedies are more natural, and therefore better. The ASA in an
aspirin is the same ASA you would get by chewing a poplar bud, but in a
purified form (no bark gets stuck in your teeth) and known quantity.

Derek Zelmer

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