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TRADITION OR HOCUS-POCUS PHARMA

Monday, October 17, 2016 3:24
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Herbal or alternative medicine I am the best person to offer an opinion because I was a sceptic. My mum was a nurse and my great-grandmother a highly considered rural herbalist who kept her Irish constituency one step ahead of the Grim Reaper. This does not make me an expert.

In my early forties I considered herbalists similar to sorcerers and quacks.  My sons, having been born the same year but ten months apart, were dubbed ‘the Irish twins’ by hospital staff. The infants at 10 and 20-months of age shared something else; whooping cough; a killer disease especially among the very young. A most distressing condition, try violently coughing when there is no air left in your lungs.

Britain’s much vaunted National Health Service (NHS) was as useless as a walking stick with a wheel on it. The medication prescribed was plenty of TLC aka ‘Tender Loving Care’. Sorry; that is the hospice solution and I wanted my kids to live.

After six distressing weeks I took my two mites to local herbalist, Mr Trevor Jones. A lovely avuncular man his expression begged the question, ‘why didn’t you come and see me sooner?’

Mr Jones took a blood test and mixing a solution which he poured into a dark brown medicine bottle he suggested a spoonful three times daily. That night and every night those two adorable boy infants slept like cherubs; within days the NHS incurable whooping cough was history.

Impressed, I told Mr Jones about my ‘incurable mouth ulcerations’. Conventional medicine had convinced me that like colds mouth ulcers are part of life; live with it. The herbalist explained that I had a surfeit of acid in my blood, which was causing the condition. Putting me on an herbal medicine solution Mr Jones suggested I resist high acid foods. Clueless as to what foods contain acid I asked him and he recommended my reducing pork, wine, tomatoes ~ and especially citric acid foods and drinks, lemon, oranges, grapes etc.

Obediently, I took the medicine and my long-term problem was soon history. Mr Jones told me that such an ailment is common. He told of a young RAF serviceman who suffered so badly that he had considered ending his life and he was quickly cured of that notion too.

Curious, I asked the 60-years old something herbalist if he had practiced medicine all his life. Sagely, he shook his head. “No, I am an engineer.”

He then explained what had inspired him to make such a radical career change. “About ten years ago my wife who was 45-years of age, contracted multiple sclerosis. The conventional wisdom was that my lady wife would be wheelchair bound within 24-months and dead within five years.”

He continued, “We were of a mind to try anything and sceptically we approached an herbalist. The outcome is that my healthy wife is now running around town and likely carrying two full shopping bags. This was what inspired me to take a closer look at alternative / herbal medicine.”

Most folk when retiring for the night take a bedside glass of water with them. I do too but on several forgetful occasions I opted for a glass of grape juice instead of water. Within days I suffered mouth ulcers. I switched to water, the condition disappeared.

I suspect that Mr Trevor Jones has since shrugged off his mortal coil. What am I to do?  I now suffer badly from osteoarthritis. Unpleasant, it is like having a kettle of boiling water poured over my knee; it is a disabling condition. Surprise, surprise, conventional medicine can offer only expensive damage limitation placebos. I think the solution is herbal so if you have any suggestions my ears at least are healthy.

 

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