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Treating inflammation: some (needless) difficulties for gaining acceptance of effective natural products and traditional medicines

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The quality of so-called 'natural medicines' is extraordinarily variable. Lack of resolute pharmacological assays contributes to this hiatus. More stringent evaluation of anti-inflammatory and anti-pyretic activities in rats can help resolve some of the uncertainties surrounding (a) preparations of some herbal products including so-called 'nature's aspirin' (e.g. willowbark, ginger), cat's claw, celery seed, etc., and (b) some animal lipids (e.g. Lyprinol® (NZ Mussel), emu and fish oils). These animal products can be a remarkable resource for supplementing conventional/allopathic therapy for inflammatory disease, e.g. providing lipoxygenase inhibitors. Beyond the verifiable science, the healing professions and the general public still need to examine more carefully criteria for QUALITY(S) in any alternative medicine—to ensure the good (= both reputations and products) are not destroyed by the bad—in essence counteracting Gresham's Law which states: the bad tends to displace the good.

Affiliations: 1: Therapeutics Research Unit, Dept. of Medicine, University of Queensland, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, Qld. 4102, Australia


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