Costa Rican Indian Medicine
Posted: 08 December 2007 10:45 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I like to go up to the mountains of Talamanca where there is one of the oldest villages in the entire country.There, I am able to purchase roots and other organic items from the old medicine man. (all legal, if wondering). By drinking certain teas and mixing the plants in our food, we find ways to feel healthier and think more clearly.

My friends back home would call me crazy.I just say that I am open minded.

Richard

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Richard Blank
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Posted: 09 December 2007 12:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Open minded. What does that mean? Hmmm. If it means open to the possibility that there is some truth underlying the claims of traditional folk medical therapies, good for you. If it means believing in the efficacy and safety of those treatments because 1) somebody claimed they work, 2) people have believed in them for a long time, 3) you tried one and felt better, and so on, then you’re really not being open-minded but simply easily convinced, without adequate care for the simple but ubiquitous mistakes in thinking that lead us to believe things that aren’t actually true. I find it disturbing that believing in something based only on the anecdotal experiences of oneself and the similar testimonials of others, without any effor to account for the fact, demonstrated many many times, that such anecdotes actually do a poor job predicting the safety and efficacy of medical treatments, is labeled as being open-minded. And, by extension, questioning the validity of such conclusions, and asking for evidence for them, is labeled as closed-minded. A dangerous bit of wordplay, which denigrates truly “clear thinking” and venerates fuzzy thinking.

[ Edited: 09 December 2007 03:03 PM by mckenzievmd ]
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The SkeptVet
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Militant Agnostic: I don’t know, and neither do you!

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Posted: 09 December 2007 02:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Richard Blank - 08 December 2007 10:45 PM

. . . By drinking certain teas and mixing the plants in our food, we find ways to feel healthier and think more clearly.

Yup, caffeine, theobromine, theophylline (all found in coffee, chocolate, and tea) are stimulants that make one feel better and think more clearly.  So does cocaine.  Other natural products such as betel nut and the leaves of katha edulus (a common tree in the middle east) do the same.  But these are all temporary.  Nothing wrong with them unless one gets addicted.  However, one must not be confused about feeling better for a few hours and correcting medical problems.

Occam

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Posted: 09 December 2007 08:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thank you both for your replies. Excellent advice that is greatly appreciated.

I do not drink tea everyday nor go exploring to every village looking for answers.I am just a student of science and knowledge and take care before taking anything that may be harmful or become a problem.

I guess that I have learned a lot living in Costa Rica for seven years. Most North Americans never leave the city or the local beach.I made it a point to learn as much as possible about their culture and traditions.

Richard

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Posted: 09 December 2007 09:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Richard, note that I wasn’t criticizing, only offering some cautions.  However, if the teas did give you a feeling of higher spirits and mental clarity, you may want to find out what plants they used to make the tea.  Some of them could already have been analyzed and their active ingredients identified, and some may be new and worthwhile checking into.

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Posted: 09 December 2007 09:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I agree and appreciate you looking out for my best interest.

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