The NHMRC Natural Therapies for Private Health Insurance review has been criticised for requiring medical standards of evidence and as a result finding Natural Therapies to be ineffective. While the report could be criticised on a number of points, David Casteleijn responds to some of the questions and concerns, explaining the purpose of the report, how the evidence was assessed and how it could inspire new research directions.
Approximately 20% of women aged between 20 and 56 experience bacterial urinary tract infections (UTIs) each year with one in four developing chronic, recurrent infections. Increasing microbial resistance to antibiotics and tissue inflammation can increase the risk of chronic, recurrent disease. Chronic UTIs can lead to serious disease including renal failure and kidney disease. Conventional treatment consists of pharmaceutical antibiotics. However, some urinary tract pathogens have developed resistance to antibiotics and rates of side effects associated with long-term antibiotic use are high. Multidimensional approaches to control infections and increase an individual’s resistance are needed. This case study describes a multidimensional approach aimed to increase the individual’s resistance and prevent recurrent infections. The impact of chronic disease on women’s bodies can have negative consequences, including an impact on psychological and social health and well-being. Complications can include impaired sleep and digestion, lowered energy and vitality, and strained relationships, which further reduce immunity and perpetuate the vulnerability and risk of an ongoing negative cycle. Intervention to break the cycle may include the administration of targeted dietary supplements and herbal medicines along with self-care strategies.
This is the case of a 22-year-old female with recurrent UTI treated for six weeks. Individualised strategies aimed to increase immunity, improve mucosal health, reduce stress and support energy and vitality. The client’s self-perceived stress was reduced from 8/10 at the beginning of treatment to 5/10 at six weeks. Her energy increased from 0/10 to 4/10. There was no recurrence of UTI.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a significant global public health issue with few treatments currently available that effectively reverse the disease or prevent its progression. Diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and acute kidney disease are the major contributors to CKD. These co-morbidities cause the destruction of glomeruli resulting in blood flow changes, activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, systemic hypertension, proteinuria, inflammation and oxidative stress. Pharmaceutical interventions, including angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, calcium channel blockers and diuretics, are used as mono- or combination therapies to achieve blood pressure control and improve the condition. However, combinations of pharmaceuticals increase the risk of adverse events and in many patients does not prevent progression to renal failure. Salvia miltiorrhiza radix (Danshen) is a traditional Chinese herb that shows considerable potential in ameliorating the effects of CKD. A computer-based search of Cinahl, The Cochrane Library, Embase, Medline and TRIP databases was performed to appraise the scientific literature on this herb. While there is little evidence for the use of Danshen in CKD and no human studies have been located, this review provides a summary of the research to date that may reveal a novel treatment for this disease.
Keywords: Chronic kidney disease, CKD, Danshen, Salvia miltiorrhiza, review.
These abstracts are brief summaries of articles in recent issues of medical journals. Articles selected are of a general nature for the information of practitioners of herbal medicine. A dominant theme is often present throughout the journals which will be reflected in the reviews.
The AJHM based CPE questionnaire system is a voluntary system designed to assist members in the accumulation of NHAA CPE points. Questions are divided into the appropriate subject categories (herbal medicine and medical science) and each question refers to an article in this issue of the Australian Journal of Herbal Medicine. Points accumulated through completion of these questions should be recorded in the NHAA CPE diary. Each completed question is worth one mark in the relevant category. Your completed CPE diary should be returned with your membership renewal at the end of the calendar year. For further information please see the NHAA CPE Member’s Manual on the NHAA website www.nhaa.org.au.