Category Archives: Alternative Medicine

Marijuana – The Truth – Part 5

In the book that I co-wrote with my good friend, Donal O’Mathuna, Ph.D., Alternative Medicine: The options, the claims, the evidence, how to choose wisely, we wrote an evidence-based article on marijuana. Here’s our fourth excerpt of that information:

In earlier excerpts, we discussed “What It Is,” “The Claims People Make about Marijuana,” “Study Findings,” and “Cautions.” In this, our final excerpt will review “Our Recommendations.”

Continue reading

Marijuana – The Truth – Part 4

In the book that I co-wrote with my good friend, Donal O’Mathuna, Ph.D., Alternative Medicine: The options, the claims, the evidence, how to choose wisely, we wrote an evidence-based article on marijuana. Here’s our fourth excerpt of that information.

In earlier excerpts, we discussed “What It Is,” “The Claims People Make about Marijuana,” and “Study Findings.” In this excerpt, we’ll discuss, “Cautions.” Next week, our final excerpt will review “Our Recommendations.” Continue reading

Marijuana – The Truth – Part 3

In the book that I co-wrote with my good friend, Donal O’Mathuna, Ph.D., Alternative Medicine: The options, the claims, the evidence, how to choose wisely, we wrote an evidence-based article on marijuana. Here’s our fourth excerpt of that information:

In earlier excerpts, we discussed “What It Is,” and “The Claims People Make about Marijuana.” Today we’ll review the “Study Findings.” Next week,  we’ll discuss, “Cautions,” and in the final week, our final excerpt will review “Our Recommendations.” Continue reading

Marijuana – The Truth – Part 2

In the book that I co-wrote with my good friend, Donal O’Mathuna, Ph.D., Alternative Medicine: The options, the claims, the evidence, how to choose wisely, we wrote an evidence-based article on marijuana. Here’s our second excerpt of that information:

In the first excerpt, we discussed “What It Is.” Today, we’ll discuss “The Claims People Make about Marijuana.” In future installments, we’ll discuss, “Study Findings,” “Cautions,” and finally, “Our Recommendations.” Continue reading

Marijuana – The Truth – Part 1

Marijuana – The Truth – Part 1

In the book that I co-wrote with my good friend, Donal O’Mathuna, Ph.D., Alternative Medicine: The options, the claims, the evidence, how to choose wisely, we wrote an evidence-based article on marijuana. Here’s an excerpt of that information:

In this first excerpt, we’ll discuss “What It Is.” In later installments, we’ll address “Claims about Marijuana,” “Study Findings,” “Cautions,” and finally, “Our Recommendations.” Continue reading

Medical Marijuana Update #2

The use, abuse, and prescription of medical marijuana is, no doubt, an evolving landscape. I have a chapter on medical marijuana in my book, Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook (endorsed by the Christian Medical Association). Now, here’s an excellent update to that chapter by Matthew J. Seamon, PharmD, JD, which was published in MedScape: Continue reading

Medical Marijuana Update #1

The use, abuse, and prescription of medical marijuana is a concern of most primary care physicians and a topic we are not infrequently asked about. As a writer and teacher of healthcare professionals, I am often asked to address the topic. So, I have an evidence-based chapter on marijuana in my book, Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook (which is endorsed by the Christian Medical Association). Added to this I can now recommend this excellent update to my chapter by Doris C. GunDersen, MD. Dr. GunDersen is the Medical Director for the Colorado Physician Health Program in Denver and this was published in the Newsletter of the Colorado Physician Health Program and titled, “Medical Marijuana – A Prescription for Trouble?”: Continue reading

Warning Signs of Quackery and Fraud – Part 5

Here’s Part 5, the last of a series from an excerpt from my and Donal O’Mathuna’s book, Alternative Medicine: The options, claims, evidence, how to choose wisely. You find the book here.

21. Does the product you’re considering require advance payment? Look out! You may never receive what you bought or get your money back. Continue reading

Warning Signs of Quackery and Fraud – Part 4

Here’s Part 4 from an excerpt from my and Donal O’Mathuna’s book, Alternative Medicine: The options, claims, evidence, how to choose wisely. You find the book here.

16. Is a therapy encouraged simply because it’s been used for centuries by people in some remote place? This might simply mean that those people had nothing else to use. If the best texts on the subject are decades or centuries old, you’ll probably find that many of the old ideas were discredited long ago. Medicine evolves—just think about all we have discovered about nutrition in the last few decades. Continued use adds to our knowledge, uncovers side effects, fine-tunes dosage, and brings change. Continue reading

Warning Signs of Quackery and Fraud – Part 3

Here’s Part 3 of an excerpt from my and Donal O’Mathuna’s book, Alternative Medicine: The options, claims, evidence, how to choose wisely. You’ll find out more about the book here. Next week, I’ll post another five warning signs.

11. Does the proponent of the therapy claim to be criticized unfairly? Some proponents of CAM portray themselves as martyrs, persecuted by the government, the medical establishment, or some other organization with a stake in keeping you unaware of their breakthrough.

Continue reading

Warning Signs of Quackery and Fraud – Part 2

Here’s Part 2 of an excerpt from my and Donal O’Mathuna’s book, Alternative Medicine: The options, claims, evidence, how to choose wisely. You find the book here. Next week, I’ll post another five warning signs.

6. Are technical words used without a clear definition? “Energy” is one of those words. Claims that a therapy “boosts energy” can mean anything from the common idea that you feel better able to do things, to Eastern ideas of promoting the flow of chi or prana. Introducing ideas from quantum physics is usually not necessary if the product really works. Information sheets should clarify, not baffle with mind-boggling gobbledy-gook. Continue reading

Warning Signs of Quackery and Fraud – Part 1

Here’s an excerpt from my and Donal O’Mathuna’s book, Alternative Medicine: The options, claims, evidence, how to choose wisely. You find the book here. Each week, for the next 4 weeks, I’ll post another five warning signs.

So, when you suspect quackery or fraud, how do you know if your suspicions are right? What are some of the warning signs? When evaluating a medical claim, here’s what to look for:

Continue reading

Review of pycnogenol studies says most too flawed to prove efficacy

The New York Times “Well” blog reports on research into pycnogenol, which is an extract from “French pine bark” that can be made into a supplement that users claim “strengthens cardiovascular systems and eases symptoms of chronic disorders like asthma, osteoarthritis and chronic venous insufficiency.” Continue reading

Report finds illicit drugs bought on Internet could be poison (Ya think?)

HealthDay reports, “A case study of two men who were poisoned and turned blue after ingesting what they thought was a recreational drug that they had bought on the Internet highlights the dangers of such purchases,” according to a study in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Continue reading