The magic of medicine, or is it magic at all?

By- Manoj Sri Harsha

We all think of medicine, like some magic. That’s what our stories tell too, Healers and Mages magically curing diseases and even resurrecting the dead. You drink potions, and all the measles vanish, revealing a beautiful face, as clean as porcelain. Well, wakey-wakey, because that’s a sweet summer dream and the world is just winter!

Medicine is not magic, and sometimes it is an anti-microbial agent you are ingesting to fight the pathogen you have in your body. These are called antibiotics. They are not the result of brewing magical potions and are the final result of many experimentations on the pathogen that has caused the disease. The substance you ingest does have side effects. Side effects are something we knowingly accept to get rid of a higher and immediate threat. Few antibiotics cause nausea, loss of appetite, and fainting. On extended use, they may cause greater and permanent damages. Everyone is very much aware of the term “side-effect” because they are frequently spoken about and looked for while having medicines. It is because of the fundamental nature of humans to get alerted when a threat is spotted. It is in our very nature to stay away from risk and find comfort. Hence, we all are very well aware of what medicines do to our body; we know them better than the doctors themselves! It is okay to be afraid of side effects; it is even better if you have researched the side effects for yourselves. But this is precisely where the magic takes over medicine!

Magicians with magic wands are fantasy. Now is the era of people in white coats and legal licenses selling you mere water and blank medicines as a solution for your diseases. These magicians have no magic in their medications, but the charm lies in their words. They are so magical that you are instantly mesmerised. They make money using the gaps in actual medicine! Yes, pills give you side effects! That’s where you have given a gap! That’s where these fraud magicians have settled, in that slim gap of fear in your mind!

They tell you that their herbs, water, sugar-pills with pure natural formula are the secret of earth, revolutionary and claim a break-through! They look confident, and always wear a kind smile that makes you want to hug them! They sell their sugar-pills coated with alcohol for the same price of real medicine. “It cures!” they say, “With no side effects!” they re-assure. While you gulp those pills of sucrose and alcohol, they swim in millions of cash made because of the gaps in understanding medicine.

“Real” doctors, don’t sound as confident as these magical healers because confidence is not how science works. Science is an empirical study! Empirical studies do not involve people claiming things and being confident. It requires trial and error! Through error, they change their method, through trials they get perfect. They can never be sure; confidence is what you don’t need to have as a doctor. A doctor is always skeptical even though they make it sound confident; you can see through their face that they are not. It is them bastards with the pure intent of making money, that need to be confident, smile and woo you with their tricks. They need that charm and manipulation to make you fall right into their traps. 

I remember when I was young and sick, there was a neighbour who suggested our family to visit a holy person. We were told to carry a water bottle with us, and we did. This person touched my water bottle and read some chants, and that is the moment when I started doubting about alternative medicine. These potions sold by pretentious magicians are called “Alternative medicine”. Of course, they are alternative, for they are not a medicine at all.

One may call me highly opinionated, and you may even think of asking me evidence that these alternative medicines don’t work. Did you ever ask evidence when these fraudsters offered you their sugar-pills? No, you didn’t. But you should! Because none of those alternative medicines was ever proved to be working. They all are branded as “pseudoscience”, that is, false!  

Now what you must do is to educate yourself is about the placebo effect. The placebo effect is something psychological. It is that when you are confident and strong-willed about being cured, your body mechanisms work more durable and poof goes the flu. If you never had the flu in the first place and it was just your worry, this boosts your confidence. Sometimes doctors shoot you with blank injections as a part of their tests. This placebo effect is the secret of earth and the natural remedy with no side effect that is sold to you in the name of medicine. 

I’m going to reveal the names of those magic potions that have marked as pseudoscience, i.e., unscientific and unfalsifiable theories that can’t be proven. Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Color therapy, Spiritual healing, Magnet therapy, Vedic medicine, Naturopathy, etc., These are just the things we hear daily in our lives. There is a hundred more alternative medicine which has no proof of working. Yes, all of them feel good, make you strong psychologically. Homeo doctors talk with you for a long time and ask different questions. I remember one asking me if I like the weather cold or hot. I remember having a good time whenever I visited homeopathic doctors. They are extremely friendly; I think they should have chosen counselling that doesn’t involve prescribing medicines. No matter how godfather-like they feel to you. No matter how foolish-like real doctors look to you. It is just a scientifically accepted fact that they are magicians without wands in the world where magic doesn’t exist and believing it would seem odd. 

Real medicines have side-effects (mostly), doctors sound experimentative, they look sleepless with no heartful smile, and that’s how you know that they work!

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