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This is one of those controversial topics that is at the root of many heated debates. You have those who swear by alternative remedies and those that are strongly against them. The issue is often not that none of these remedies are useful, it is simply a matter of some people insisting they can be used to replace regular medicines. And of course these days there is a natural remedy for just about any ailment or illness. As a supplement, many alternative or natural remedies are useful, but the important thing to remember is the word "supplement". In the majority of cases, they are not the cure they claim to be.
There are so many different alternative treatments available that to talk about each one would result in a thick book, so for the purposes of this article, the most commonly recommended remedies will be looked at.
This is a paste commonly made from bloodroot, and is one of the more dangerous natural remedies being marketed. Black Salve is said to "cure" skin cancer, but this is absolutely not true. What it does do is destroy the skin, turning it black, and causing it to peel off — resulting in a nasty-looking scar. Scientific research has shown there are no benefits from using black salve, and it certainly does not cure skin cancer or other skin lesions. In fact, the US Drug and Food Administration has listed this salve as a fake cure for cancer, and they have enforced legal action against those that market Cansema, the other name for Black Salve.
St Johns Wort
Recommended as a natural treatment for depression, St Johns wort is sold the world over. A lot of people are against pharmaceutical treatment for depression as they believe the chemicals are harmful, so more and more people are turning to St Johns wort. Because there is such a high rate of depression, including more than 10 million sufferers each year in the US, researchers decided to study the differences between antidepressants and St Johns wort. By studying 200 people who were given either the St Johns wort or a placebo, it was shown that there was absolutely no difference in depression symptoms using either.
Can gingko ward off Alzheimer's Disease? Despite the claims used in marketing tactics, research showed that it has no effect on memory and onset of dementia, and does not work to keep Alzheimers away.
A popular home remedy, milk thistle is said to help the liver, particularly in those with cirrhosis or hepatitis. A study was undertaken in 2011 to determine whether or not milk thistle was of any benefit for liver disease, and unfortunately the results showed that it had no effect at all. The level of damage to the liver was the same in those who were taking milk thistle and those on the placebo.