If doctors who practice integrative medicine are still a scarce commodity, how much more so medical specialists who still maintain an integrative orientation? Sidney Kurn, a respected California neurologist, is one of that especially rare breed. In this article he gives us a little education in both the science and the business of pharmacological medicine, and its herbal alternatives.by Sidney Kurn, M.D.
Like the speaking stones celebrated by poets, herbs too have a voice of their own. Each one speaks within a community so vast and in a language so rich that, taken together, these natural miracle workers truly represent one of humanity’s greatest treasures.
“In the spring of 2003, I spent a month on a little island in a lake not far from Pucallpa, Peru to drink ayahuasca with the Shipibo curandero, Mateo Arevalo. I had gone down there to investigate a story of a man who, by drinking ayahuasca every other day for two months, had been cured of a melanoma that western oncologists said would kill him within the year. I brought with me two people who also had cancer. They of course hoped that the ayahuasca would cure them, as well.”
A new drug just approved by the FDA, “Lybrel,” is one of a new breed of pharmaceuticals that profoundly interfere with a woman’s menstrual cycle. While a few members of the medical establishment have questioned their safety and value, these drugs have received precious little public discussion. In her forthcoming book “What Women MUST Know To Protect Their Daughters From Breast Cancer,” a pioneering voice in the women’s health movement sounds a serious warning about these strange new interventions in the order of nature.
Many good alternative health books have been written by naturopathic, traditional Chinese, and Ayurvedic doctors, some of whom are also MDs. In his well-written and user-friendly “The Fourfold Path to Healing: Working with the Laws of Nutrition, Therapeutics, Movement and Meditation in the Art of Medicine,” Thomas Cowan, MD and friends have finally given Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophical approach its long overdue place at the table.