This week North & South magazine take on alternative medicine in thirteen pages of very thorough and well written articles. I can highly recommend it. I won’t repeat everything covered in the articles but very much appreciated the following quotes, originally from the book “Snake Oil and Other Preoccupations” by John Diamond.
“It’s easy for the well-fed metropolitan with time and money on his hands to talk about dealing with his chronic symptoms with Ayurvedic medicine or Chinese herbal therapies or ancient African remedies, but if you go to the countries where those remedies are all they have, you’ll find them crying out for good old Western antibiotics, pain killers and all the rest of the modern and extensive pharmacopoedia.”
“A Ugandan dying of Aids-related tuberculosis doesn’t want to be treated with the natural remedies of his forefathers: he wants an aseptic syringe of antibiotics and then he wants to join the 16-pill-a-day programme which, in the West, would stand a chance of putting his Aids on hold …. In mainland China itself no more than 18 percent of the population use traditional medicines these days, and this in a country where those therapies are cheap and available to everyone.”