Monday, 9 July 2012

Rants - clinical trials

Q.  Is the use of essential oils to treat Lyme disease just a result of unadulterated guess work by totally uninformed non-scientists. If there were some useful clinical trials run with natural materials the information would be in the public domain which it is not! 

A.  Well science without observation is a little mad?

If you limit observation to that possible in a clinical trial is that not to the detriment of more complex science which does not involve 'active ingredients' and potions generally?.

 How do you run clinical trials on symptom relief for auto immune response? No one is suggesting the essential oils sufferers suggest do other than deal with the symptoms as far as I know

 Its not possible to do science and maths not least because what are you trying to measure? but evidence of relief from suffering from practitioners and sufferers is as good as it gets. The pharmacological model has achieved all it can by the time it gets to using essential oils. 

  Much of boundary science is educated and inspired guess work. Thats how science progresses. Do we deny the existence of matter because its taken upto now to identify the Higgs Boson particle? Empirically you can say there might be danger in not using essential oils (or any other non toxic treatment) as soon as possible when a progressive autoimmune response like ME, MS, maybe Lymes begins in case they are effective. I havent heard about Lyme but I have heard from aromatherapists that MS caught early can respond so why not?

 We werent talking about clinical aromatherapy here but we have sort of ventured into it. look away if you dont like rants! Its probably worth reflecting on how we have got into the mess we have. Western drug budgets are reaching the point of no return and patient care of the individual who does not respond to drug therapy is very patchy indeed. Most peoples experience is that it is getting patchier.

The 1960s represented the high point of herbal and essential oil use by doctors in france and the public there for subclinical conditions and common ailments. The 1960s also marked a low for the pharmaceutical industry with the thalidomide disaster. Result the pharmaceutical industry had to provide clinical trials to save their inflicting another horror on an unsuspecting public.

Can you see how neatly the trick was pulled?

Making a virtue out of necessity the western medical profession was brainwashed into only using treatments which had been clinically trialled and dispensing with many herbal remedies which had long served the public. Take homeopathy in the UK only a decade ago a million homeopathic treatments were being dispensed to patients who would respond to any other treatment. But where were the clinical trials? What would doctors and patients know about it? Now less than a two hundred thousand homeopathic treatments are being administered despite over 150 double blind trials the vast majority positive.

The clinical trials were envisaged not of effectiveness but safety. The effectiveness spoke for itself with 1m of the NHS's 16m treatments being homeopathic. No clinical trail? Then your treatment cant be effective can it?

Any therapy like aromatherapy or homeopathy which has a low a priori likelihood of producing results can produce as many clinical trials as its proponents like. It still wont be taken as evidence. The great value of both is (in normal dosage) their use of non toxic materials and therefore we must therefore suppose their greater reliance on the training,  experience and personality of the practitioner, the role of the client-patient relationship and method of administration in providing care rather than just ingesting a potion dispensed by pharmacy robots.  Training doctors and pharmacists is expensive and requires almost superhuman commitment on the part of those taking it. There is though no alternative to that training where the patient does not respond to drug therapy.

Of course in the treatment of Lyme going to a doctor for antibiotics to deal with the parasite is the necessary first step. The risk in taking the antibiotics is more than outweighed by the negative effects of leaving the Lyme untreated. However in dealing with the autoimmune response practitioners and sufferers are all to often on their own. 

Ian Brealey

I did say this was a rant but interesting to look at things a differant way no?  Of course clinical trails for effectiveness of any material used in a clinical setting for therapeutic or more obvious pharmacological effect is a vital part of evidence based medicine.   

 Kinesiology is deeply impressive when applied to essential oil choice and blends. Its also evidence that thoughts tend not to be good or bad but true or false. Yes truth is not always limited to the measurable at a point in time but scientific truth is. Our ability to measure increases all the time and that expands scientific truth if we limit that to what is measurable, replicable and explicable in plain terms as we must. Scientific truth can tell us what is in the oil. It cant tell us why the practitioner and the oil are able to bring calm to a troubled self harming mind full of illusion. Not yet!

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