We here at ACSH were surprised, indeed dismayed, to learn of the recently-established “Herbal Treatment Center” at the esteemed Cleveland Clinic. Even worse, the article in the Wall Street Journal indicated that that same establishment contains something called “The Center for Integrative Medicine” (CIM). The practitioners at the herbal center are “herbalists” and dispense, well, you get the picture — which are often combinations of different biological substances with a Chinese label. The example cited, of a woman seeking help for what she deemed to be “inflammation,” was given such a remedy, and when she asked if it would possibly help her condition, was advised that it “absolutely” would, as well as “pain”…”digestion”…”inflammation, all of the above.” Miraculous indeed.
The patients attending the herbal center (and possibly the CIM) require referral from a physician and must sign a waiver to the effect that they are aware that “herbal supplements are not a substitute for a medical diagnosis.” They are charged $100 for a “consultation” which lasts an hour, $60 for follow-ups (of shorter duration, we’d imagine) and another hundred for a one-month supply of “herbal formulas.” The attendees are generally advised that short-term benefits are unlikely, and that for the “best therapeutic potential, three months. It will be slow, tedious work,” was the caveat given to the patient described in the article. The herbalist quoted, Ms. Galina Roofener, told the journalist that “infertility, menstrual disorders, PMS and menstrual symptoms (Ed.:yes, again) are commonly treated by Chinese herbs and can be very effective.”……To Read More….