I am pleased to report that my ‘ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE HALL OF FAME’ is growing steadily. So far, this elite club includes:
Time, I think, to elect another member. I was fascinated to read what the COLLEGE OF MEDICINE (I have published about this organisation before, for instance, here) writes about a former co-worker of mine, Simon Mills (those who have read my memoir will know more about him and about my struggle to disassociate me and my work from him and his activities):
Simon Mills is a member of the College of Medicine Council. He is a Cambridge graduate in medical sciences who has since 1977 been a herbal practitioner and natural therapist in Exeter. In that time he has led the main organizations for herbal medicine in the UK (the British Herbal Medicine Association, the College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy, and National Institute of Medical Herbalists) and served on Government and House of Lords committees. Since 1997 he has been Secretary of ESCOP, the lead herbal scientific network in Europe, that produces defining monographs on herbal medicines for the European Medicines Agency. He has also written award-winning seminal herbal medicine textbooks, notably with Kerry Bone the two editions of Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy and the Essential Book of Herbal Safety. He has long been involved in academic work having co-founded the world’s first University centre for complementary health in Exeter (1987), the first integrated health course at a UK medical school at the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter (2000) and the first masters degree programme in herbal medicine in the USA (2001). He has published in many peer-reviewed scientific journals including full clinical trials with herbal medicines, and has supervised 10 successful doctorate theses. Simon is currently building a new role for healthcare practitioners as ‘health guides. With health workbooks, training programmes, community projects and websites.
It was new to me that he has ‘published in many peer-reviewed scientific journals’, so I did a Medline search and found a total of 14 articles. Most of these were comments, letters etc. I decided to identify the first 10 papers that drew some sort of conclusions about the value of alternative therapies. This is what I found (as usual, I have copied the conclusions in bold):
Pengelly A, Snow J, Mills SY, Scholey A, Wesnes K, Butler LR.
J Med Food. 2012 Jan;15(1):10-7. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2011.0005. Epub 2011 Aug 30.
The positive effect of the dose nearest normal culinary consumption points to the value of further work on effects of low doses over the longer term.
Dent HE, Dewhurst NG, Mills SY, Willoughby M.
Complement Ther Med. 2003 Jun;11(2):72-7.
Continuous 24-h PC6 acupressure therapy as an adjunct to standard antiemetic medication for post-MI nausea and vomiting is feasible and is well accepted and tolerated by patients. In view of its benefits, further studies are worthwhile using earlier onset of treatment.
Mills SY, Jacoby RK, Chacksfield M, Willoughby M.
Br J Rheumatol. 1996 Sep;35(9):874-8.
It is concluded that Reumalex has a mild analgesic effect in chronic arthritis at a level appropriate to self-medication.
Yes, there were just three such papers; perhaps the College of Medicine’s description is just a trifle misleading? As all of these arrived at positive conclusions, I think Mr Mills nevertheless deserves a place in my ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE’S HALL OF FAME.