medicinal, therapeutic or ?

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JustKate

Senior Member
I'm writing an article that extensively quotes a man who grows mushrooms - for a living but also because he loves pretty much everything about them. I want to find a way to briefly mention his belief that there are both nutritional and medicinal/therapeutic/just-generally-really-good-for-you benefits to eating mushrooms without sounding either skeptical or as though I am necessarily a believer myself. I'm not going to get too specific - I don't want to even sort of sound as though I'm using this article to give health advice - but the article is about him and his mushrooms, and his belief in their health benefits is therefore at least a minor part of the story.

In other words, I want to sound neutral. What I want to know is if therapeutic is suitably neutral in the following sentence:
Part of his commitment to mushrooms comes from their nutritional and therapeutic qualities, but it also comes from a belief that mushrooms are important – to humans and to the planet on which humans live.

I originally used medicinal, but I thought that sounded too, you know, medical and official. But what do you all think?
 
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  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I personally associate therapeutic with therapy, i.e. more suitable for sick people. I probably would go for a more general word like wholesome or healthful. The thing is, when you say 'comes from their ..... qualities' you seem to take it for granted that such qualities exist and that does not sound very neutral.
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    Hmmm, good point. Yet if I modify therapeutic I think I'll sound too skeptical and I really am pretty much neutral here. That's not pretense on my part. How about if I replace nutritional and therapeutic with the vaguer (but safer) health-giving - ..."comes from their health-giving qualities."
     

    Hau Ruck

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I tend to agree with boozer. Therapeutic gives a connotation of therapy and something that would heal the ailing.

    Might I suggest that you structure the sentence(s) to be a relaying of his own beliefs rather than a perception of it being the author's (you)?

    Part of his commitment to mushrooms comes from his belief in their nutritional and ​possible therapeutic qualities, but it also comes from a (some other word than belief, that still means 'belief') that mushrooms are important – to humans and to the planet on which humans live.
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    I agree with boozer; in fact, to me "theraputic" sounds even more "official" - more like something a real doctor would say - than "medicinal," which these days strikes me as a little fuzzy around the edges.

    Can you wedge a "what he percieves to be" in there? I think I'd be inclined to recast, and have one sentence saying that he believes in the healthful properties, and a second saying "But his commitment also comes from a belief that . . . "

    Edit: On the same page, literally and figuratively, with Hau Ruck again.
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    The reason I prefer therapeutic to medicinal is that, at least to me, medicinal sounds as though it's being used (rightly or wrongly) to treat a specific disease or condition, whereas therapeutic, while it might be for a specific problem could also be considered more general. What I mean is, he isn't really talking about curing this particular disease with this particular mushroom (at least not for the majority of the interview, and definitely not in my article :)). He is instead talking about prevention. It's more like taking fish oil supplements than it is "Take Herb X and it will cure Alzheimer's!"
     
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    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    I vote with Hau Ruck - word for word. Your original sentence: "his commitment to mushrooms comes from their nutritional and therapeutic qualities" sounds like the mushrooms hired him to represent them or something, paying him in health.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Part of his commitment to mushrooms comes from their nutritional and therapeutic qualities, . . .
    Kate, this sounds like a statement of fact, whatever word(s) you use. If you don't want to appear to be making such a statement, you need to qualify it with "his belief in".
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I vote with Hau Ruck - word for word. Your original sentence: "his commitment to mushrooms comes from their nutritional and therapeutic qualities" sounds like the mushrooms hired him to represent them or something, paying him in health.
    :D Well, it did not sound to me that way, but I see now that such an interpretation is possible. One can expect the strictest kind of scrutiny in this forum. :)
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I tend to agree with boozer. Therapeutic gives a connotation of therapy and something that would heal the ailing.

    Might I suggest that you structure the sentence(s) to be a relaying of his own beliefs rather than a perception of it being the author's (you)?

    Part of his commitment to mushrooms comes from his belief in their nutritional and ​possible therapeutic qualities, but it also comes from a (some other word than belief, that still means 'belief') that mushrooms are important – to humans and to the planet on which humans live.
    The missing word might be conviction.
     
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