Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Jennifer Perry

Reader 2

Gene Fowler

Rights Information

© 2009 Kimber Lopez


Although most “alternative” medical practices have existed far longer than conventional healthcare, modern allopathic continues to be the dominant system of medicine used in the United States. Herbal medicine is one of the oldest healing practices known to humankind and continues to be practiced today despite the numerous challenges modern society poses. As Julie Stone and Joan Mathews illuminate in Complimentary Medicine and the Law, “Plant-based remedies have been the principal source of medicines in healing traditions around the world and, as the World health Organization is at pains to remind us, 80 percent of the world’s population still depends primarily on plant medicine." Another statistic cited by Larry Dossey in Reinventing Medicine illustrates, “…researchers have found that adverse reactions to drugs kill over 100,000 people a year in US hospitals. That is the equivalent of a passenger jet crashing everyday. If this level of death were seen in any other field, it would probably be considered a national scandal." These facts reveal that American citizens have come to believe in a form of healthcare that is not widely accepted by the rest of the world, and that has some surprisingly dangerous characteristics hidden within. The question thus arises as to why biomedicine continues to be the standard form of healthcare in the US, and why alternative forms of medicine are devalued and failed to be justifiably recognized and incorporated into treatment strategies.