It is difficult to condemn all alternative or complimentary medicine ... because some of it probably does work. But how can we separate the good from the junk? The scientific method. But this presents another problem for fans of alternative medicine because once a treatment has successfully run the gauntlet of science, it’s no longer “alternative,” but is recognized medicine. There is great danger in placing faith in alternative medicine over evidence-based science. For example, a 2008 Harvard study found that more than 360,000 South African AIDS patients unnecessarily suffered premature deathsbetween 2000 and 2005 because science-based treatments were rejected in favor of alternative cures. When it comes to health, skepticism and an appreciation for the scientific method are crucial. Misunderstanding how science works and putting unwarranted trust in folklore can kill.
Image by Kevin Hand/Prometheus Books