Originally Posted by avb3
@mermaidmuse - I know you think I jump all over you when I talk about peer reviewed studies on the efficacy of folk remedies, and that in most cases they just are never able to hold up to proof.
We mermaids are fast swimmers.....there is no way you could jump all over me.....you'd be lost
in the curl.
I merely pointed out that "peer reviewed" studies can have their own limitations and biases and these need to be taken into consideration.
If a researcher is willing to take the time to understand how a particular medicine works, a reasonable study can be designed. Unfortunately the original context or method of use of a medicine within traditional medicine is often ignored. This leads to poorly designed studies that are then touted a "proof" that the traditional medicine doesn't work.
Generally speaking, reductionist medical
systems treat a symptom(s) specifically while holistic medical systems treat the unique individual person and seek to remove the cause of imbalance in the body that is causing the symptom to manifest. There are more variables involved when you treat the entire person rather than just a symptom in a vacuum.
To do a worthwhile study of the medicine of these systems (such as Ayurveda, Unani or Qi Gong Chinese Medicine), the constitutions of the individuals participating would need to be assessed and identified and the traditional method of use (or method of action) of a particular medicine would also need to be considered.
A case in point is a 2003 study on guggul
published in JAMA which then flowed into the popular media with the headlines that guggul is not effective for hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol levels). Subsequent studies that were better designed have since shown guggul to be very effective in improving cholesterol levels.
Any Ayurvedic physician can tell you that if you give a large enough standard dose of guggul to a group of individuals, the Vata predominant body types will likely do well in the short term and then dry out, the Pitta predominant body types will show signs of heat aggravation, usually seen as loose bowel movements and/or skin rashes and the Kapha predominant body types will see a short term increase in cholesterol and would need to take guggul for a longer duration before the serum cholesterol levels dropped. The reason for the temporary increase is that guggul dissolves the cholesterol plaque in the vessels and puts it back into circulation until the liver can filter it out. This action of guggul to dissolve the plaque could easily be proven with appropriate imaging, such as the use of an ultrasound of the carotid artery.
Szapary's results were entirely predictable but his method and conclusions flawed because he didn't take the time to understand how this medicine is used in its original context. Traditionally, guggul is not given alone. It has a heating
energy (virya) and a pungent post digestive effect (vipaka) which gives it light, penetrating and drying qualities. To treat a Pitta (fire/water) predominant individual, guggul is blended with cooling
herbs to avoid overheating
the person, such as with the rashes seen in the above study. To treat a Vata (air/ether) predominant individual, the drying quality of guggul needs to be balanced with something moistening (eg demulcent), to treat a Kapha (earth/water) predominant individual, guggul would be balanced with something alterative to help the liver process the dissolved plaque.
of a "standard" dose for all patients is flawed because humans do not come in standard packages. If you give me ten individuals diagnosed with the same allopathic disease , I will show you that there are actually ten different pathologies involved and ten different sets of treatments needed (from an Ayurvedic point of view). There may be some overlap on some of the treatments, but ultimately each individual arrived at their list of similar symptoms in their own unique way and each will need to be rebalanced in their own way.
One other area of communication challenge that you and I are having is that I speak of traditional medicine systems that are complete medical systems, that are taught in universities, that include hospitals, including trauma care and surgery, and you refer to these systems as "folk remedies".
Getting back to ginger - dry ginger is more heating
that fresh ginger. A Pitta predominant person would do better with fresh ginger with a little sugar or candied ginger, or ginger beer
or cookies rather than the powdered ginger. Sweet taste is cooling
. Too much pungency will make Pitta nauseated to begin with. If powdered ginger is all that is available, a lower dose should be taken with a small amount of sweet.
You can take this quiz
to help evaluate your constitution. It won't be as accurate as working with a trained practitioner but it can give an idea.
Another technique that may help, depending on the individual is to adjust the intracranial pressure by putting the index finger in the ear, and then gently pulling up, forward and down. You may need to do this more than once.