But while in the hospital for irregularity in my heart, I was prescribed coumadin (warfarin), without proper cautionary explanation (or literature) of the inherent dangers with that specific drug. I nearly died from internal bleeding (my heart sack filled with blood and had to be drained or I would have died). I shall never take that drug willingly again.
If you were prescribed coumadin, I have no doubt that you needed it. Coumadin is prescribed to prevent clotting that can occur with cardiac arrhythmias. The arrhythmias can cause slot formation in the heart and those clots make a bee line to the lungs and brain. This can cause a debilitating or fatal pulmonary embolism or stroke. Taking ‘natural’ supplements are not the answer, because the dosage is not regulated and the interactions are not well studied. If they gave you coumadin without explaining the risks/benefits or what it was for, they were negligent.
All I ask is that history of early (natural) medicine be given some credit, when due, even if interspersed with ritual and prayer.
What I understand now (after the fact), coumadin must be monitored on an almost daily basis, especially during the early stages, much like insulin levels must be monitored daily by diabetics. I was NOT given adequate counseling on the dangers of this drug, and when I tried to make an follow up appointment (as “suggested” by the DR while I was sedated for anxiety), the consulting doctor (different from the prescriber) was busy and told me to make an appointment in the week following. Thus it was more than 10 days without any follow up on this deadly drug. This little oversight cost me $2000.00 in additional medical costs (hospital stay. tests, heart procedure). I had cause for law suit, but as there were some other considerations (one Dr was on vacation, covering physician might not have been aware of my condition, the medical secretary was not skilled enough to recognize the red flag of coumadin), and after my wife lectured the physicians in no uncertain terms, we decided not to pursue this further.
I have to agree with Brennan on this one. While we do get a large number of medicines from nature, the vast majority of ancient medicines that have been tested have been found to be useless, or with negligible benefits. I believe we have been able to make more meds from ancient poisons than from their cures.
Yes, I never disputed any of that, just that ancient knowledge of the natural environment and the dangers and benefits of its fauna, followed by the practical application of those properties, was the beginning of bioresearch and medicine (albeit in its crudest form).
Nowhere have I made a comparison or judgement as to the effectiveness of herbal based medicine vs synthetic drugs.
We “knew” that fruits and vegetables are “healthy foods” long before man became sentient. We figured out that certain herbs are “dangerous” and certain herbs are “healthy” long before these qualities were proven by science.
Frankly, I don’t know why the objections.
Excerpts: “Plants have always been a rich source of lead compounds (e.g. morphine, cocaine, digitalis, quinine, tubocurarine, nicotine, and muscarine). Many of these lead compounds are useful drugs in themselves (e.g. morphine and quinine), and others have been the basis for synthetic drugs (e.g. local anaesthetics developed from cocaine). Clinically useful drugs which have been recently isolated from plants include the anticancer agent paclitaxel (Taxol) from the yew tree, and the antimalarial agent artemisinin from Artemisia annua”.
“Plants provide a large bank of rich, complex and highly varied structures which are unlikely to be synthesized in laboratories. Furthermore, evolution has already carried out a screening process itself whereby plants are more likely to survive if they contain potent compounds which deter animals or insects from eating them. Even today, the number of plants that have been extensively studied is relatively very few and the vast majority have not been studied at all”.
(The latter probably due to associated costs of discovery and available quantity. But to the natives these “gifts from the gods” were free and they had millennia to experiment).
“In the past, traditional peoples or ancient civilizations depended greatly on local flora and fauna for their survival. They would experiment with various berries, leaves, roots, animal parts or minerals to find out what effects they had. As a result, many crude drugs were observed by the local healer or shaman to have some medical use. Although some preparations may have been dangerous, or worked by a ceremonial or placebo effect, traditional healing systems usually had a substantial active pharmacopoeia, and in fact most western medicines up until the 1920s were developed this way”