Challenging the Preconceived Notions

Sep 16 , 2023
By Kidist Yidnekachew

The dilemma between modern and traditional treatment has sparked an ongoing debate for many years. Recent conversations on social media have also prompted the Health Ministry to release a notice last week cautioning people to examine their source of information.

When the spectre of ill health looms, I am open to counsel from those who have gained wisdom through study and research. I would not dismiss their advice out of hand but rather weigh its merits and drawbacks judiciously.

I would absolutely consult with experts in the field and conduct my own inquiries. However, if the alternative medicine is something that I can try without causing harm, I would be willing to give it a chance.

The power of modern medicine is undeniable. It is a well-researched and backed output which comes out following several trials. But I draw the line in taking it as an absolute truth. It can be expensive, inaccessible and has its own side effects.

I acknowledge that it is difficult to receive alternative medicine with open arms due to a lack of intensive research and trustworthy practitioners. There is a fear of the unknown and a desire not to jeopardise what has been proven to work for something that has limited proof.

It requires investigation and doing own research.

Some might be hesitant as it necessitates self-restraint and accountability, unlike the reliance on pharmaceuticals. Similar to why some people prioritise partaking in unhealthy foods over making dietary changes.

It is not uncommon to hear people express a preference for eating what they enjoy, even if it means compromising their health, rather than having to consume something they find unpalatable.

Recently, a friend confided in me about an ongoing struggle with a burning sensation on the sole of her foot. My first instinct was to tell her to seek medical attention as it could be a symptom of a much more serious condition.

In the meantime, I suggested that she try incorporating turmeric into her diet as I read a suggestion made by Kamal Patel, a researcher for the past couple of decades from Johns Hopkins University, that an extract from turmeric might serve as helpful in treating inflammatory pain. Of course, studies also suggested that the desired amount does not come close to adding a little extra spice to meals where some even have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals which caused adverse effects.

Full disclosure: I cannot provide an accurate diagnosis as I am not a medical professional. However, I am always eager to learn about potential treatments.

But it resonated with me because I believe that the food we consume has the power to heal and often resort to dietary changes and lifestyle modifications before swallowing a pill. There is a popular saying that goes, "you are what you eat."

Unfortunately, that was not the case with my friend. She was adamant about sticking to the prescriptions written by professionals without even trying to research alternatives.

I understand her reluctance, but I believe that it is important to be open to natural remedies. Changing preconceived notions is necessary if there is any chance of improvement while willingness to explore alternative options is pivotal.

PUBLISHED ON Sep 16,2023 [ VOL 24 , NO 1220]

Kidist Yidnekachew is interested in art, human nature and behaviour. She has studied psychology, journalism and communications and can be reached at (

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