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Alternative Medicine

OPINION
February 13, 2006
Thank you for "Life and Death on Fringes of Medicine" (Feb. 4). Unfortunately, it will mostly fall on deaf ears. Many who choose "alternative" medicine live in an alternative universe, believing that doctors have a cure for cancer but won't use it to save people. They are the ones who think 500 calories of carbohydrates will put on more weight than 500 calories of fish, and that a doctor of mathematics knows as much about curing people as a doctor of medicine. People who turn their backs on modern medicine in favor of something else choose to live in a fantasy land.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
HEALTH
November 14, 2005 | From Times wire reports
U.S. regulators said Thursday that they had issued warnings to companies that are promoting unproven "alternative" hormone therapies for women. The government sent letters to about 50 firms and websites that market supplements and creams as alternatives to hormone replacement therapy, warning them against making baseless claims that the treatments can help with serious diseases such as cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis.
HEALTH
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.
HEALTH
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.
HEALTH
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.
HEALTH
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.
NATIONAL
December 21, 2004 | From Associated Press
The ancient Chinese therapy of acupuncture can help ease pain and improve movement for people with arthritis of the knee, a study concludes. "For the first time, a clinical trial with sufficient rigor, size and duration has shown that acupuncture reduces the pain and functional impairment of osteoarthritis of the knee," said Dr. Stephen E. Straus, director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
NATIONAL
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.
HEALTH
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.
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