Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Medicines or Natural Remedies?

A pharmacy in Basel had a sign in their window: "Medikamente oder Naturheilmittel?" – "Medicines or Natural Remedies": This choice is also a sales pitch to appeal both to those who prefer "medicine" and those who prefer "complementary and alternative medicine", which would include such "natural means of healing" (to translate each word in that German compound). The provision of "alternatives" makes the pharmacy look open-minded, of course. But if this alternative obscures how any "natural remedy" can always be reclassified as "medicine" as soon its efficacy and safety have actually been demonstrated, it also betrays the fact that marketing, not medicine, is the essence of the "natural remedy" or "alternative medicine". (Andrew Shields, #111words, 13 May)

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