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Rapid response to:

Editor's Choice

“Let food be thy medicine…”

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7433.0-g (Published 22 January 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:0-g

Rapid Response:

Exaggeration, indifference or both?

Dear Editor,

Richard Smith has been brilliant in expressing, in rather concrete
terms what he always wants to; the statement "let medicine be thy food and
food be thy medicine" seems to be a mix of both. While several
prophylactic and therapeutic benefits of folic acid are well known to all
of us and upcoming usages seem exciting; it would be "too much" to say
that its let this medicine be food.

Why do always make "too-much" of the medicines available all around?
Someone rightly said sometime ago, "The best physician is the one who
knows that worthlessness of most medicines". Therefore, we at some point
of time start propagating the unconventional or the unorthodox ways and
means of health care for benefits of masses; especially the
underprivileged.

Several inexpensive techniques such as meditation, regular exercise
and yoga have been shown to have countless health benefits; yet they are
yet to meet the response they deserve. Are we too, "medicine savvy?" or we
don’t want to look beyond medicines? Do we seem to forget that majority of
the world population still does not have the reach even to the most
essential drugs? Do we see the sea change in the prevailing situation in
the near future? And are we convinced that only the drugs are the answer
to everything? I guess, all of us know the answer.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

27 January 2004
Vikas Dhikav
Resident
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi-110029, INDIA