ISIS Report 17/03/10
Yes! to Organic Medicine
The failure of conventional medicine based on the obsolete mechanistic
model has prompted the search for better sciences
for life, and the revival of an ancient paradigm of holistic theory of health and
organic medicine. Dr.
A fully referenced and illustrated version of
this article is posted on ISIS’ members’ website
and can be downloaded here
Failure of ‘conventional’ Western medicine and
its mechanistic paradigm
The US spent $2.2 trillion on healthcare in 2007; averaging $7 421 per person,
16.2 percent of GDP, and nearly twice the average of other developed nations.
Yet this most advanced and costly medical system in the world is the leading
cause of death and injury to its citizens. Each year, some 2.2 million suffer
from adverse drug reaction, 7.5 million undergo unnecessary medical and
surgical procedures, and 8.9 million are unnecessarily hospitalised. In 2001,
the medical system killed 783 936, when 699 697 died from heart disease and 553
251 from cancer. People around the world are looking
for other ways to deliver healthcare  (Medicine
in a new key, SiS 43) or reorganizational healing [2, 3].
Fritjof Capra had foreseen the problems created
by reductionism 30 years ago in The Turning Point , where he warned
of the wrong mechanistic Cartesian paradigm being used for medicine, although
physicists themselves have gone beyond it. Unfortunately, this is still true to-day.
Capra pointed out that all scientific theories
are approximations to the true nature of reality; and that each theory is valid
for a certain range of phenomena. New theories would have to be found to
replace the old one, or, rather, to extend it by improving the approximation.
Although Descartes' simple mechanistic biology
could not be carried very far, and had to be modified considerably during the
subsequent three hundred years, what lies at the basis of most contemporary
biological thinking is still the belief that all aspects of living organisms
can be understood by reducing them to their smallest constituents and studying
the mechanisms through which these interact.
The reductionist view of disease eclipsed an
alternative theory that had been taught a few decades earlier by Claude
Bernard, a celebrated French physician generally considered the founder of
modern physiology . Bernard's emphasis on internal balance as a condition
for health could not hold its ground against the rapid rise of the
reductionist view of disease among biologists and physicians. The importance of
his theory was rediscovered only in the twentieth century, when researchers
became more aware of the crucial role of the environment in biological
phenomena. Bernard's concept of the constancy of the internal environment has
been further elaborated in the important notion of homeostasis, a word
coined by the American physiologist Walter Cannon to denote the tendency of
living organisms to maintain a state of internal balance.
In the twentieth century a significant shift
occurred in biological research that may well turn out to be the final stage in
the reductionist approach to the phenomena of life, leading to its greatest
triumph and, at the same time, to its end. Whereas cells were regarded as the
basic building blocks of living organisms during the nineteenth century, the
attention shifted from cells to molecules toward the middle of the twentieth century,
when geneticists began to explore the molecular structure of the gene. Their
research culminated in the elucidation of the physical structure of DNA, the
molecular basis of chromosomes, and the cracking of the genetic code, which
stand among the greatest achievements of twentieth-century science .
The spectacular success of molecular biology in
the field of genetics led scientists to apply its methods to all areas of
biology in an attempt to solve all problems by reducing them to their molecular
level. Thus most biologists became fervent reductionists, concerned with
molecular details. Molecular biology, originally a small branch of the life
sciences, has become a pervasive and exclusive way of thinking that has led to
a severe distortion of biological research. As Sidney Brenner, one of the
leading researchers in molecular genetics, said then, “Nobody publishes theory
in biology - with few exceptions. Instead, they get out the structure of still
another protein .
As American philosopher Paul Weiss said:
“there is no phenomenon in a living system that is not molecular, but
there is none that is only molecular either.”
This will require a much broader conceptual framework than the one biology uses
How, then, is this situation going to change?
Capra believed that the change will come through medicine. The functions of a
living organism that do not lend themselves to a reductionist description - those
representing the organism's integrative activities and its interactions with
the environment - are precisely the functions that are crucial for
the organism's health. Because Western medicine has adopted the reductionist
approach of modern biology, adhering to the Cartesian division and neglecting
to treat the patient as a whole person, physicians now find themselves
unable to understand, or to cure, many of today's major illnesses. There is
a growing awareness among them that many of the problems our medical system
faces stem from the reductionist model of the human organism on which it is
based. This is recognized not only by physicians but also, and even more so, by
nurses and other health professionals, and the public at large. There is
already considerable pressure on physicians to go beyond the narrow,
mechanistic framework of contemporary medicine and develop a broader, holistic
approach to health.
recently, Mae-Wan Ho concluded that “decades of sequencing and
dissecting the human genome in the hope of identifying genes for diseases have
only served to confirm that the real causes of ill health are environmental and
social”  ( From
Genomics to Epigenomics , SiS 41). Further, “It is not the genetic
messages encoded in genomic DNA, but environmentally induced epigenetic
modifications that overwhelmingly determine people's health and well-being.
Early nutrition and parental care play a large role in an individual's physical
and mental health and due attention must be paid to those aspects in
delivering primary healthcare”  (Caring
Mothers Strike Fatal Blow against Genetic Determinism , SiS 41).
Another overriding reason for
change is the escalating costs of conventional drugs and drug development.
The time frame and costs for development of a new drug [8-10]
discovery of new drug based on the mechanistic reductionist model takes 12-26
years and billions of dollars, starting from
preclinical studies, which cover the period of screening for active molecules,
whether from living organism or from chemical synthesis. The success rate of
finding molecules with some biological activities in the laboratories is 1 in
10 000 and the chance that it shows no toxicity in animal tests is 1 in 1 000.
The clinical studies, which follow
the preclinical, are done according to the Declaration of Helsinki and come in
4 phases. Phase I provides information that the drug is safe. The drug is
given to 20-80 healthy volunteers under informed consent, and the success rate
is about 70 percent. Phase II provides information that the drug is safe and
effective. The drug is given to 100-300 patients under informed consent; and the
success rate is about 47 percent. Phase III provides information of long term
safety and efficacy; the drug is given to a 1 000-3 000 patients under informed
consent and the success rate is about 82 percent. All adverse effects are
noted. Having passed all 3 phases, the drug can be registered, with a success
rate of 74 percent, and only 30 percent of the registered drugs would get good
sales. Phase IV studies take place after the drug has entered the market,
on specific pharmacological effects, new clinical indication or side effects. As a result, the drug could be withdrawn as was
the case with thalidomide, which caused abnormalities in newborn babies.
These complex and costly processes
ensure that only big drug companies are able to develop drugs for the market;
and are the main reasons for 25 years of drug monopoly and the escalating cost
in the area of drug discovery agree on the desperate need to turn to nature as
a source of novel active agents for elaboration into efficacious drugs for a
multitude of disease ; particularly so as twenty-five years of the much
touted combinatorial chemistry technology has yielded only one approved drug
My own feeling is that we have a lot to learn
from successful doctors working from an integrative paradigm, and I shall
describe the work of one whom I know well as a colleague in the Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty
of Pharmacy, Mahidol University. Initially, I had made acquaintance
with him as his patient in 2006 and afterwards he told me that he would like to
give his findings to Mahidol University and asked me to open the curriculum for
him to teach.
The integrative practice of Dr. Suraphan Sirithamwanich
Using a combination of scientific knowledge offered by
modern medicine and holistic knowledge in eastern medicine, Dr. Suraphan Sirithamwanich shows it is possible to
eradicate a wide range of diseases, even those deemed ‘incurable’ by modern
medicine, and restore the patients to normal health. As detailed records have
not been kept until recently, he can only give the approximate number of cases
of different diseases successfully treated in 50 years of practice (see Table
1 Approximate record of diseases treated by Dr. Suraphan Sirithamwanich
|Disease||Number of cases|
|Cysts & Cancers*||1 000|
|Systemic lupus erythmatosus||200|
|Herpes simplex & Herpes zoster||500|
|Allergic rhinitis & allergic dermatitis||800|
|Abnormal red blood cell||50|
|Chronic inflammation of nerve endings||20|
|Nervous disease & insomnia||500|
|Back pain||1 000|
|*Include leukemia, skin cancer, cancer of internal organs, lymphoma|
Obviously, successful treatment depends on the patient
being able to swallow, and to complete the course of herbal medicine
prescribed, which though much cheaper than conventional medicine, are still
pricey. His outstanding success depends on his ability to translate the
pathology as diagnosed by western medicine diagnosis into the eastern paradigm
of diseases and formulation of herbal medicine based on holistic eastern
physiology of the human body.
Suraphan began his independent studies in
medicine from the early age of 15, with the aim of finding a cure for his
mother, who was diagnosed with an incurable psychosomatic disease. At that
time, the Director of Rajburi Hospital, a Western-trained doctor, had urged him
to seek help from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), as there was no cure in
western medicine for his mother. He was also Suraphan’s mentor in the education
of Western medicine. That was how he started some 60 years ago to study both
paradigms of healing simultaneously, and this is still the basis of his present practice.
He had the chance to study ancient Chinese
characters from the Chinese doctors who fled from mainland China, who also taught him the art of pulse reading and TCM formulation. He studied Traditional Thai
Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine together with Buddhism. Practising meditation
at the high level had helped him to understand the complicated theory of
Eastern medicine. A number of monks and herbal collectors were also his
teachers. He had followed their journeys into various jungles of Thailand to taste and collect the right herbs. The success in
finding the medicine to cure his mother’s condition was the inspiration for him
to continue his studies. He created 30 herbal formulas composed of 30-90
medicinal plants from China and Thailand, and gave different combinations of the
formulae for each patient.
The Asian paradigm of human physiology and
Buddhism are the foundation of the healing arts. But scientific technology and
information are very importance for correct diagnosis and for following up the
progress of treatment and the recovery in patients . Furthermore, it would not
cost that much time and money to invent a new drug, if one understands the Eastern
paradigm of human physiology and knows how to formulate medicinal herbs.
Suraphan is especially proud of the fact that he saved
the lives of those who had almost died from treatment with western medicine in
the big University hospitals, especially cancer patients; also the fact that
western doctors frequently perform surgical operation on patients, whereas he
can invent the herbal formula that prevents the operation i.e. cure the
patient without cutting the body.
The Eastern paradigm of human physiology
Suraphan has confirmed the benefits of ancient wisdom and proved
to himself that the normal flow in Prana Jakra, lines of energy, are needed for
the normal functions of human body. The daily completed cycle of the flows in these
energy lines must be achieved to allow a person to live a healthy life. For
example, a hepatic cancer patient with ascites (fluid filled spaces in the
abdominal cavity) will prevent the flow of many energy lines and result in many
ailments and symptoms. He proposes that these functions of energy lines may be
explained by quantum theory.
Since ancient time, it was noted that in every
square inch there is a Chakra (energy centre) where
energy is conserved, generated and transferred to the next Chakra which
form a network system over human body. There are 6 Olarn (Big) Chakras aligned
more or less in the middle axis of human body which are involved in oriental
medicine. The biggest one is at the navel where the
baby is connected to its mother. These Olarn Chakras are bigger than the normal
Chakras, therefore more energy are concentrated and transferred .
The energy in the forms of light,
sound, colour and heat can be generated at these Chakras. The Moranayan Sutra
(Death) Chapter of Thai Traditional Medicine Pharmacopoeia clearly notes the
presence of energy inside the human body. It states that the internal sound is
heard when external sounds are muted by putting the fingers into the ears. The
book states that if one cannot hear any noise within his body (in Thai ‘hoo dab’
or dead ear) means that the person is going to die within seven days . This
signified that the internal sound is a sign of life that can be related to the
Prana Chakra lines of energy. The body aura may be evidence of light and colour
forms of energy. Heat energy is evident by the warmth of chakra areas and biological
results obtained after applying the heat such as hot compress at the chakras
along the lines of energy which improves the vitality of a person and even ease
the musculoskeleton symptoms as practiced in Traditional Thai massage. The flow
of energy can be felt by the person receiving a moxibustion treatment.
Figure 1 The
Pran-chakra lines of energy and vitality 
As a scientist, I was
reluctant to accept the presence of these energy lines until I experienced this
flow of heat inside the lower leg from the foot to the knee after a set of moxa
(a piece of fresh ginger with burnt herb on top) was placed at a point on the
external side of the left foot. Within a few minutes there was a line of heat
travelling inside the leg from the foot to the knee. It was then that I
understood how the Prana Chakras lines of energy in the human body were
successfully located and drawn, and all chakras were known thousands of years
ago. Scientific explanation by Ho partly explains this phenomena i.e. she
stated that quantum coherent organism works by intercommunication through water
molecules aligned by connective tissues such as collagen and coherent energy is
stored and available throughout the system  (Quantum Medicine: Organism as Polyphasic
Liquid Crystalline Water, ISIS Lecture).
Suraphan always says that “Eastern medicine is
philosophy, it's not simple and straight forward like western medicine and
sometimes you cannot describe that to a novice.” What he gives them is just the
Can herbs cure cancer?
There are many mechanisms that herbs can help in
curing cancer. They can act as antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiproliferative,
immunomodulator, anti-inflammatory, enzyme inhibitor, antimutagenic etc and
most of all, herbs give nourishment to normal cells. These activities have
already been proven for single plants [16-18]. Many natural
product-derived drugs ranked among the top 35 worldwide selling ethical drugs
in 2000, 2001, and 2002. There were 15 new natural product-derived drugs
launched between 2000 and 2003, and 15 natural product-derived compounds were
in Phase III clinical trials or registration at the end of 2003 .
Suraphan’s view about the
pathogenesis of cancer is that there is weakness in the body’s energy system
the Tridosha i.e. Pitta or homeostasis, Vata or metabolism and Kapha or
anabolism which allows the accumulation of toxic substances or free radicals.
As a result a cyst or tumour develops and later turns to cancer. The herbs are
those recorded in the ancient books of Thai, Ayuravedic and Chinese Traditional
medicine. Example of these herbs are Allium sativum, Aloe vera, Asparagus
racemosa, Curcuma longa, Melia azedarach, Nigella sativa, Ocimum sanctum,
Paederia foetida, Phyllanthus emblica, Plumbago zeylanica, Picrorhiza kurroa,
Tinospora cordifolia, Terminalis chebula etc [7,13,16,17]. Suraphan says
:“The formulation is like a good English sentence, which is composed of many
I completely agree
with Ho that  “A new ‘organic medicine' could combine the best in
non-invasive, non-destructive approaches from both traditional medical systems
and contemporary science that would also revitalize indigenous medicines in all
cultures and provide affordable healthcare for all. This project is all the
more urgent in view of the increase in disease burden forecast for times of
It is essential, for the benefit of humanity,
that doctors from the two systems must intercommunicate with respect and with
the same aim i.e. to heal the patients, not to get rid of the disease, such as
those attempts in cancer treatment. Another urgent matter is that many
medicinal plants in the world are being lost by the lack of knowledge in their
usefulness, and therefore no conservation is attempted .
It is now clear that the time has come for appropriate
sciences to join forces for the survival of our species. The question is how to
overcome the Domo system  that has occupied the world for so long and
leaves no place for other systems to take a stand.
The author is
head of Department of Pharmacognosy, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand, and
a member of the Faculty
Committee in Ph. D. in Phytopharmaceutical Sciences Programme, M.Sc. and Ph.D.
in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Phytochemistry Programme, The Secretariat of
Senate Subcommittee in Sciences and Technology of Thai Parliament
There are 1 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
|Joe Bentley Comment left 18th March 2010 06:06:32|
For several years we have seen significant improvements to total disappearance of Cancer with clients using two nutritional products we developed over the years together with a "Don't Do List" which is very important to recovery. Our original approach can be reviewed at www.cancerremission.com. We have not had the time to update the website to our newer and simpler approach but plan to do so in the next 90 days or so.
The consistent results we see suggests what is called Cancer is primarily a form of cellular malfunction mostly the result of a gross nutritional deficiency not recognized as such, exacerbated by the use of denatured sugars which contributes to extensive propagation of pleomorphic organisms much smaller than viruses. As these organisms multiple they invade the different cells of the body gathering energy and multiplying rapidly. The organisms cannot be destroyed by heat or acid.
Cancer as we usually see it is an environmental problem in the closed environment of the body. The environment can be significantly restored quickly by eating a raw food diet. Aside from the undamaged nutrients present in raw food there is also the highly structured state of the water within the plant. About 90% of the population in the United States is eating food byproducts and food substitutes, not real food as defined by nature as a life form.
Also, unusual is the disappearance of Cancer including tumors when someone with Multiple Personality Disorder changes personalities and the Cancer is gone... and only returns when the person reverts back to their original personality.
Thank you for creating Institute of Science in Society and the endless sea of information you seem to make available. I don't know what I would do without your existence. Thank you for being.