Traditional medicine; Truth or myth
The issue of traditional medicine has been raised again in our society these days. The authorities claim that this method is effective in treating many diseases. The fact is that there is only one medicine that should be based on scientific evidence and clinical trials. There are various methods in the treatment of diseases such as surgery, chemical drugs, etc. All of these methods must prove their effects in scientific studies to be known as a method of treatment. Traditional medicine is no exception to this rule. If those in charge of this field claim that their method is effective in treating diseases, they must provide scientific evidence; But another look at the issue of traditional medicine is a historical look. Traditional medicine has a history of several centuries. Until just a century ago, human lifespan was barely 40 years.
Infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia or infectious diarrhea were the leading causes of human mortality. If traditional medicine was effective, why throughout history could it not cure the human ills of its time, despite its claims? Modern medicine has treated and controlled many infectious diseases using scientific methods, so that today human life expectancy has reached more than 70 years. Many of the diseases that used to be deadly are now easily treated. Of course, it should be noted that modern medicine has also been associated with challenges. Despite the success of modern medicine in treating many diseases, there are still diseases that modern medicine has not been successful in treating; For example, many chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, do not yet have a definitive cure and can only be controlled with medication. Another problem with modern medicine is that it is expensive. On the other hand, there is still no definitive cure for many incurable diseases such as advanced cancers and Alzheimer’s; Therefore, many people with such diseases will turn to simpler and cheaper methods.
Traditional medicine is a popular option in this field. Many countries have tried to study the methods of traditional medicine by investing in this field. The effectiveness of traditional medicine in the treatment of diseases must first be proven in scientific studies and clinical trials so that it can be prescribed to patients. It should be noted that providing any treatment to the patient before stabilizing its effect in scientific studies is rejected in terms of medical ethics. Health care providers should assist patients in their treatment by providing scientific guidance. Providing medical services that are not based on scientific evidence will undermine patients’ trust in the health care system. The Ministry of Health and Medical Education, as the custodian of health in the country, should provide more space for scientific studies in the field of disease treatment, whether these methods are based on traditional medicine or any other method.
Based on these studies, physicians and patients should be instructed based on scientific evidence. The recent tensions in this ministry will cause irreparable damage to the people’s trust in the health authorities, which will result in nothing but serious damage to public health. People should trust that the methods offered for treatment are based on scientific evidence and not superstitions or unscientific methods; Whether these methods are based on traditional medicine or any other method. The medical community of the country, based on its moral and professional duty, should be very responsible in this regard and fight hard against services that are not based on scientific evidence, and should not show any negligence about the health of the community.
Dr. Reza Saidi Firoozabadi – Transplant surgeon