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Just add water. Richard Craig

What does the public really think about homeopathy?

There is nothing more likely to raise the hackles of any self-respecting rationalist than to be confronted with the latest celebrity story about the miraculous healing power of homeopathy or some other…
Combining complementary medicine with conventional cancer treatment opens up the possibility of drug interactions. hkpuipui99/Flickr

Complementary medicines may put cancer patients' lives at risk

Recent German research found that more than 70% of people with cancer supplement their regular hospital treatment with complementary and alternative medicine. More worryingly, many do so without advising…
Kava, traditionally used in some Pacific island customs, may have a moderate effect in reducing anxiety symptoms, the study found. AAP Image/Peter Williams

Kava may reduce anxiety but experts urge caution

A new study has found that kava, a plant-based relaxant used in the Pacific, is moderately effective at reducing anxiety…
Being blindly and unrelentingly positive can be a burden to disease sufferers. Image from shutterstock.com

Monday’s medical myth: you can think yourself better

Of all the cultural beliefs about health and illness that saturate the developed world, there is none so pervasive and deeply held as the idea that you can “battle” an illness by sheer force of will. We…
Despite recent attempts to retain traditional healing practices in China, modern medicine is supplanting traditional medicine there. Jean-François Chénier

Does traditional Chinese medicine have a place in the health system?

Most of traditional healing practices are based on intuitive principles of diseases involving the imbalance of elemental qualities. For the ancient Greeks and Romans, whose systems of traditional healing…
Pseudosciences such as acupuncture have no place in universities, say the Friends of Science in Medicine. Flickr/NYCTCM

Pseudosciences are destroying the reputation of Australia’s universities

The international credibility of Australia’s universities is being undermined by the increase in the “pseudoscientific” health…
Gawler claims to have cured himself of advanced cancer by a series of unorthodox treatments including herbal remedies, meditation, coffee enemas and diets. Nick Olejniczak

Coffee enemas don’t cure cancer: reviewing the remarkable claims of Ian Gawler

It’s not often that a scientific article in a learned medical journal becomes front page news but that was the case recently when a paper I co-authored with Dr Ian Haines of Melbourne’s Cabrini Hospital…
Spicy debate: RMIT is researching the effectiveness of ginseng in improving lung function in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Flickr/wparadiso.

Alternative medicine can be scientific, say besieged academics

RMIT University’s School of Health Sciences has rejected the suggestion that it peddles pseudo-scientific quackery via its…
Some complementary medicines fill a medical need while others are of no value whatsoever. nicholaslaughlin

Giving the right teeth to the tiger: creating an effective TGA

Some complementary medicines are useful while others are just plain quackery so any attempt to regulate the industry requires an understanding of this heterogeneity. What’s more, the regulator of the industry…
Vitamins, minerals and herbal therapies should live up to the claims on their packaging. Peter Sunna

Consumers need the facts about complementary medicines

Two out of three Australians use complementary medicines to boost their nutrition, alleviate various symptoms and improve their overall health and well-being. There are around 10,000 products to choose…
Some alternative medicine practices, such as homeopathy, have been proven to lack efficacy but remain in demand. Photo_Robson/Flickr

Panacea or placebo: doctors should only practise evidence-based medicine

Read the argument for the use of complementary medicine. The question of whether doctors should provide “complementary or alternative” medicines and procedures for which there is no scientific proof of…

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