Alternate medicine: NOT an alternative

I was gasping for air for each breath that I take, I have been enduring the gruelling pain in my chest cavity that has been crushing me slowly for the past two days. My left arm was starting to pain, as if I’m in the end of a 12 hour marathon. Even keeping myself upright was taking up all the oxygen necessary to keep me. I had been sitting in that clinic in the same state (probably worse) for the past two hours. The Homeopath (Whom I don’t trust) was sitting directly in front of me, with bright warm smile, as if nothing serious was happening. She had given me three dosage of her concoction, I felt no better than before. She kept telling me it’s nothing and everything will be alright. I knew that it wasn’t nothing and everything isn’t alright. My parents were there right by me, keeping me comfort, just like any ideal parent. If only, I was able to suck in enough breath to tell them that it wasn’t working. If only.

I was almost about to collapse. Right then, I started crying, like a baby. Except that babies make sound and I wasn’t able to. After which, fearing for my life. They took me to an actual doctor. Where they gave me albuterol Through a nebulizer and I came walking (maybe even jumping) within five minutes.

As long as I could remember, I have had moderate Persistent asthma. Asthma is when, as an allergic reaction to an irritant, my airways inflame and reduce airflow resulting suffocated and short breath, chronic cough and excess mucous. My parents are highly adherent to the natural living and have always repelled any thought of western medicine. Always irrevocably sticking to Homeopathy or Ayurveda. Despite my insisting them as hogwash, I still have to visit homeopathy clinics. I still have to walk with inflamed respiratory canals, breathless to even hold myself for days on end.

It might sound, that I am Victimising myself. But, in all their hearts my parents did what they believed was good for me. But their ignorance and their misled ideologies created by the society means that I get to suffer.

It’s not just my plight, alternate medicine is espoused everywhere and victim’s voices are always unheard. Touted as being side-effect free and healthy, Alternative medicine is branded as a boon. Even governmental organisations emphasise on alternative medicine, despite several cases of arsenic, mercury and lead poisoning in Ayurvedic medicine. Also most people Don’t know or Don’t acknowledge that Herb Induced Liver Injury (HILI) is a real thing.

The thing is that, Ayurveda is a lifestyle and religion. You will have to follow some rigorous principles and ideas. Some of which include, not getting angry at others, not eating spicy foods, not getting naked in-front of others, not eating meat and helping others, to state a few off the top of my head, from my times of reading Ayurveda books in the waiting rooms of Clinics. It is good as a life, as far as asceticism goes. But, Ayurveda can hardly be used as a remedy. Our addled ideologies of Western and Traditional medicine has led us to run to Ayurvedic medicines for immediate remedies, without getting into the actual Ayurvedic lifestyle prescribed as a medicine against illness. This to me, is idiocy at its finest.

Coming to the topic of Homeopathy, Time and time again, each research has shown that Homeopathy as being pseudoscientific. Scientific Skeptics like James Randi have been strong antagonists of Homeopathy. The National centre for complimentary and integrative health‘s page for homeopathy says it all.

And this fakery is what made National Centre for complimentary and integrative health had to rebrand itself from its previous name of national center for complementary and alternative medicine. Talk aboout irony.

The problem with homeopathy lies in its core value. the basic principle of homeopathy is that ‘Any harmful ingredient when diluted enough, becomes a medicine’ Due to this, most homeopathic medicine are extremely diluted. For example most homeopathic medicine are diluted upto 30C which is approximately equal to 1: 10^60. To put that into perspective, a 12C substance has 60% chance of having 1 molecule in 1 mole of the same element. Which is approximately 1 molecule in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules of dilution solution. Now, double the number of zeroes and you have somewhat close to 30C. Practically useless.

This is also why, There have been double blind studies finding no measurable difference between patients who took the “homeopathic medicine” and sugar pellets. For any medicine to pass through approval, it has to provide significant increase over Placebo tests. Homeopathic and Siddha medicines don’t pass these tests. Yet, we trust them with our lives.

It is amusing because, I tend to assume that people are only irrational when it comes to religion. it turns out that people are irrational no matter the consequences. Assuming someone has cancer, Very few people would go to a church and pray rather than going to the doctor. But even there, ones’ ideologies need to be clear and concise when there are always people there to sell you fool’s gold.