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Alternative Medicine

February 5, 2006 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
In the early evening of March 17, the man Erica McLean had hired to cure her husband of cancer arrived at their ranch in Sunland. David Chuah, a biochemist from Canada, carried a large brown bag brimming with pills, drops and powders, Erica recalls. Clive McLean, 60, was to take them in addition to the other therapies Chuah had prescribed during six months of treatment, she says.
July 18, 2005 | Elena Conis
Tibetan and Chinese legends tell of people who lived century-long lives while retaining the strength and beauty of youth -- thanks to lycium. The sweet, red berries of the Lycium barbarum tree are rich in beta carotene, B vitamins, vitamin C and several essential minerals. Lycium -- sometimes called matrimony vine, wolfberry, boxthorn and goji -- is native to Asia.
July 18, 2005 | Linda Marsa, Special to The Times
Rheumatoid arthritis is a crippling and painful disorder that causes stiffness and joint swelling. Because joint movements are often painful, many sufferers eventually become seriously debilitated. Although current treatments can reduce pain and inflammation, and slow the chronic disease's progression, these powerful medications can have unpleasant side effects and weaken the immune system. Tai chi may help.
March 28, 2005 | Elena Conis
In Australia and New Zealand, the term "tea tree" refers to a number of fast-growing evergreens once used by native Pacific Islanders and early European explorers -- including Captain Cook -- to make tea and other drinks. Tea tree oil, made from the shrubs' leaves, has a sweet, nutmeg scent that has made it a popular ingredient in shampoos, soaps and other bath products. The oil contains chemicals called terpenes, which have proved their ability to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi in the lab.
February 7, 2005 | Hilary MacGregor, Times Staff Writer
Drive along many boulevards in the Los Angeles area and you will see colorful botanicas, with their curious mix of candles, incense, potions, lotions, rosaries and a pantheon of Catholic and folk saints in the window. Botanicas have arrived in this metropolis along with the immigrants they serve, soaring in numbers as Latinos make up nearly 45% of the Los Angeles population.
November 21, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
A practitioner of alternative medicine who allegedly discouraged a woman with breast cancer from getting chemotherapy has been charged in her death. David Eugene Pontis, 61, was charged in Provo with unlawful and unprofessional conduct for treating the woman for six months before she died Oct. 20. He could face as much as 15 years in prison if convicted on all three counts.
September 20, 2004 | Elena Conis
Huperzine A has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, but only recently did scientists become aware of its promise as an Alzheimer's treatment. The compound is one of two alkaloids, or plant chemicals, extracted from the Chinese moss Huperzia serrata. The moss favors shady tropical woodlands and swamp areas in Asia and does not grow well in the continental U.S. * Uses: In traditional Chinese medicine, Huperzine A is prescribed for fevers and swelling.
August 20, 2004 | Anthony Day, Special to The Times
Heal Thyself Nicholas Culpeper and the Seventeenth-Century Struggle to Bring Medicine to the People Benjamin Woolley HarperCollins: 402 pp., $24.95 * "Heal Thyself" by Benjamin Woolley is an engrossing bit of elegant social history colored by contemporary suspicions of the establishment -- in this case, the medical establishment.
December 3, 2003 | Rebecca Trounson, Times Staff Writer
From the window of the hospital clinic where he worked in East Los Angeles, Robert Krochmal used to look out at the unsightly lot next door and wonder who owned it. The half-acre property was littered with garbage and broken glass, its two crumbling structures defaced with gang signs. Krochmal, a UCLA medical student then doing his residency at nearby White Memorial Medical Center, did some investigating and found, to his surprise, that the lot was owned by the hospital.
November 6, 2003 | Mark Sachs, Times Staff Writer
Why, in a country where medical training and expertise is the envy of the world, would an American couple enlist the services of a Maori tribesman to help them with fertility problems? Why would a man diagnosed with pancreatic cancer turn away from conventional treatments involving radiation and chemotherapy and hook up with a doctor prescribing coffee enemas and daily handfuls of nutritional supplements?
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