Thursday, July 28, 2005
Echinacea: Could Millions be Wrong?
Scientists have now determined that Echinacea is not a valid helping tool for colds. A new study conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, as well as the New York Times, determined that Echinacea has absolutely no effect on the common cold whether taken before a cold comes on or at the moment a person is infected. Should we be surprised at this finding? Of course the millions of us who use Echinacea are wrong. Somehow there is a collective psychological trick occurring in which our minds trick us into thinking that it works when, in reality, it doesn’t. We must be wrong; certainly we’ve got it wrong. I wonder, in all honesty, who sponsored this study? Hum . . . well . . . our current government, the same folks who, as has been reported in the past, continue to distort and eliminate findings which do not meet with their political ends. A 1993 report, requested by Rep. Henry A. Waxman who was the ranking member on the Committee of Government reform, “Politics and Science in the Bush Administration” not only demonstrates and cites various examples where this has occurred, but several news agencies, as well as science journals, has also reported on the manipulating tactics this current administrant insists upon with science. Now, I am not saying that the findings are in question. I do not know the exact methodology nor do I know if any tampering has been done. I have no proof. After all, why, you may justly ask, should anyone mess with results or distort results about Echinacea? Think drug companies. Think multinational corporations and then think on this current administration. Echinacea is an over the counter product which is not regulated by the government, like all herbal remedies, and so ANYONE can produce and market this product. When you consider the fact that, as the New York Times states, 14,665,000 people used this herb in 2004 alone, well that is a crap load of money: “A national survey last year by the National Center for Health Statistics found that Echinacea was the most popular natural product, used by some 14,665,000 people, or 40 percent of those who used natural products. The American Botanical Council, a nonprofit group that promotes the use of herbal supplements, says sales of Echinacea products in 2004 were about $155 million.” So, as I said, I have no proof but I do have what I would call healthy suspicions, especially sense one of the co-author’s of the paper being published, Dr. Bauer, states that: “He himself takes Echinacea, he said, and will continue to do so” (NY Times). Can millions really and truly and absolutely be wrong? Wow . . . imagine the magic here. A booga booga CNN.com, 2/19/04: Scientists: Bush administration distorts research The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 5, 2004: How Sound Is Bush's 'Sound Science'? The Washington Post, August 8, 2003: Bush Misuses Science, Report Says BBC News World Edition, 2/19/2004: US scientists tax Bush on climate