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In this section you will find interesting articles about complementary and alternative medicine, written by the foundation IOCOB

Levi-Montalcini: palmitoylethanolamide

Rita Levi-Montalcini! 

Quand elle avait plus de quatre-vingt ans professeur Rita Levi-Montalcini, lauréate du prix Nobel de médecine, se mettait devant le microscope. Elle a décrit dans ces années, nous parlons début des années 90, une toute nouvelle façon de traiter la douleur et l’inflammation. Pas avec un agent inventé par les chimistes dans l’industrie pharmaceutique, mais avec une molécule que notre corps produit lui-même.  Palmitoylethanolamide (Normast, PeaPure).

Normast en Italie sur le marché et est fabriqué en Italie. PeaPure  est expédiée dans le monde entier et est fait aux Pays-Bas. 

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Idebenone: a better Q10

Idebenone is a supplement, a molecule resembling Q10, but with better properties. A review of idebenone, and its putative role in the treatment of freidreich’s ataxia, Leber hereditary optic neuropathy and other neuropathies. To prove efficacy of this supplement in these indications is quite difficult, as we will see. Partly this is due to methodological problems of how to measure the clinical effect in these diseases.

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Tumour devascularisation

At the moment, no validated curative therapy is currently available for metastatic solid tumours. In
western countries between 20 to 30% of the patients with colorectal cancer
present themselves in stage IV. After resection of the primary tumour, often
recurrence of cancer arises on the basis of micro metastases. Chemotherapy and
radiotherapy can increase the life expectancy, though side effects influence
strongly the quality of life. Also medical cost increases with increasing tumour
stage, mainly due to adjuvant treatments and palliative care. Download the protocol

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome treatment with Palmitoylethanolamide (PeaPure)

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the most common compression neuropathy. It is the reason for pain and functional impairment. On the picture we see in yellow the median nerve, being compressed under a ligament in the wrist. This gives rise to chronic pain. Pain normally can be reduced with oral neuropathic analgesics. However, the side effects of most of the NSAIDS limit its use.  It is available in its purest form as PeaPure , without chemical excipients.

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) , a fatty acid occurring naturally in our body, has also neuropathic pain reducing properties. Furthermore, it stabilizes mast cells, present in the carpal tunnel. Besides the pain reducing effect, PEA has also neuroprotective properties. To evaluate the clinical effects of PEA in CTS, Italian researchers randomised 28 diabetic patients with CTS, in two groups: one group received PEA twice daily 600mg and the other group received placebo.

PEA has been administered in clinical trials in around 2800 patients suffering from pain, and another 3000 suffering from the flu. 

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2008: the year of meditation and mindfulness

Meditation is Good for You! That has become clear based upon many different studies. In 2008 there was an abundance of research into the value of meditation for medicine. Studies by modern imaging techniques such as MRI have shown that meditation a deep and lasting effect on us and our nervous system. There are nearly 800 publications from 2008 to about meditation in the largest medical database that we have, Pubmed. That is not nothing. More and more areas of medicine, the value of meditation for patients discovered and rediscovered. And doctors and other health workers are discovering the value of meditation as a stress-reducing technique in their turbulent medical work.


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Mucuna Pruriens for Parkinson’s disease


This is the initiation of an important Forum on the value of Mucuna Pruriens’s for patients with Parkinon’s disease. Patients are invited to share their experiences at the bottom of this article thus share it with other users.

Mucuna Pruriens is a plant whose components are part of at least 200 different ayurvedic preparations. In India, Mucuna Pruriens known as Kapikachhu. All parts of the plant are known for medicinal uses. There is a variety of familiar applications, ranging from potency increase, improvement of fertility in men, antidote for snake bites and, last but not least for Parkinson’s disease. The plant is also known by the names Pica Pica, Kapikachu, Yerepe, Yoruba, Atmagupta, Common Cowitch, Velvet bean, Velvet bean and Cowhage. Especially for patients with Parkinson’s disease is very interesting this preparation.

Mucuna pruriens preparations are already hundreds of years used in traditional ayurvedic medicine. The preparation has an obvious effect on various systems for transmission of nerve impulses (neurotransmitter systems), including the dopamine system. In 2004, the first major treatment results of a placebo-controlled clinical study published.The study was reporting the effects of 15 and 30 grams of a preparation of these seeds in patients with Parkinson’s disease. The results were encouraging. We share with you our knowledge on this treatment, its efficacy and its safety.

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Indian Astrology of Jay Singh in Jaipur

Vedic astrology is the base of the ayurvedic medical astrology or Jyotish. One of the founding fathers of the vedic astrology was the Maharaja Jai Singh. He became intensely interested in astronomy during a tense debate in 1719 at the court of Mughal emperor Mohammed Shah. At issue was a trip on which the Emperor was planning to embark. Court astrologers could not agree on the best date. The debate encouraged Jai Singh to set astrological education as a priority in his kingdom. To that end, he constructed a series of observatories, starting with Delhi (in 1724), followed by Varanasi, Ujjain, Mathura and lastly Jaipur. 

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Golden Needle Therapy in Bhutan

In the traditional Bhutanese medicine the golden needle therapy is very popular. The golden needle is a nail like golden thick needle, used to treat many disorders. Many patients actively ask the traditional healer to be treated with the golden needle. The golden needle therapy is seen by many Bhutanese patients as something quite special.

IOCOB visited in 2008 a traditional healer to inquire about this method. We thougt the method might be related to Chinese medicine, were golden needles are used also. But it appeared to be quite different. Golden neelde therapy is cauterization: the  golden needle is heated and on certain points, unrelated to acupuncture points, the heated needle is applied. Not piercing through the skin, but only touching the skin. This it is not acupuncture, but cauterization. The therapy is a 2nd line therapy, if herbal remedies are not sufficient.

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On the history of kings of Bhutan and Bhutanese Medicine

In november 2008 an expedition of two members of the Foundation IOCOB went to Buthan to look for the roots of Bhutanese Traditional medicine. While lunching at a small village, they noticed a triple railbow at the other side of the river, above a small temple. This rainbow emerged trice. This tempel was unkown to us and we suggested our guide to pay a visit to that temple. It appeared to be a very good move. We discovered an upto now unkown or forgotten element in Bhutanese history of its royalty and its medicine. Our guide Tshering Dhebdup assisted in translating the story the old monk told us.

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LSD and medicine

LSD and medicine: first steps

At the end of 2007 a researcher from Switzerland, doctor Peter Gasser, was granted permission to deploy LSD as therapy. The title of his research:

LSD assisted psychotherapy in persons suffering from anxiety associated with advanced-stage life threatening diseases.

This is the first time since 1972 that there has been renewed scientific attention for the medical aspects of LSD. In the USA in 2008 Harvard University launched a project for patients with severe form of headache, cluster headache, using psilocybin (from the magic mushroom) or LSD. At the end of this article we provide an overview of all the LSD research in the world.

Albert Hofmann discovered LSD in 1943 and the first decades of research was in the hands of scientists and doctors. LSD helped to develop a new vision on our consciousness and on illnesses such as schizophrenia. This documentary shows how LSD before the western world criminalised it. LSD proved to have a large impact on the personal lives of those who intakes. This documentary in 2008  put on utube is a unique document.

Geniouses from the past, such as Aldeous Huxley, took LSD on their deathbed, and Dr Hofmann, the discoverer of LSD, took the last time this substance on the age of 97! (He was 102).

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