Why do doctors reject published herb research from other countries? Learn Why You Will Never Get Exact and Consistent Published herb Research Studies. It is the fundamental difference between drugs and herbs.
You cannot compare published drug research papers against published herb research. Why? You are comparing data on lab-created chemicals to naturally grown herbs and foods. Herbs, mushrooms, and vitamins cannot be tested in the same way as drugs….it doesn’t work. It cannot work.
Herb research studies on herbs, mushrooms, medicinal foods such as mushrooms, and superfoods like Goji berries will always vary in the end research study results and findings.
This is why doctors and researchers discredit herbal medicine…they cannot prove it works according to their drug testing criteria standards and models.
That does not mean herbs are not effective! It does not mean that herbs do not work! It just means that it is almost impossible to prove their medicinal values and health benefits using standard drug testing criteria.
Scientists want results that can be proven over and over using the same tests, in the same specific set of circumstances. They want to prove that a certain dosage will consistently work in certain circumstances. Penicillin for example is given in specific dosages for specific time periods based on weight and pathogen susceptibility.
This set-in-stone scientific exacting double-blind study model does not work for herb and herbal therapies. This article will explain why.
Let us begin with drugs and how they are tested.
Drugs are chemicals most often created in a lab setting from the start to the finished product. Every step of that drug manufacturing is monitored in a sterile lab. Drugs are usually based on one or two chemical substances such as penicillin or aspirin. You may not know this, but these medicines did come from plants originally.
Drugs are created to be given at specific dosages depending on weight and the severity of the problem. They are easily incorporated into a double bind study or a research study. Their effects on an individual can be shown more easily in a set amount of days and circumstances. The drug is always consistent in its chemical makeup. It is created by exact scientific measurement. It is easily identified and measured by scientific tests. There are few inconsistencies in a drug’s chemical makeup. Most drugs are given for short periods of time such as antibiotics. Even when given over the long term it is easier to test results. Scientists can consistently reproduce the same findings to prove their product is effective.
If the drug is based on a plant, the strongest medicinal property is isolated from that plant and is used to make the drug. The whole plant is not used because you could not test all those elements reliably.
So, the whole plant is NOT used to manufacture the drug. The most potent and medicinal plant property such as a terpene or alkaloid is found, then usually reproduced by a lab in a synthetic form. The synthetic form is more easily reproducible. You might ask so why is this not a good idea? I will answer that later in this article.
Examples: Quinine is a medicine for malaria made from one primary alkaloid taken from the Cinchona Calisaya tree that grows in South America. There may be hundreds of different properties in the tree but just the one main alkaloid is used to make Quinine. Quinine has harsher side effects than if the whole plant was used.
Paclitaxel is derived from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree and used as a chemo agent. The Yew tree is endangered so now manufacturers rely on sterile lab-grown cultures of the plant. The new drugs are semisynthetic meaning they still have some original plant properties but are largely synthetic. The drug has more side effects than if you drank the Yew leaves as tea as the Indians did.
Are prescription drugs always consistent in how they affect the patient?
I will add here that for each drug manufactured, there are a number of side effects possible for that drug. You may experience zero side effects or side effects from mild to life-threatening. Your response to a given drug depends on your individual sensitivity and makeup and the pathogen you are treating.
So even with drugs, scientists cannot judge exactly how you, as an individual, will respond to a drug. There are further complications judging side effects when two or more drugs are combined. Many people take as many as 10 different prescriptions. Some drugs take months or years before the side effects and long-term problems show up. Then the drug is taken off the market after a certain number of deaths or severe long-term effects show up. Most drug trials are for 6 weeks to 3 months. Those long-term lethal effects of taking drugs are not seen until too late. Now drugs are being fast-tracked into the marketplace without proper long-term investigation.
There has been blatant drug fraud in the production of drugs. Research data has been altered, side effect data scrubbed, and results falsified to make millions off of you!
Drug companies make billions on each drug they sell. Drug reps advise your doctor on the drug and its side effects. Isn’t that a conflict of interest? Are they going to stress the drug’s benefits or its side effects? Drug reps make money on how much product they sell to your doctor.
Spend some time on the links below that answer the question of if you should trust drug companies and their drug studies.
Here is an example below of statin drug side effects:
Statin drugs can affect mental function as well.
“A type of statins, drugs which are used to lower cholesterol, may increase the risk for memory loss and other cognitive issues, according to a new study. The drugs in question are known as lipophilic statins. Common ones are Lipitor (atorvastatin), Zocor (simvastatin), and Mevacor (lovastatin).”
The most common statin side effects include headaches, sleep disturbances, skin flushing, drowsiness, dizziness, muscle tenderness, aching or weakness, stomach pain, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and low platelet counts.
Less common statin side effects include nausea, hair loss, liver inflammation, pancreas inflammation, skin rashes, ED, and odd skin sensations.
So each person taking this drug has no idea until days, weeks, or months how that drug will affect them regarding side effects.
Why herb Research Studies and Holistic therapies cannot be judged under the same criteria as drugs.
Why use the whole herb? What are the advantages and health benefits?
Our creator designed the whole plant to contain synergizing properties that complement each other and their health effects. Herbs contain vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and other healing elements. One property of a medicinal herb may be very potent. Another property may soften the effects of the more potent properties. These different properties mean fewer side effects occur when ingesting the whole plant, rather than one element of it.
Different herbs are combined in formulations to make them more effective in their healing benefits.
The problems of testing herbs under the same criteria as drugs in double-blind studies using drug testing criteria.
#1. Herbs are not produced in a climate-controlled, sterile lab. They are food and medicine combined and produced in nature. They occur AS plants in nature and every plant is unique in hundreds of different ways.
#2. HERBS are grown in different areas of the world, in different soils with varying climates. Then they are harvested from the field or plantation at different times of the year. They are processed in many different ways, some of them pretty crude. They are not lab-produced chemicals so they may contain dirt, bits of insects, or other extra ingredients.
Each herb plant may contain more or less of these different properties. You cannot guarantee that each herb will contain the same exact properties or in what potency. Even the most sophisticated of technology cannot test every element of a herb. In today’s technology, you can test the main medicinal elements. You can test for various contaminants such as E-coli. You can test to make sure it’s the correct plant species.
In traditional research projects, they do not test every product to make sure it is consistent. They are generally given the products by a company to use in the testing.
#2. Herbs and how they work are based on the synergistic effects of hundreds or thousands of unique properties specific to each herb or combination of herbs found in the formula. These synergistic effects cannot be adequately tested by any method.
#3. Herbs over time help to normalize or assist the body’s own ability to heal itself through the different organ systems and immune processes. This can take days, weeks, or months to see the results. Most research studies do not chart the patient for long enough to document the effects. If you are healthy, you may not see much difference in your health status. On the other hand, if you are sick and in ill health, the difference will be more evident.
#4: Herbs work differently in each person. Your age, the state of your immune system, individual sensitivities, gene structure, and lifestyle all affect how well the herb works in your individual body system. Herbs contain hundreds of different properties that can cause an individual to react differently than someone else.
#5: The dosage of herbs varies with each individual as well. The dosage depends on the form of the herb: tea, bulk product, capsules, standardized products, extracts, tinctures, or in essential oil form. You may be more sensitive and need less than other people. You may on the other hand need to take more herbs to be effective if you are less sensitive to herbs. If you are mildly sick you need more of an herb than if severely sick. Some herbs are more potent so you take less per dose. Some herbs are tonic herbs and those you take daily and in higher doses. It takes some experimentation to get it right. It also takes education on herbs.
#6: Herb product quality is not all the same. The quality of the herb supplement matters. That is why I list companies on this page that do intensive testing on their products. So if a research study uses an herb company product in the testing that is of poor quality, the results will be disappointing.
#7: The criteria of how the herb research study was conducted are extremely important to the final outcome of the research.
Research projects are often paid for by a funding source to prove herbs don’t work. It is intentional. If the results prove them wrong, the positive research findings may be altered to show a negative result. Intentional research fraud. How is research weighted to give a negative result?
- If you enrolled patients who have only 6 weeks to live, you will probably not get great results with using herbs. Most of these patients are severely compromised at this point by both cancer and chemotherapy. Often, they are severely underweight and not able to keep anything down. Their will to live at this point is questionable.
- If you include patients after taking chemo and radiation treatments and compromised immune systems you probably won’t get positive results.
- When the criteria are only a 6-week test trial, that is weighing it for failure. Even an 8-week trial may not be long enough. Herbs can take months to secure an effect because they are working on organs and systems to help them to heal and work more effectively. They work with your immune system to strengthen it. They work on organs such as the heart and kidneys to improve function.
- When patients are given too low a dosage to be effective, this will result in a negative final result. This is often the case in herb trials.
- Often in these research trials, the herb is not given in the most effective form.
- Often rats are injected with the herb. As humans, we do not inject ourselves with an herb. Neither do we take the herb in huge dosages, as rats are given in some of these tests.
- Did the study use young people, older people, people who were in critical health, or patients being given drugs as well? Did they have liver and heart problems already?
How can you tell the effects of herbs on a patient’s liver, when being given chemo as well as other prescription drugs?
Research projects usually do not involve just herbs given alone but herbs given along with drugs. It is tough to get funding to test herbs by themselves. For instance, if a pancreatic cancer patient generally dies within a year after diagnosis, they will give herbs along with the chemo to see if the added herbs extend that timeline. The problem is that chemo is destroying the whole immune system, not just cancer.
I hope you now understand why research studies on herbs can have very different conclusions and often inconclusive findings.
Herbs and holistic therapies strive to eliminate health problems before they manifest themselves into disease. They address the base cause of your symptoms such as a bad diet, excessive stress, and other negative lifestyle factors destroying your physical and mental health. This takes work from you on your end. You have to change your lifestyle to get well.
Drugs do not treat the base cause. If you have high blood pressure because of your junk food diet, the drug does lower it but does not deal with your eating habits, which is the main cause. If you are taking diabetic medications, the drug does lower your blood sugar but does not address the bases causes of diabetes including obesity, lack of exercise, and a diet filled with empty foods, junk foods, sugar, and excessive carbs.
All for today, Cathryn Freer, the Herbladyisin.