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What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/16/2007 8:28 AM

About two years ago my wife had a ice skating accident that triggered a stroke. After a lengthy rehab and a series of pain medications she is still struggling with chronic pain. She tried a variety of pharmacueticals and over the counter items. Thebn we became aquainted with an licensed ayurvedic topical pain medicine that contains extracts of saffron, aconite, clove, nutmeg, himalayan box myrtle, Indian colchicum and cinnamon bark in a seasame oil base. It works! We have given cases of this product away to neighbors, friends and family members strugging with pain with the excellent results. We have not discovered any negative side effects.

I am interested in understanding the science behind this formulation.

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#1

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/16/2007 9:17 AM

It sure does work.

Plants do however contain chemicals and it is a matter of selecting the right one for the job.

Some of the old believes is however nothing more than urban legends.

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#2

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/16/2007 10:28 AM

If you google any of your ingredients with the word "pain" you'll get hits - it seems each of them has analgesic properties. I don't know anything about the biochemistry of it, or what research has been done, but I'm sure there must be lots of $$$ going into this kind of area.

The company that comes up with a Universal Pain Killer without adverse side effects is going to make megabucks.

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#3

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/16/2007 8:00 PM

Many of the drugs produced by pharmaceutical firms are actually naturally found in the plants used in herbal medicine. It's one of the most important reasons to preserve biodiversity.

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#4

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/17/2007 12:17 AM

I think "over the counter" is your problem here. Almost every herb in your list in notorious for it's psychoactive effects. Perhaps what your wife really needs is some respectable doctor to prescribe her non-over the counter pain medicine.

PS: Watch out for the nutmeg and the Cinnamon bark. In large enough quantities, both are liver toxic!!!

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/17/2007 3:01 AM

It's funny you mention that nutmeg is toxic...

I was just reading how nutmeg is fatal to humans - if the right amount were to enter the bloodstream directly.

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#27
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/25/2007 7:30 AM

Almost anything in high amounts into the bloodstream would be considered fatal. Nutmeg has been used topically to stimulate circulation for thousands of years. Most of the mainsteam over the counter pain relieving rubs contain methol, camphor and/or capaicin. Administered topically in reasonable amount they can help with inflammation. Certainly any of these taken internally would cause problems.

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#32
In reply to #6

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/26/2007 8:25 AM

That's it for Nutmeg in my Starbucks Coffee !

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#36
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/26/2007 10:49 PM

Back in the sixties, people found out that a tablespoon of nutmeg could make you trip, but it was a real nasty high and fraught with all sorts of sickening effects - not to mention the kidney/liver damage.

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#12
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/17/2007 10:52 AM

Yes, like us, plants are made up of chemicals. You are correct that some are toxic in large quantities. So is Lipitor and others. In either case the liver should be closely monitored.

The only reason I can still function without Minere's attacks is because I take 1000 mg of niacin (B 3) every morning. Niacin in large doses can effect the liver just as Lipitor can. The only side effect so far is that my cholesterol has been dramaticly lowered.

My "respectable doctor" told me there is no cure for Minere's disease. I learned it from a reference book in a health food store. He is a good and thorough doctor but like many others, he is afraid to even comment on anything not sanctioned by the FDA. The FDA pays no attention to anything the drug companies can't patent. This is not true everywhere, particularly in Germany.

He and other "respectable doctors" are advising people who do not already drink start drinking red wine. If these people lack a certain enzyme in their brains (it is estimated that as many as 1 in 6 do) they are almost certain to immediately become alcoholics. This is not controversial and is taught in our medical schools today. Go figure.

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#5

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/17/2007 2:01 AM

Chronic pain...of what? Important to know, especially when relying on placebo effect.

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#7

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/17/2007 3:03 AM

Where could one find this product? My cousin has chronic pain in his foot, whats left of it that is, and the doctors will no longer give him pain medicine even though it's not completely healed.

Thanks

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#28
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/25/2007 10:17 AM

This formulation is not intended to heal open wounds. In is intended as a topical rub to helpl reduce inflammation and stimulate blood flow. Pain Guard can be found at www.Natures-Apothecary.com

I does not sound as though Pain Guard would be helpful for your cousin. There is also an Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies on this site. It is a wonderful resource with over 11000 home remedies etc. This might be a better resource.

All the Best

All the Best,

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#8

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/17/2007 6:38 AM

I am from India would you kindly let me know the brand name and mfrs name so that I can also tryout. I have slip disc problem and back ache.My e-mail is sureshsharma@yahoo.com. Regards, Suresh.

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#29
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/25/2007 10:27 AM

This product is made by Healing Herbs and is available in the US at natural products stores. It is found at www.Natures-Apothecary.com

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#9

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/17/2007 7:47 AM

Hi Pure and Simple,

May i now the brand name of the Herbal pain killer, it might have a cross alternative here in the Philippines.

thanks

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#10

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/17/2007 9:02 AM

When I was taking biochemistry graduate classes in the mid-late '90's, there were very, very few drugs that were "rational designs", meaning that they were invented by studying the natural mechanisms in our bodies. Practically speaking, the whole array of pharma are the synthesized versions of naturally occuring compounds.

Copy right law says that you can patent an extraction process, but not an extract. You can, however, patent a synthesized molecule. Medicinal compounds in plants are usually a group of isomers that have similiar activity. The drug industry picks the most potent, finds the section of it that produces the effect, and they markets it. That's why they are so extraordinarily powerful, but also quickly lead to resistance. Raw plant material is less potent, but is a much more complex system.

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#11

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/17/2007 10:46 AM

Modern Medicine tries to steer you away from herbal medicine or natural cures. The business is money driven and pharmaceuticals want you to buy from them.

Argentina was producing the exact same medication that was being produced by an American pharmaceutical, that Bill Gates has controlling shares in, at 25% of the cost for AIDS medication.

The American pharmaceutical could not keep up with the demand for the AIDS medication and other countries started buying from Argentina.

Bill Gates had Al Gore, who was Vice-President at the time, go to Argentina and tell them if they didn't discontinue production of the medication they would be barred from world trade all together.

The primary opponents to herbal and natural medicine is the pharmaceutical companies.

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#13
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/17/2007 3:49 PM

Bill Gates had Al Gore, who was Vice-President at the time, go to Argentina and tell them if they didn't discontinue production of the medication they would be barred from world trade all together.

Is there anyway to confirm this?

I am aware of this........here

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/17/2007 3:57 PM

I read it in "The Best Democracy Money can Buy."

By Greg Palast

If you go to gregpalast.com you can search to topic in the archives.

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#15
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/17/2007 4:07 PM

nothing is coming up easily on that one.

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#17
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/17/2007 6:20 PM

I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with you on this.

I've tried to find it and I can't either. I've checked under "Al Gore," "Bill Gates," "AIDS," and "pharmaceuticals" and nothings turned up.

I'm gong to email the site and see if they can produce it for me.

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#19
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/18/2007 9:51 AM

http://www.gregpalast.com/africans-find-us-put-catch-22-in-deal-for-cheap-aids-drugs/

There's the link to the article.

The connection with Bill Gates, I think I got from ready the Book.

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#23
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/24/2007 1:19 PM

Now there is a strange conspiracy theory. A educated intelligent philanthropist in bed with a popularity-crazed self-espousing fame-seeking blow-hard in a attempt to stop Argentina from producing drugs to sell to africa (a market that could not be under cut if 10 argentinas started drug production). There is no real money in sell drugs to Africa. First, the standard for diagnosis used by the World Health Organization regarding who has AIDs is different in africa than elsewhere. You can have any number of other diseases and be diagnosed as having AIDs in africa under their standards. The tests for AIDs is expensive for those third world nations, so they use a four or five basic symptoms to classify AIDs cases, e.g. persistent cough, fever,etc.. You could have TB or Influenza. Here is a good link to some information on the subject: http://www.afrol.com/features/11116 .So AIDs drugs being specific to HIV would not be much use. Plus there is a huge push to make these drugs free, or nearly free, to developing African nations. So, I guess I do not see the benefit from a business stand point. From a Philanthropic standpoint, since the number of cases is hugely exagerated, even if you cured the real cases, you might make only a small percentage change in the reported cases. So you are having no apparent impact for your money. However, I guess I could see Al Gore being involved in some AIDs scam that would involve his name and a huge reduction in cases, likely by lobbying to change the way the record cases.

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#25
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/24/2007 9:43 PM

I think that the AIDS drugs are just the tip of the iceberg. I cannot debate with you, about the number of true AIDS cases in Africa, however, I could probably say with certainty that the numbers are somewhere between where you think they are and where I think they are... That would still be one hell of a lot of cases.

More specific is the fact that drugs of all types are need in Africa. For example, drugs to treat malaria are in very short supply, and hundreds of thousands of children die from this disease each year. TB also is making a big comeback. The truth is that "second" world countries can make many of these drugs for pennies on the dollar, but are restricted by trade laws.

Yes, America dabbles in a whole lot of other country's business to control trade. For example, The US oversees sugar production all over the world... Guess why you drink corn syrup rather than sucrose in your soft drinks? Brazil is awash with sugar, but little of it makes it to the world market. This is to keep Europe's sugar beat industry from collapsing and to make a tidy profit for the corn growing industry in the US.

World trade laws, while well intentioned, are rotten to the core by the burrowing of special interests - drug manufactures, agricultural lobbies, industrial conglomerates (nice work for cartels)... What's the point. No one listens and no one wants to get involved.

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#31
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/25/2007 1:42 PM

The sugar example is a very good one. I had ranted on that very topic some time ago. Let us not forget it nor others.

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#33
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/26/2007 12:01 PM

A cople of things to note, The US through the 1970 was a huge producer of sugar beats, but corn syrup was already in many foods. I admit that what our government does internally to support US industry within the US borders can effect countries externally that are depending on trade with the US to grow and industry that they have little or no use for in their own country. However, the overproduction of corn and propping that industry is because corn is a food staple, and prior to WWII there ould be food shortages and people starving in the US. So, some protection of food staples was justified to make sure we were over producing in cause of some dramatic failing of the market. Farmers won't harvest something they will lose money by paying for the labor to harvest it, and it will rot in the fields (would you do work if you had to pay for it). As I am sure you already knew, corn does not make much money (like any grain), this is why their are supports in place to keep farmers from totally moving away from corn production. This has become a big concern even recently, because in some places corn is still a staple, e.g. mexico, and ethanol production has driven the market up so high the poorer people can not afford it. Now Europe's protection of their sugar beat industry is just that, there was a time when the US was capable of producing huge amounts of sugar, sugar beats were a common rotational crop in California (The largest agricultural economy in the nation), and spreckles sugar has towns all over california they started for sugar production. So those protections weren't just meant to stop third world imports to Europe. Quite hnestly, world trade laws are almost non existent, there are only some agreements between governments, and while most of the world favors an open Us market, they never favor opening their own markets to US trade. We allow far more developing countries to sell products in our markets than we can ever sell in theirs. This effectively means they have someone working for $0.25 a week to make something that is deemed toxic and unproduceable in the US, to sell to US markets. I am not really sure why we should buy something from a country that still uses products like DDT, when our own industries aren't allowed to compete on an equal footing. I guess for for trade practice in outside the US, US companies to produce products to the standards of those industries for those countries and sell them (would need some means to separate them from products sold internally). Of course then we would be considered as using the rest of the world to experiment on, so now people are going to complain that they don't receive the quality that US citizens do. Plus some eagles or frogs might get killed in the process, and a few cancer clusters may pop up. I we could do like the europeans do and send some of our lowest profit/highest risk production to a "former" realm of the empire, much like the UK does with its agrichemical production to india. This allows a production cost reduction in the health and safety, and the labor is cheap.

The US doesn't have any cartels, those are European interests. If an interests controls too much market share to the point of controling the competition, they get sued and split up (even sometimes against the best interests of the US public), e.g. AT&T and Microsoft.

With regards to drug production costs, some one needs to pay for the research and development. As it stands chemists much make less than prison guards, admittedly the marketing and management of Pharma companies make a lot more than they probably should, but the wages still have to be paid for the years of research and development. Also, safe packaging costs, transportation and distribution costs are not free. So i think you need to consider all those cost into the price at the point of sale. As it stands now the US market bears most of the burden for the production of new drugs, and many elderly are finding it hard to afford drugs. So who will bear the rest of that burden

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/26/2007 12:58 PM

Nice post.

Just one point, "Sugar Beets" not "Sugar Beats", that was a song or a group maybe?

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#35
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/26/2007 4:02 PM

RCE:

I'm sure that there is a lot of substance in your post which many of us would benefit from reading - may I suggest that you try to précis or otherwise condense the info. so that you can keep readers' attention? Punctuation and spacing is also a useful way to get your message across.

Best regards, John.

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#37
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/26/2007 11:51 PM

Woof!!! Where to start?! Forgive me if I bullet...

  • Farm subsidies go back to almost to the Civil War, and was a brilliant plan to stabilize the nation. Germany, is a fine example of why subsidies got started in the first place. German farmers would grow grain, and the market was good. However, there would eventually develop a grain-glut and the price of bread would fall so low, that farmers would lose their land. This would be followed by a true bread famine, which eventually got farming grain started again. This resulted in terrible civil upheaval. Our answer was to try to even out supply and demand through subsidies. It has worked well in the US to thwart famine and maintain civil structure. That's why we subsidize.
  • Corn was never a staple crop in the US. Almost all corn, up until around the late seventies was used as feed. Feed for chickens/turkeys, but more importantly, feed for cattle. The cattle industry is notoriously inefficient when it comes to "food-per-acre," and you & I weren't eating corn, unless you counted that big steak on your plates. Furthermore, we also sent it to third-world countries where their staple was rice, and they had almost no idea what to do with corn. But the corn lobby in the US is very powerful!
  • I think you need to take another look at the players in the World Trade Origination and how they make their decisions. True, "free world trade" doesn't seem to be the best thing for the US right now, but if you dig a little deeper and check out the players, they don't give a rat's ass about how it affects the US public, because they stand to make insane amounts of wealth (and power) from the ultimate outcome -and we're not talking about the Illuminati here. I think you need to check deeper into the moves made by the WTO, the World Bank, and The Federal Reserve.
  • As far as cartels are concerned... Have you ever heard of a little, mom&pop store, called ADM? These assholes have tried in the past to monopolize high fructose corn syrup, lecithin, bottled carbon dioxide, and finally soy protein! With all of these, they received only a slap on the wrist by the Federal Trade Commission. And these ventures included the Japanese and the Europeans! In a quote that was clandestinely recorded by a deeply embedded agent, ADM proclaimed to all its World partners that their consumers weren't their friends, but ADM was their friends. You gotta check this stuff out. If I get it from NPR, it's gotta be out there.
  • Finally, on the drug front - The reason why the drug companies don't go completely insane when a drug is "somewhat" taken from them and given to other countries, is that the drug companies have already been highly subsidized by the Federal Government to come up with these drugs in the first place. Remember, these companies are not getting pissed because of heart medicine or arthritis medication, they're getting pissed because of AIDS drugs and malaria drugs, and all of the other "orphan drugs" (defined under the orphan drug bill) that they've come up with. They want their cake and blah blah blah. And the drugs that wind up in the third-world are definitely not the drugs that any senior citizen in the US or the EU would ever need.

Many social critics have said that most of the communist countries had to fall because of what they called "Run-away socialism." Perhaps true, however, the US has got to be the perfect model of "run-away capitalism." Money is everything, even more important than your life, itself!

Remember the energy summit that occurred during the beginning of the G W Bush administration? The transcripts of those meetings are still top-secret! Products of prize don't get away, they get put into the World economic system such that it optimizes pays-off for the elite - those that have the OK to stonewall the FTC for as long as they want.

But that's just my humble opinion.

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#16

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/17/2007 6:14 PM

there is much to be said for herbal remedies, you can't follow all the centuries of trial and error that made a substance become standard, white flower oil for instance, few know of it's pain releiving abilities in western culture but it does work, eroucentric science does not allow for what has been done 3000 years ago, the only time caution is urged is when taking western medications and adding supplemental herbal things like mau hung or valerian root ect, alway's check with your doctor and follow the rules against mixing your medications and stray ingrediants, what cannot be explained does not fail to exist!!

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#18

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/18/2007 1:10 AM

One hell of a lot of the drugs we take were originally discovered in plants. After that, the chemists isolated the active and synthesized it. So modern drugs are basically the same thing, and you don't have to worry about different levels of the active in different crop harvests...

On the other hand, I'm starting a little, herbal business of my own - anybody want in on the ground floor? We're going to be selling all-natural, herbal suicide pills. Our ad slogan is, "They're all natural, so you know they're good for you!"

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#20

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/24/2007 11:48 AM

isn't opium just an herbal extract painkiller, and morphine is just a minorly processed form of that extract. Most of the compounds used in the drug industry are derived from plants or animal extracts.

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#24
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/24/2007 9:09 PM

Very true! In fact once known, some of these extracts can be synthesized. Furthermore, once the shape of the molecule is known, they can often be improved upon for the treatment of disease.

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#21

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/24/2007 12:49 PM

I had asked for brand name of this medicine and mfr as I wanted this medicine for my back pain.Regret not recd. any reply yet.

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#22

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/24/2007 1:09 PM

Something you may want to investigate is magnetic therapy. I've been using it for various things for about 12 years. Back arthritis, Chalazion of eyelids (sty's), minor cuts heal faster, as do burns and and sprains. It, too, is an ancient folk remedy.

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#26

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/24/2007 9:56 PM

Here's one for you... In today's world of rising gold, platinum, and oil prices, we're really seeing some "knock your socks off" price increases. However, if you want to see where the real money is, go into any pharmacy or grocery store and purchase a bottle of 50 100mg B vitamin tablets. OK, so you spend anywhere from five to ten dollars for the bottle.

You do the math - this stuff is made so cheaply, the bottle costs more than the contents, yet if you figure out how much you're paying for this stuff you'll freak! So we're basically talking about $20 dollars a gram here? Makes gold look like pig iron!

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#30
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

12/25/2007 10:46 AM

You might find the Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies of interest. It is full of inexpensive home remedies. It is available at www.Natures-Apothecary.com

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#38

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

05/03/2008 1:39 PM

Have you tried magnets? If not, they are definitely worth a try. Also, the stronger the better.

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#40
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

05/04/2008 1:24 AM

By the way, why do you want your dog goosed?!

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#39

Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

05/04/2008 1:22 AM

There's a new up and coming herbal pain medicine that has great promise! It's called opium. I use it for chronic pain by smoking it in a pipe... It also helps with the wife's nagging!

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#41
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

05/05/2008 11:56 AM

Oh, don't mock opium now, it was possibly the most prescribed herbal remedy of the first half of the 19 century. During that period opium was the cure-all for every ailment. It was a component of most snake oil salesmens product. This is also an example of why we restrict pharmaceuticals and research them so much before the marketers and salesmen can do their thing, and claim great and wondrous cure-all effects from everything and anything, including magic water. Oh the good old days, when you could sell a bottle of water infused with some weed you grabbed off the side of the road and claim it will cure everything, make you prettier, smarter, stronger, or generally improve your life.

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#42
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

05/06/2008 1:38 AM

So why can't I still get my childhood "soothing syrup?"

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#43
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

05/06/2008 11:27 AM

Well i guess it depends on how old you are as to what active ingredient you may be talking about. However, it seems that inevitably some pseudo-chemist figures a way to extract a compound from cough syrup and make a highly addictive drug that cause people whose parent believe had great promise before they became addicted, to spiral into a life of stealing/murdering and plunder to pay for their habit.

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#44
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

05/07/2008 12:43 AM

That's my life story. So, like, what's your point?

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#45
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

05/07/2008 11:27 AM

? Which is your life story? Are you implying that you are a pseudo-chemist in a abandoned house with barrels of acetone?

The point was everything good will be misused by some portion of the general public, and eventually become illegal as the relatives and friends of those people who misue the product attempt to reform them. This is frequently done because these friends and relatives believe they had a lot of potential wasted on their habit. However, I suspect they would just find another drug habit if that one was not available. So in essence, it is not the drugs that destroy peoples live but the weak minds and ethics of the people who become addicted. If some people weren't so weak, their would be no illegal drugs.

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#46
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

05/08/2008 12:23 AM

You must explain to me sometime what it's like to have an uber-mind! The Homeland would be proud of you!!!

I tend to take a slightly different view. For some reason, almost everything we put in our bodies (including food) has a potential for addiction. Surprisingly, no matter what the substance, about 20% just can't let it go, while the other 80% seem to be able to take it or leave it. I'm guessing that this may be an indication of a brain-chemical reaction to whatever "it" is. I think these people are profoundly more affected by the substance on a cellular level.

But what do I know... I just go one of them regular minds.

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#47
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

05/08/2008 2:05 PM

This might be true for some aspects of certain very strong chemicals, e.g. heroine, but chemical addiction is a lesser factor in almost all cases. Most addictions are psychological, and this accounts for why there is recidivism well after the chemical addiction effects have resolved. Psychological addictions also account for most types of addictions. While there may be pre-existing chemical imbalances that lead to the psychological conditions, the addiction allows a temporary escape from reality. However, the need to constantly be active in their life, maintaining and advancing it, means that escaping for a few days to causes their lives to get worse rather than better, and now they address the added pressure by trying to escape again. It is a nasty downward spiral. It is much like paying for credit with other credit, it generally just spirals downward into a worse position. Addictive personalities may just respond to stress poorly, and/or have a much more manic response to certain escapist sensory inputs. Keep in mind you can be addicted to shopping, sex, video games, etc. as well as drugs and food. You see this response in those women who go shoe shopping and spend a lot of money when they know that they don't have the money to spend and they are under financial stress.

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#48
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

05/08/2008 6:23 PM

So do you propose any solution for the "weakness" so many people exhibit? A bit of genetic cleansing, perhaps?

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#49
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

05/08/2008 7:05 PM

Hmm, that is a bit off the wall. You have a very dark train of thought there. I would think genetic cleansing might be a bit extreme for a psychological issue, especially since you do not know if there is a direct genetic link. Though i suspect there may be a few out there who still consider that option if addictive personalities were shown to be a genetically derived chemical imbalance. The problem with genetic cleansing, is you never know if the mutation you are cleansing is actually going to prove to be the strain most adapted to survive in the future, and thus you may kill off humanity in the long run. Of course on the otherhand, i guess that artificially prolonging mutations to breed into the gene pool that might otherwise not be viable, could cause problems too. Either way I am not sure it fits a model of natural selection exactly. I personally would address psychological issues relating to weak dependant personailities through psychological treatment. However, I guess someone would have to pay for that, and I am not that keen on paying for it. Maybe we create stricter laws regarding proper parenting of children, since most psychological issues are derived in childhood. Maybe if parents were held responsible for how their children turned out, the children would be better adults with fewer psychological issues, and maybe better parenting includes helping to develop psychologically stronger adults during childhood. It is not all about the nature, there is some consideration that must be given to proper nurture. I would suspect that parents required to serve time for their childrens crimes, in additional to those convicted children who already must do so, would be more interested in their children and how they grow up, and some of the addiction issues we see now would be less prevalent in adult society.

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#50
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

05/09/2008 12:54 AM

I still have to take issue with your use of the term "weak minds." If you know any addicts, they are anything, but weak! The tenacity to which they hold on their addition is powerful, indeed.

Furthermore, IMHO, your model of addition is just to simple. There is mounting evidence that certain drugs that become highly addictive to some individuals may be the result of the substance working in the mind as almost a medicine. For example, nicotine (until recently thought incapable of crossing the blood/brain barrier) enters the brain and excites the production of dopamine in some individuals. As a result, if one becomes more functional than they've ever been before, it sounds as though that would be hard to give up.

Also, a drug itself can cause permanent changes in the chemistry of the brain that renders it incapable of functioning correctly without the drug. This was pointed out to me by a doctor friend that noticed that a mother addicted to meth (and long ago detoxed) was incapable of feeling any emotion toward her newly born child until she was given a small dose of meth.

Yes, I am sure that it is a matter of nature AND nurture, but we're also learning that brain chemistry also has a hand in addiction. One more thing, if you've been fortunate enough to never have be exposed to addictive substances, yourself, I think I would hold off on the theorizing regarding the personalities of the addicted. Maybe just a little.

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#51
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

05/09/2008 11:49 AM

I have had experience with most addictive compounds, and just never found them all that exciting. However, I know a number of people who can not stop to the point of destroying their lives, including a few relatives. I have known some of thes4e people all my life. In most cases, the people I know addicted to meth, alcohol, or just anything they can get their hands on, had issues before they started using. Using starts to escape something else, and it is a downward spiral for them from there. The pressures and conditions they try to escape usually just get worse when they start using, so they use more. The tenacity that some of them hold on to their addiction doesn't show a strength of will, it shows the necessity ofthe drug to them. Many respond almost as if they will die with out the drug, and believe they may, at least they believe their lives aren't really worth living with out the altered reality. I am sure that long term exposures that cause the neurochemistry to be unnaturally changed more often than not does cause a difference in mental state, I have a few cousins like that now. However, their long term exposure caused near permanent changes, the addiction was earlier. When they were younger they had many personality problems in dealing with others and coping with family issues, however, when they started using they seemed to dismiss their problems. One was a son of the Sheriff of Monterey County, he just had a lot of pressure, a brother who was a local athletic star holding records in the high school and colleges. He had pressures to live up to and people had expectation. He just did not have the personality to deal with the expectations for him to compete at that level. I can reference many cases just in my family of addiction, and every one I know began as an escape from their reality and spiraled downward, and every one has issues relating to their parents when they were children. Also, Keep in mind that shoe shopping changes the neurochemistry of the shopper. So constant shoe shopping when you have a problem could give that high and exposure to altered mental state chemistry that leads to nearly irreversible base line brain chemistry levels. However, the underying cause of the addiction is not the long term changes caused by consistent repeated exposures, but some psychological need to escape your current reality or perception of reality. If you don't address the underlying cause of the addiction you will never solve the problem.

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#52
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

05/09/2008 11:43 PM

My only issue with what you say is your usage of the term "weak minded." I will grant you that many of these people have personal problems, however, it's very difficult to judge what goes on behind closed doors in other families. Children are certainly treated differently within a family. And a downward spiral of increased pressure from a frustrated parent can certainly play a part in whether someone winds up disturbed.

I had one friend whose father just became more harsh as my friend didn't live up to his brother... Actually, my friend was quite gifted in art. Unfortunately, his father found no pride nor use for art - it meant nothing, except screwing around.

The point is, given a dysfunctional upbringing, we might all fit the mold of a "weak mind." By the way, his brother was the golden boy of the family - until for some odd reason he blew his own brains out... Imagine that! And he was the one with the "strong mind."

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#53
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

05/12/2008 4:34 PM

The difference between strong minded and weak is simple. The saying,"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" really only applies to people whose minds are strong enough to deal with the pressures. So in many cases the psychological pressures do develop stronger personalities and a strength of will, but in others they collapse under the pressure and fall on to drugs, or other addictions, as an escape. When they escape reality, this tends to lead to a worse reality, and increases the pressures that drive them to escape. The stronger a persons mind the better abled they are to deal with these issues and quit bad habits. Some people can quit smoking cold turkey, my grandmother and grand-aunt did after 40 years, but some can not and fall onto other addictions to compensate or worse fall back into the on/off cycle of addiction, my grandfather took up chewing tobacco, my granduncles and stepfather all quit and and restarted smoking numerous times. Obviously my grand-aunt and grandmother had some strength of will that the others lacked, though they would seem much more demure than the others in person. This is another thing, strength of a persons will doesn't correlate to the strength or forcefulness of their personalities. Though knowledge of the subject or human health in general may have been a factor also, as both women were surgical nurses at the hospital and in WWII, and the men mentioned were all contractors or mechanics. In the end though the underlying root process necessary to all addiction is that you have the personality to become addicted, lack the knowledge or mental skills to foresee the potential detrimental risks involved and negative outcomes, and/or lack the strength of personality or will to break free of the cycle. I have known many people with addiction issues, and the main porocess that seems to resolve the addiction is their gaining substantial knowledge or having someone they believe assist them in an assessment of the situation that makes sense to them regarding the detrimental risks, really truly in very specific costs to them. Many addicts understand the press on the subject without explicitly understanding the direct impact on them in terms the really understand. Much like I can hear that a aircraft cost 500 million or 1 billion, i do not understand the real cost or impact on me, it is way beyond any thing i explicitly deal with on a daily basis that directly impacts me, but a car costing 30k or 60 k is a huge direct impact i easily comprehend the real cost of to me.

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#54
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

05/12/2008 4:55 PM

"Obviously my grand-aunt and grandmother had some strength of will that the others lacked ..."

Do you believe that everyone is physiologically equal in their susceptibility to addiction?

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#55
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Re: What does modern science have to say about herbal pain therapies?

05/12/2008 5:09 PM

Obviously not, this however may be more of a psychological issue and not a chemical one. The genetics is the cause is simply a way of saying there is nothing they could do about their addicition they were predestined, it is nature and nothing can be done about it, they had no choice in the matter. Also, some people also have a strength of will that makes them more capable of breaking from addictions when they truly want to. This could be due to a stronger motivation driving them such as knowledge or comprehension of consequences, or it could be due to a differing mental capability that creates a strength of will greater than some others who do not have this capacity to break the addiction cycle. Nature always lead to genetic screening concepts, even amongst moderate parents who just want the best possibilities for their children there is some genetic screening for traits that cause perceived defects in the childs life. Nurture leads to more responsibility on parents to properly care for their children, and no one really wants this 20 year responsibility, easier to screen out the problems up front. This is why many people prefer to believe that it has little to do with the nurturing of the child and more of a genetic defect. A mental weakness or strength is a learned attribute through repetitive practice of the mind, much like athletics can have an underlying genetic pre-disposition but is primarily a learned physical attribute through specialized training over many years.

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