So Called Alternative Medicine.

This is the title of an event being hosted by the Cambridge Sci Cafe next month. Not sure yet whether I shall be attending as I find the title of the event rather aggressive. At the same time, I am also aware that Aromatherapy like many other Complementary Therapies has not always done itself a lot of favours when it comes to backing claims with research.

Unlike those who call their therapies, “alternative” I do not decry western medicine. I have seen links recently to two sites claiming essential oils can cure cancer. (There is a constituent of Frankincense essential oils that is currently being investigated in vitro for use against some types of cancer cells.)  This does not justify claims of the oil curing cancer as I am sure most would agree.

What we need is an open discussion about what is real and what is quackery. Many aromatherapists have re-blogged or re-posted information about this claim and how it is damaging to responsible aromatherapists, leading to their work which makes no spurious claims being questioned.

If I attend the event, I hope that it will distinguish between complementary therapies and those whose claims are doubtful at best and at worst dishonest and dangerous.

It is in my interest for the latter to be taken down at every opportunity but not in a way that takes down responsible therapies and therapists as collateral damage.