Alternative Treatment News: November 2006 Archives

Attention woes addressed without use of medication


play attentionMARYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Sierra Lewis was having trouble with her schoolwork. She just couldn't concentrate.

"She's been having problems with staying focused," said her mom, Nancy Lewis of Marysville.

The school, Bible Baptist in Shiremanstown, didn't seem like an issue. It doesn't have a disruptive atmosphere.

So it came back to the 12-year-old and what is often described as Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder — a persistent pattern of abnormally high levels of activity, impulsiveness or inattention. The answer is usually Ritalin.

Merck looks for ancient Chinese cancer cure


merck The German drugs giant Merck is seeking help from the world of traditional Chinese medicine to find a cure for cancer. The Chinese medicine company spun out of Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa, Chi-Med, will today unveil a potentially lucrative deal to research oncology on behalf of the German group.

Merck will pay Chi-Med to raid centuries of Chinese medical knowhow in search of a natural cancer-fighting product that it can turn into a marketable Western drug.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Chi-Med stands to reap tens of millions of pounds from the partnership if it comes up with a drug that is suitable to be put into trial.

Analysis: Ancient medicine useful today


arthritisWASHINGTON, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Two new studies, one in animals, suggest that ancient medicine may have a lot more to offer than traditional drugs.

A study in the November issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism Journal suggests that turmeric and turmeric dietary supplements may prevent rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis in lab animals.

The root turmeric has been used in Asian medicine for centuries for its ability to treat arthritis. Modern anti-inflammatory medications used to treat arthritis have many side effects, so doctors and researchers have been seeking alternative, holistic treatments for the condition.

Today, turmeric dietary supplements are marketed as curcumin, the chemical that gives turmeric its yellow color. It's also thought to act as an anti-inflammatory.

Aromatherapy: The Scent of Dispute

aromatherapyHealthDay News -- Aromatherapy is an affordable, accessible natural path to relief for a variety of health problems, ranging from arthritis pain to nausea to drowsiness, supporters insist.

But skeptics dismiss any claims that the use of essential oils from flowers, herbs and trees can promote health in any way.

And both sides are unlikely to relinquish their positions anytime soon.

Aromatherapy "works for so many different things, it is amazing," said Kelly Holland Azzaro, a registered aromatherapist in Banner Elk, N.C., and vice president of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an industry trade group. "You can experience aromatherapy by inhalation by putting one drop of an essential oil on a tissue and inhaling," she said.