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Quackademic medicine marches on: Essential oils and quackademia for the poor

Collingewheel

After having written about how the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) has promoted guidelines for cancer patients that are—shall we say?—less than scientifically rigorous, I was immediately confronted with just what we face in academic medicine when it comes to the infiltration of quackery, or, as I like to call it, quackademic medicine. It came in the form of an e-mail containing a Christmas message to the readers of the newsletter for the GW Center for Integrative Medicine (GW CIM), which is affiliated with George Washington University Medical Center.

All I can say is: Ugh.

Obviously, this being Orac and all, I can say more than that. I almost always do. First of all, I’ll remind you of just how much outright quackery is offered by GW CIM: Reiki, acupuncture, chiropractic, craniosacral therapy, infrared light therapies, glutathione infusions, Myers’ Cocktail, naturopathy (again, of course!), intravenous high dose vitamin C, and genetic profile results that include “customized interpretation of 23andme.com genetic profile results with specific accent on methylation and detoxification profiles.” So now what’s in this Christmas message in GW CIM’s Medella newsletter? Last time around, it was reiki workshops, which, as all regular readers should know is nothing more than faith healing that substitutes as the source of the mystical magical “healing energy” Eastern mysticism (as in the “universal source”) for Christian beliefs (as in god). The newsletter even proclaims:

The second degree of Reiki deepens your connection to universal source, connects you to a greater volume of Reiki energy, and strengthens your ability to channel the energy. You will be introduced to three sacred symbols, which serve specific healing functions: 1) powering up the Reiki energy, 2) healing at the mental and emotional level, and 3) healing across time and space. A large part of the training will be centered on the understanding and application of these symbols, along with supervised hands-on practice of advanced Reiki techniques on yourself and others. We will also discuss the ethics of treating others, and local resources for volunteering. You will receive two attunements at this level. Homework will include 21 days of self-healing, and ten documented sessions on others, after which you will receive your certificate. Prerequisite: Certificate from your Reiki 1 Training. Please register at www.gwcim.com.

Yes, GW CIM is trying to out-Cleveland Clinic the Cleveland Clinic.

This time around, though, it’s essential oils:

In recent years, there has been renewed interest in the use of essential oils. As more and more people demand safer alternatives to synthetic pharmaceuticals, scientists and medical practitioners alike are seeking to validate the numerous health benefits of essential oils.

Essential oils are naturally occurring extracts derived from the seeds, stems, leaves, flowers or bark of plants, or the rinds of citrus fruits. Essential oils are 50 – 70 times more potent than their herbal counterparts. The therapeutic benefits of essential oils have been known for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans reference the use of essential oils for health and wellness. In the story of the three wise men, three gifts were considered important enough to be offered: aside from gold, the two others were essential oils – frankincense and myrrh.

We hear this sort of stuff about essential oils again and again. This sales pitch could have come straight from dōTERRA®. So far, this is relatively harmless claptrap, but unfortunately it doesn’t stay that way for long. First, there’s the implication that the healing properties of these oils were forgotten with the rise of evil pharmaceuticals:

The use of essential oils was lost in history until 1937, when a French chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, rediscovered their benefits by healing a badly burned hand with pure lavender oil. Therapeutic grade essential oils were next successfully used to treat soldiers during World War II. With the beginning of penicillin use in 1942, the therapeutic benefits of essential oils were forgotten. Only in the past two decades, as more people demand safer alternatives to synthetic pharmaceuticals, essential oils have once again gained in popularity.

You might think that an academic medical center wouldn’t publish something in its official newsletter that implies that something like essential oils could be used as antibiotics but were only forgotten because of the rise of penicillin use. Whether some essential oils have antimicrobial properties isn’t the issue. At issue is the insinuation that essential oils can do as well as pharmaceuticals and whether they’re viable alternatives to pharmaceuticals.

Certainly, it is possible that various essential oils might have useful properties. They are, after all, derived from natural products. However, there is the same problem here that there is with any other crude natural product: purity and consistency. Yet, like for herbal medicine, we see such claims:

Because a single essential oil can have hundreds of constituents, the therapeutic uses of a single oil could include antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, immune boosting and mood lifting applications. The scientific body of evidence is growing. A study published last month looked at the therapeutic benefits of Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) essential oil. It found that topical administration of Melissa displayed efficacy in an experimental model of diabetic pain, showing promise as a treatment for painful diabetic neuropathy. Another study involving Melissa officinalis found the essential oil to have antitumor activity against several cancer cell lines.

Naturally, I couldn’t resist checking out what study they might have meant by the reference to activity against cancer cell lines. This is the study they were talking about. It’s a study that shows that the major component of this particular oil (citral) decreased the viability and induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) in glioblastoma cell lines. It’s much like any study that finds in vitro activity against cancer cell lines: Highly preliminary and not particularly meaningful in answering the question whether essential oils can be an effective treatment for cancer. As for efficacy against diabetic pain, the other study, which was this one, was in a rat model.

Of course, the real issue here is whether an official newsletter from an academic medical center should read more like an advertisement for unproven treatments like essential oils. The GW CIM even notes that it is selling Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils and that information regarding their use can be obtained from the patient’s practitioner, GW CIM’s free monthly classes, or by scheduling a consultation with the Nurse Practitioner and aromatherapy specialist Mary Kendell.

Finally, we learn from the newsletter that GW CIM is going one step beyond, so to speak. Included in the newsletter is a pitch for donations to something called the AIM Health Institute, which, according to the newsletter, “will provide integrative medicine services to low-income and terminally ill patients in the Washington, D.C. area regardless of ability to pay” noting that “today, most integrative medicine services are not covered by health insurance, and for this reason are largely accessible only to those who can afford to pay out-of-pocket.” Of course, the reason that these services are not covered by health insurance is because they are not supported by evidence, services such as those provided by AIM: acupuncture, massage, Reiki, hypnotherapy, naturopathic medicine, osteopathy, yoga, integrative medical consultations and other integrative modalities.

Oh, goody. It’s not enough to provide quackery to the well-off worried well. Now GW CIM needs to export quackery like reiki and naturopathy to poor people as well. Just what they need!

And more evidence of just how far George Washington University has fallen with respect to medicine.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

106 replies on “Quackademic medicine marches on: Essential oils and quackademia for the poor”

“safer alternatives to synthetic pharmaceuticals”

Not just safer alternatives to those chemicals produced by Big Pharma, but those evil synthetic pharmaceuticals. The naturalistic fallacy which posits synthetics aren’t safe. It is one of the driving ideologies of organics. It seems that as the US and other countries urbanize, so that they have less interaction with the natural world, they put “natural” on some type of throne.

For each cancer patient who comes in to the GW alt center, do they spin the Integrative Medicine Wheel to determine therapy?

“And heeere we go…clack clack clack clack clack….good news Mr. Wilson, you’ve won a course of mind-body medicine to treat your Hodgkin’s! Hurray!!!”

Damning Evidence That Young Living and DoTERRA’s Essential Oils are Adulterated

A deposition in Utah court by Dr. Robert Pappas, shows that Young Living Essential Oils under the leadership of D. Gary Young passed off synthetic oils as authentic for jasmine and birch oils, which were conclusively found to be synthetic oils.

[passages not quoted]

…after Dr. Pappas found that a particular birch oil was not authentic but “it turned out that sample was methyl salicylate.” which is generic wintergreen fragrance used in beverages. Dr. Pappas then put together the preliminary report, and was called into a conference room and asked to retract what he said about the oil and to apologize to Albert Vieille, who supplies the oil. He would not retract his conclusions. Dr. Pappas said he then solidified his findings at BYU and told Young that, “Bringing me here was a farce. You just basically wanted to use my name to promote your products. You don’t really want accurate information. I gave them that report and I said, ‘I’m going home.’”

Pure and safer than those synthetic pharmaceutical products? Sure they are.

“Because a single essential oil can have hundreds of constituents, the therapeutic uses of a single oil could include antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, immune boosting and mood lifting applications. ”

And just as with herbal remedies those hundreds of constituents can include a mixture of poisons and toxins. But we don’t need to test for that as this stuff is natural, like hemlock.

Several sap oils in particular are known to be highly toxic http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/plants/

Damning Evidence That Young Living and DoTERRA’s Essential Oils are Adulterated

A deposition in Utah court by Dr. Robert Pappas, shows that Young Living Essential Oils under the leadership of D. Gary Young passed off synthetic oils as authentic for jasmine and birch oils, which were conclusively found to be synthetic oils.

[passages not quoted]

…after Dr. Pappas found that a particular birch oil was not authentic but “it turned out that sample was methyl salicylate.” which is generic wintergreen fragrance used in beverages. Dr. Pappas then put together the preliminary report, and was called into a conference room and asked to retract what he said about the oil and to apologize to Albert Vieille, who supplies the oil. He would not retract his conclusions. Dr. Pappas said he then solidified his findings at BYU and told Young that, “Bringing me here was a farce. You just basically wanted to use my name to promote your products. You don’t really want accurate information. I gave them that report and I said, ‘I’m going home.’”

Pure and safer than those pharmaceutical products? Sure they are.

@Mike: There is definitely a romantic streak in Western (and especially Anglo-American) culture about Nature and all of its benefits. People who did not grow up in the countryside often forget some of the nasty things that lurk in Nature. It’s the same attitude which leads newcomers in rural Northern New England to oppose paving rural roads, something which long-time residents (who are familiar with the concept of mud season and would prefer to live on roads that are passable year-round) generally support. Likewise, they forget that these “natural” products can have widely variable potency and come with other substances that aren’t so benign. My body doesn’t care whether that Vitamin C molecule came in my orange juice or in some exotic herbal supplement that Mr. Adams or Mr. Null sells, but it does care about some of the nasty stuff that gets filtered out of orange juice but may still be present in the supplements.

It’s about time that George Washington University changed its name to reflect its new mission.

How about “Silly Medical School”?

@ Eric Lund:

You’re right about the unrealistic naturalism-
much comes from literary influences like Thoreau, Rousseau ( the writer not the artist altho’ he had tendencies as well), the Lake poets and novelists. Even Tolkien.

The woo-meisters certainly know how to cater to that attitude.

A few days ago, I found myself in a rainstorm in an old river town that has been undergoing a revival – antiques shops, galleries, trendy restaurants – and lo and behold!- 3 new and successful shops all focused on natural, organic and / or handmade products- foodstuffs, clothing, cosmetics, herbal products, home décor et al.

And sure, they distributed a free magazine that instructed and detailed the vicissitudes of going back to nature.
And none of it reasonably priced either.

I can see only one good use for “Essential Oils”… With the new marijuana legality in Washington & Colorado, we can now get wacky weed “Essential Oils” to vape!

I have a kind of funny story about essential oils. Long before I went back to school for optometery and was quite ignorant of medicine and science, I had a girlfriend who was really into essential oils. One day she decided she was going to give me an essential oil backrub. I had no idea what they were, and it sounded good to me, so I agreed.

She decided to use pure peppermint oil, and a huge amount, probably a couple ounces. So within about 30 seconds of applying it to my back, I started experiencing such a strong ‘cooling’ sensation that it was actually painful. On top of that, turns out I am allergic to it.

Even trying to ash it off with soap in the shower was of little use. Think of drinking milk to try and remove the burn from eating a hot pepper. It really doesn’t work that well. So I was in agony for about an hour before it finally wore off.

Later on, I tried some other essential oils in a fancy shaving soap, and that’s when I finally figured out I was truly allergic. Atopic dermatitis all across my face.

So anyway, I am decidedly non plussed with essential oils. Despite everyone saying they are benign, they can certainly be unpleasant and damaging.;

Denice @7: I live in northern New England, which is full of towns like that (I try to avoid the more famous towns, because nothing wrecks the rural character of a town like routine multi-mile traffic jams). I have even bought some hand-crafted pieces similar to what those stores sell–one of the major tourist events in my state is a nine-day affair where they turn over a major state park to an organization of people who do that for a living. The event includes an indoor display showing various artists’ products as they might be used in an every day setting. Of course the key word there is “artist”: the pieces are meant to be enjoyed, and the prices are fair if you view the work as art (i.e., if the artist is good then the asking price is reasonable compensation for their labor, materials, and expertise). Factory production generally produces lower cost goods (most of the cost savings being labor), but that doesn’t imply poorly made junk (or at least it didn’t until Wal-Mart got so big). I’m also spoiled, in that this event attracts many of the best handcrafters in the US, or at least the Northeastern US; I have been underwhelmed by craft fairs I have seen elsewhere that don’t specialize in First Peoples’ art.

I can see how the herbal supplement crowd would overlap substantially with the craftsmen, just from the “back to nature” vibe, but the people who make herbal supplements are not artists. And I definitely cannot afford the lifestyle these stores are pushing.

@ Eric Lund:

Sure. I frequently purchase artisans’ silver- usually earrings- and it’s amazing how many of these women tell me that they left the corporate life behind, quit boring sales/ office jobs or deserted the city in order to find their True Calling ™ as a designer and creator of wearable art.

And yeah, it IS excellent or I wouldn’t buy it and enable them.

One of my cohorts reinforces natural bread bakers as well.

Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans reference the use of essential oils for health and wellness.

I tell myself, there’s no point getting annoyed about made-up bullsh1t history in the context pf made-up medical claims. If these people were concerned in any way about “truth” or “facts” or “history”, they wouldn’t be selling ‘essential oils’.

Orac may just have stumbled onto the solution to the Fermi Paradox (Where are they?..the supposed intelligent life forms that mus by all reasoning fill the galaxy). They can’t get past integrative medicine!

I am blessed by very sweet friends who attend the same non-denominational evangelical church. Apparently someone showed up there with cases full of woo “teaching” these trusting people how to heal with essential oils, and both or them immediately thought of me.

I have been waiting to see which of them brings me a vial. I know their hearts are in the right place and I love them to death, but it is frustrating to see good people being so easily taken in by incredulous claims.

@Mrs. Woo: Sadly, churches and the like are target-rich environments for scammers. Humans are particularly prone to trusting their co-religionists, or people who are otherwise members of their tribe. That nice man from your church (or temple, if his name happens to be Bernie Madoff) wouldn’t cheat you or lie to you, would he? And most of them don’t, but there are a few who will, and they know that very few people who haven’t suffered something like this (and not all of the ones who have) will suspect them.

Eric-

Excellent point about churches being ripe grounds for scammers. SCAM and conspiratorial thinking are very common. Back in the late nineties, early 2000’s a family friend through the Church I grew up in got sucked into the ‘free energy’ movement and ended up spending an ungodly amount of money ‘investing’ in it. My dad was concerned and talked to him about it, and he mentioned that ‘God had told him this would work’ and that the guy selling the devices ‘was a fellow Christian, so he knew that he wasn’t going to get taken advantage of’.

Of course, the device was bogus and he lost something like $25k on it. They lead guy was prosecuted and went to jail, of course maintaining his innocence and that he was set up by ‘Big Energy’ essentially.

What makes this story more ominous and truly sad is what happened the next year. His wife developed breast cancer (they were both in their late thirties at the time). Of course, instead of getting modern science based treatment, they again turned to woo and went to Tijuana to get the Gerson treatment.

Of course, the wife’s cancer spread and she died less than a year later, leaving behind several kids under the age of 10. Since the Church we all went to at the time was one that believed in ‘signs and wonders’ the Church elders all came together and tried praying over her body to bring her back to life, which of course did not work.

After that he went into a tailspin and has had several short lived marriages over the past ten years and he still isn’t quite right in the head. His kids (now grown) are doing well all things considered, but definitely went through some major hell.

Belief in woo has literally destroyed his life. THIS is why SBM and blogs such as this are so important. His wife would still be alive, his kids would still have a mom most likely.

When I went through my oncology orientation, my navigator said I should only use olive oil as a moisturizer because it only had “natural” chemicals. Luckily, that was as woo-y as it got. She also mentioned a low sugar diet – which at least makes some physical sense* – though she did mention that there was no research that really supported it.

*Especially in light of a PET scan.

I just passed my “sacred” booklet from the second degree Reiki class I took 20 years ago, and it had those symbols written on it. I told my students I was probably breaking some secret rules from the healing forces of the universal source.However, since (like homeopathy) there’s no “there” there, not to be concerned.

“I just passed my “sacred” booklet from the second degree Reiki class I took 20 years ago”

Man, those things take a long time to digest.

And then there was cannabis. I know, “no studies to show”. Good. Because if there were it would be called “medicine”, locked away behind a prescription wall, and equally impossible to obtain.

Except when they’re not.
What is it with all the people in that comment, that they all seem to have three names? Is this customary for essential-oil enthusiasts?

1937, when a French chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, rediscovered their benefits by healing a badly burned hand with pure lavender oil

Gattefosse’s book was published in 1937. The episode with the burns and the gangrene was in 1910. Evidently it is too much to ask that GW CIM get their original story right.

So, I see that the graphically horrible GW CIM newsletter has a listing for a class on one of the most popular diagnoses in my extended group of west Sonoma County thirtysomething friends, Adrenal Fatigue. I get exhausted just thinking about it. But I will say that some essential oils are quite lovely smelling and make me feel good, but then again, so does tom ka gai.

Wow, Herr Doktor, I see what you mean about the comments section. The Thrice-Named True Believers of the essential oil world are a fractious bunch indeed. When I was a credulous new ager, my ex was a YL representative. I had a lot of essential oil applied to a lot of places over the years. It wasn’t unpleasant, some of it was restful and refreshing, but then again, there wasn’t anything really wrong with me.

I had a lot of essential oil applied to a lot of places over the years.

I only looked at the tail of the comments, but they seemed to be babbling about ingesting the stuff. If only bioamination had panned out (PDF).

(I suppose those links could be swapped. Or I could have reworded it. I was a bit tired after figuring the way around the currently b0rk3d NLM DNS.)

Eric Lund

I can see how the herbal supplement crowd would overlap substantially with the craftsmen, just from the “back to nature” vibe, but the people who make herbal supplements are not artists.

I disagree – they are what the Brits would describe as bullsh!t artists.

I have fairly mild asthma. A few years back I had a bad cold a few days before being in a play. To help me clear my nose my wife gave me some oil to sniff and put under my pillow, I think it was Eucalyptus oil. Within a few hours I was in hospital on a nebuliser with a major asthma attack, and had to go back again a few days later. My Asthma nurse said she had seen this happen before, including with her own husband. These oils are not inevitably benign, but then I don’t understand why anyone would think they are, the plants don’t produce them for our benefit.

As noted in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_oil )

An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, aetherolea, or simply as the “oil of” the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove. An oil is “essential” in the sense that it contains the “essence of” the plant’s fragrance–the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it is derived.[1] Essential oils do not form a distinctive category for any medical, pharmacological, or culinary purpose. They are not essential for health.

But, as we do have essential nutrients (vitamins, dietary minerals, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids) that our bodies do need and must be obtained exogenously, it’s not hard to see how the labeling of these oils (some of which have triggered my asthma rather severely just like for Prog-John @#32) as “essential” is used to bamboozle the unsuspecting public.

I have seen to rather severe (to the point of possible causing permanent scarring) contact dermatitis reactions to these “essential oils” in children. The irony is that the same parents who won’t want to use a steroid cream like hydrocortisone to treat the contact dermatitis will tell me they are worried about all the “chemicals” in the hydrocortisone but completely ignore that, as noted above, these oils can contain “hundreds of constituents”. This is akin, of course, to the regular argument I will see by anti-vaccine parents in that there are all these “chemicals” in vaccines that they don’t want their child to have, but yet all the quacked out naturopathic and homeopathic supplements they are stuffing into their children have hundreds if not thousands of ingredients that are untested and unregulated.

Adding insult to injury, I’m now seeing pediatric board review questions on “essential” oils based on “research” with no clinical relevance to patient care (http://www.evernote.com/l/AA-jLlCRAa5O3Zo2RX_d2g5kVsdIRUh18ug/), to which I would like to give a big “thanks for nothing you morons on the AAPs “Section on Integrative Medicine” (http://www2.aap.org/sections/chim/) who clearly tossed science out the window years ago.

Mr. Dorothy, who knows very well how I feel about woo, has had a problem with earwax. The problem being that he won’t consistently put the oil in his ear so that he can rinse it out. Low and behold, a co-worker of his sold him some “special” oil (Living Young it turns out!) for (I am not kidding) $70! It is Thyme Oil–well that changes everything, doesn’t it?

Needless to say, Mr. D got an earful of something more than wax. He also got a printout of the current action of the FDA against YL.

I was struck by this line in the newsletter: “Essential oils are 50 – 70 times more potent than their herbal counterparts.” It made me wonder how many people trumpet this “benefit” of essential oils while at the same time championing homeopathic remedies (for which extreme dilution is supposed to be of benefit). The mind boggles at the ability people have to hold any number of conflicting points of view.

The second degree of Reiki deepens your connection to universal source, connects you to a greater volume of Reiki energy, and strengthens your ability to channel the energy.

We may not be able to detect reiki energy or prove it to exist, but by god we can measure it’s volume!

Herr Doktor said, ”

Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans reference the use of essential oils for health and wellness.

I tell myself, there’s no point getting annoyed about made-up bullsh1t history in the context pf made-up medical claims. If these people were concerned in any way about “truth” or “facts” or “history”, they wouldn’t be selling ‘essential oils’.”

Yes, and they forget that ancient Romans based their knowledge of human anatomy on animal dissection, and used bloodletting as a medical treatment.

Just because it’s old, doesn’t mean it makes sense or work. :facepalm:

The organizers of a nursing conference I attend most years invited a local company that sells essential oils and “natural creams.” to the conference to give a talk on essential oils.

I looked at a lot of their products and found most contain menthol in the same concentrations as Ben Gay or Icy Hot. I bought their “headache oils” mixture at the urging of a colleague (I have truly awful migraines, and suffer from medication rebound headaches if I use a particular med too often, which at that time I had). After dabbing a bit of it on my forehead, I did find my headache finally eased and went away.

I have no idea if the oils actually do what they claim or if it’s the placebo effect (and honestly, if the headache goes away I don’t care). However, after realizing that menthol was a key ingredient, I decided to try rubbing a tiny, tiny dab of Ben Gay on my forehead.

Sure enough, migraine gone!

It may make me smell like toothpaste, as my nephew often remarks, but it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than the snake oil and I get more of it.

It works sometimes. I would never tell someone it’s scientifically valid as a treatment. I still have to take actual medications . . . the ointment is usually a followup. It’s probably the placebo effect . . . but if the pain goes away I don’t care.

If we were to use this as part of a treatment plan, I would say we need to know what the contraindications of this stuff is so we know when not to use it, and consider it NURSING care, not medicine.

Unfortunately, too many of my colleagues think essential oils are medicine. 🙁

poor = we don’t want to spend any real money on you = their version of pallative care.
It’s only free now because it’s a test market.

After dabbing a bit of it on my forehead, I did find my headache finally eased and went away…. I decided to try rubbing a tiny, tiny dab of Ben Gay on my forehead. Sure enough, migraine gone!

Panacea,

This may have to do more with local vasoconstriction or dilation diverting bloodflow. I was shown by a friend in gym class way back in 7’th grade that if one pinches his upper lip with the thumb as far up as it goes and the finger right up under the nose then immediate relief from headaches is usually achieved (for me, anyways) and a lighter compression does reveal a pretty strong pulse there. I have no idea where he picked this up. Unfortunately, as soon as the compression is removed then the headache returns with a vengance. Also, it is pretty socially unacceptable.

It is probably noteworthy that, in the case of migranes, cannabis seems to be effective in stopping one cold — suggested mechanism may be vasodilation in the meninges of the brain. I *think* the ‘redeye’ is confirmation that this vasodilation occurs as I’ve heard tell that the ‘whites’ are really an extention of the meninges.
==========================

Narad,
I might try that silly ‘essential oil’ for the truck — DPG is probably cheaper than the crap they sell at Advance Auto, these days.

Locked behind a prescription wall like penicillin and aspirin, you mean?

Where I live, people can get cannabis either with a doctor’s letter, if they have one of several specific diseases, or by walking into a shop (proof of age required). The difference is that it’s cheaper if you have a doctor’s letter. I don’t understand how you consider that “impossible to obtain.” Oh, and the medical market came first,

Here’s my anecdote: I followed my neighbor’s advice and took a good deep sniff of her essential oil to clear my sinuses, and I immediately got a big bloody nose that plagued me for the rest of the evening!

Funny how in the millennia before essential oils were lost , life expectancy was a fraction of what it is now.

Oooh, are we sharing anecdotes? In college, once, I was really sick with some crud or other and my very sweet friend Liza came over to check in on me. She also rubbed Tiger Balm on my temples, which was actually quite nice at first, but ended up causing a bad rash and swelling all around my eyes. (Tiger Balm mostly contains menthol and camphor.)

Lawrence,
You should go review the medical market for cannabis before 1937 — The prescription synthetic stuff, as for glaucoma, always has ‘side effects’… Being mostly receptor action with even the ‘holistic’ preparations, I liken this to having a duplicate key made at Malwart — You stick it into the lock, it doesn’t work so well or outright breaks.

Is there some reason to require an ‘excuse’ to reverse a travesty of justice, leaving millions in angst, pain, and prison in any event?? Somebody hates a side effect of a ‘grin’… sounds like monastic life pinned under the tuteladge of an overbearing, false Dominican Satan.

The necessity of ‘bread and circuses’ is just an excuse for billions of dollars in stadiums and family-busting tv time (and pharma ads since 1991). — Real humans are injured for your entertainment :

Kentucky’s defense forced a punt on Syracuse’s first possession and Kentucky drove inside the Syracuse 10-yard line but the drive stalled when Whalen was suddenly lost (for the remainder of the game) to injury, leaving halfway through the first quarter already having four catches for 79 yards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_Music_City_Bowl

Sitting down close on the 30 yard line, It was horrible to witness. It was intentional. It was instructed to make it happen.

Tim @46:
I don’t entirely follow your comment, but yeah, pot should be legalized, whether it has any medical benefits or not. It’s not great for teenagers, brain-wise, but neither is alcohol, and we don’t ban the sale of alcohol in this country. Not anymore, anyway. And yeah, the enforcement of laws against marijuana is generally a travesty and tends to hit poor pepole and minorities, African Americans in particular, disproportionately hard.

I think all of us around here, though, dislike medical BS in general. A friend of a friend, for instance, tried to treat her breast cancer with cannabis oil, to predictable and tragic effect. I didn’t know her well, but my good friend Emily was devastated, and I hate to see suffering like that where it can be avoided. Over-hyping the medical benefits of marijuana can help legitimize quacks who claim, for instance, that cannabis oil cures cancer.

@ JP:

If we’re sharing anecdotes-
from a usually SB family-
my mother liked those menthol domes things for headaches.

My father swore by Tiger Balm and some sort of Aloe Vera- based lotion.
He had a knee injury that was exacerbated when a drunk teenaged driver ran into his car: he was already quite elderly so surgical options were strictly limited and anti-arthritis and pain meds were out of the question because of a history of gastric ulcers. Thus, he experimented with placebos and rub- on meds as well as following his own system of physiotherapy involving a stationary bicycle. Amazingly, he kept mobile until the end.

@Denice Walter:
Yeah, I have a friend of rather advanced age – he must be pushing 80 by now – back in the town where I went to college. He’s developed some pretty bad arthritis over the past few years, unfortunately, and he swears by camphor oil, even though he himself admits it’s probably mostly placebo. (Probably the reason why he chose it is because he has fond memories of driving around rural Western Mass. with his grandpa, who apparently peddled the stuff way back in the day.) It’s one of those things where it’s like, well, it’s not doing any harm, so whatever helps, I guess.

Tim: “seems to be” covers a multitude of errors, though. Anecdata in the other direction: a friend of mine said she would not be taking advantage of legal cannabis while visiting Washington, because marijuana was consistently a migraine trigger for her., and that greatly outweighed any appeal of the experience.

I strongly suspect that if there is any actual medical value to marijuana (beyond the fact that some people find it relaxing, as some people find alcohol), it’s not going to be from the whole plant, but from specific chemicals found within it. And it might not be THC: maybe, in a couple of decades, doctors will be prescribing something hemp-derived and not at all intoxicating for certain conditions.

JP,
That oil is supposed to be reserved for topical skin cancers (I *think*). I’d certainly not be refusing sbm should there be any in case one happened to have a rapid onset of something which was only noticed during a course of Cipro and that causes stuffed up ears, diplopia, and very swollen neck nodes.

The ditz at the walk-in clinic had an xray machine but not an ultrasound — She ushered him to a full chest xray which he was ‘assured’ was to look into his neck. No neck and xray cut off 3 inches below where it belonged. Everything looked pretty awesomely superhuman clear, anyways; Except for the hiway of nodes in the mediastinum. The ditz at the walk-in clinic did referre this guy to get a CT scan but he had an ‘anxiety attack’ which was helped to be precipitated by the clinic not willing to give a simple, non-narcotic anoxylitic (and she seemed ‘dim’; probably would have prescribed it if he’d only asked for Vistaril) and going into the diagnostic center already paranoid and then being given erroneous reassurance that the only thing he was tasting was ‘sodium cloride’ from the pre-packaged 10 ml ‘flush’. It rapidly transpired into full-on walking, talking shock and a bucket full of sweat on the floor. They then refused to continue with the proceedure after he had ‘recovered’ somewhat and said the scan would have to be done at the hospital. BP 10 minutes after the attack (when a ‘nurse’ finally arrived) was 60/54. The ‘clinic’ wanted another $155 to get the referral transfered to the hospital setting. His blood pressure at that clinic became 152/114… normal was 126/75. He surmized that a panic attack is now a life-threating situation and that former phone-rage (he lost his GP over it) was a prior ‘symptom’. IDK, maybe he should try tocotrienols… They’re pretty oily.

For any future technicians out there who don’t know what their clients might really be tasting… don’t say “it’s just sodium chloride; You’re not afraid of dihydrogen monoxide to, are you?”

The identification and saline-solution concentrations provided by Becton Dickinson were: 2-methyl-2-propanol: 8.5 ppm; 2-methyl-2-butanol: 0.7 ppm; ethyl-buthyl-ether: 0.4 ppm.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2806387/

Imagine his disappointment after immediately cutting his drinking in half and his former 24/7 wet snuff from 2 cans/day to 1 can/3days after the initial panic over a kidney misunderstanding.

He’s developed some pretty bad arthritis over the past few years, unfortunately, and he swears by camphor oil, even though he himself admits it’s probably mostly placebo.

Another tidbit from the first link in #30:

“My memories of this area of botany are of Ruta graveolens, the common rue, whose small leaves smelled to me, for all the world, like cat urine. This plant has always fascinated me because of a most remarkable recipe that I was given by a very, very conservative fellow-club member, one evening, after rehearsal. He told me of a formula that had provided him with the most complete relief from arthritic pain he had ever known. It was a native decoction he had learned of many years eariler, when he was traveling in Mexico. One took equal quantities of three plants, Ruta graveolens (or our common rue), Rosmarinus officinalis (better known as rosemary), and Cannabis sativa (which is recognized in many households simply as marijuana). Three plants all known in folklore, rue as a symbol for repentance, rosemary as a symbol of remembrance, and pot, well, I guess it is a symbol of a lot of things to a lot of people. Anyway, equal quantities of these three plants are allowed to soak in a large quantity of rubbing alcohol for a few weeks. Then the alcoholic extracts are clarified, and allowed to evaporate in the open air to a thick sludge. This then was rubbed on the skin, where the arthritis was troublesome, and always rubbed in the direction of the extremity. It was not into, but onto the body that it was applied. All this from a very conservative Republican friend!”

I only learned yesterday that Shulgin had passedd away earlier this year.

@Tim – Actually, “camphor oil” per se can’t be sold anymore in the Us; I looked it up. It used to be a fairly commonly sold folk remedy, and went by other names, too, like “camphor linament.” The stuff my buddy Don uses is a cream of some sort that has camphor in it as one of the main ingredients, although I think he himself refers to it as “camphor oil.”

Oh, man, that link from number 30 is a hoot, especially as somebody who’s not entirely naive as to the effects of psychedelics.

…” I easily crushed a rose, although it had been a thing of beauty. “

That “camphor linament” sounds like Vick’s Vaporub, JP. My grandmother used to dab it under my nose for a headcold — smells like old people. It would probably give quite a stimulating sting when rolled into a ball with a pinch of Bruton’s and shoved up a nostril or two.

In 1980, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration set a limit of 11% allowable camphor in consumer products, and totally banned products labeled as camphorated oil, camphor oil, camphor liniment, and camphorated liniment (except “white camphor essential oil”, which contains no significant amount of camphor)

I see that W–pedia is up to its usual standards of prose clarity. “Camphor oil” was linseed (or cottonseed, etc.) oil with camphor added to it. The reason that “white camphor essential oil” doesn’t contain any camphor is the same as why the heavier fractions don’t: further distillation of the crude oil is to recover the freaking camphor.

This does leave behind a dandy amount of safrole, though. I wouldn’t try importing too much brown camphor oil to a home address.

Decent markups, though; these guys will sell you 15 ml of white oil for $2. With a specific gravity of 0.923 (@77°F), that’s ~14 g. On the very smallest scale, you can get a single kilogram for $30, or 42¢ per dose. Plus shipping. Twenty-five kilograms from Jiangxi Xuesong Natural Medicinal Oil Co. are $250 FOB.

Dammit, I’ve got a terrible case of the keybounces today. The comment that I accidentally sent into moderation, again by misspelling my name:

In 1980, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration set a limit of 11% allowable camphor in consumer products, and totally banned products labeled as camphorated oil, camphor oil, camphor liniment, and camphorated liniment (except “white camphor essential oil”, which contains no significant amount of camphor)

I see that W–pedia is up to its usual standards of prose clarity. “Camphor oil” was linseed (or cottonseed, etc.) oil with camphor added to it. The reason that “white camphor essential oil” doesn’t contain any camphor is the same as why the heavier fractions don’t: further distillation of the crude oil is to recover the freaking camphor.

This does leave behind a dandy amount of safrole, though. I wouldn’t try importing too much brown camphor oil to a home address.

Decent markups, though; these guys will sell you 15 ml of white oil for $2. With a specific gravity of 0.923 (@77°F), that’s ~14 g. On the very smallest scale, you can get a single kilogram for $30, or 42¢ per dose. Plus shipping. Twenty-five kilograms from Jiangxi Xuesong Natural Medicinal Oil Co. are $250 FOB.

Narad,

If only bioamination had panned out (PDF).

You remind me of some foolish teenage experiments with nutmeg and with sweet flag. I won’t go into too many details, but I wouldn’t want to repeat either experience; I’m probably lucky to be alive. I suspect the sweet flag, from a herbal supplier, was something else far more toxic, judging by the uncontrollable vomiting (I couldn’t even keep down a Stemetil tablet), but the nutmeg was definitely nutmeg, and made me feel indescribably awful for a very long 48 hours. The follies of youth….

Hi,
It’s important to be ’empirical’ with regard to the treatment of disease. But I feel that skeptics and critics of alternative medicine often fail to address why it is that alternative medicine is so popular: conventional cancer treatment, in the form of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, often doesn’t work, and leaves the patient’s body and immune system devastated. Quite frequently, the patient dies as a direct result of the ”aggressive” treatment, and would have lived longer, and with less pain, if they had had no treatment at all.
Furthermore, the FDA, the AMA, and other agencies of the medical cartel, have a record of suppression and persecution of M.D.’s and D.O.’s who have prescribed alternatives. They use bully tactics, like name-calling ‘quackery’, to shut down debate around specific, promising treatments.
For example, in the 1970’s, treatment with amygdalin (and laetrile, which is NOT the same thing) became popular. Amygdalin is a compound found in just about every plant seed. The fact that it contains a -CN ligand (also known as cyanide) is used in a deceptive argument against amygdalin: it is akin to saying that drinking from a glass cup is dangerous because broken glass can cut you. The body metabolizes amygdalin safely, and cyanide radicals are not produced, though they may claim otherwise…
But the FDA can’t do anything to stop people from eating plant seeds, and many people, myself included, have benefitted tremendously from eating amygdalin-rich plant kernels.
The bottom line: Don’t allow the ‘skeptic’ bullies to rhetorically browbeat you in the name of ‘science.’ They don’t own science, nobody does. Think for yourself!

@Eric Lund and EBMOD:

Mr Woo belongs to a church very enamored with woo. He has been taken in by free energy, too. There isn’t a skeptical bone in his body when it comes to outside the box thinking. The government, industry, etc., though… they’re up to no good.

Worse, I am blessed with some incurable, life affecting illnesses that don’t have a lot of medical treatments (yet), so it makes him even more willing to believe the ads that offer “real cures” vs. doctors and medications that say they have improvement in x% of cases.

Twenty-five kilograms from Jiangxi Xuesong Natural Medicinal Oil Co
Yep, that sounds artisanal and organic.

They use bully tactics, like name-calling ‘quackery’, to shut down debate around specific, promising treatments.

Which treatments are these, and what evidence supports characterizing them as ‘promising’?

But the FDA can’t do anything to stop people from eating plant seeds, and many people, myself included, have benefitted tremendously from eating amygdalin-rich plant kernels.

Can you provide citations to published clinical studies demonstrating the efficacy of amygdalin treatment for cancer or other non-self-limiting illnesses. or does the claim that you and others have found eating the kernals beneficial represent nothing other than anecdote or personal testimony?

The body metabolizes amygdalin safely, and cyanide radicals are not produced, though they may claim otherwise…

You don’t say.

Think for yourself!

OK. Could you specifically address where this (PDF) goes wrong? What happens when amygdalin is combined with large doses of vitamin C?

TIA.

Tom B.,

Quite frequently, the patient dies as a direct result of the ”aggressive” treatment, and would have lived longer, and with less pain, if they had had no treatment at all.

Why do you believe this? We know from historical accounts (and sadly, and increasingly, from cases of patients that reject conventional treatment) how long untreated cancer patients live, and how unpleasant their deaths are. Conventional treatments are not approved unless they do better than that. What evidence do you have that what you claim about conventional treatment is true?

The body metabolizes amygdalin safely, and cyanide radicals are not produced, though they may claim otherwise…

Perhaps you are not aware of the NIH clinical trial of ‘amygdalin’ as a cancer treatment:

No substantive benefit was observed in terms of cure, improvement or stabilization of cancer, improvement of symptoms related to cancer, or extension of life span. The hazards of amygdalin therapy were evidenced in several patients by symptoms of cyanide toxicity or by blood cyanide levels approaching the lethal range.

If cyanide radicals are not produced, why is it that these patients had toxic, almost lethal, blood cyanide levels?

The bottom line: Don’t allow the ‘skeptic’ bullies to rhetorically browbeat you in the name of ‘science.’ They don’t own science, nobody does. Think for yourself!

Perhaps it’s you that you should try thinking for yourself. You seem to have uncritically swallowed a number of falsehoods about conventional cancer treatment and ‘amygdalin’.

amygdalin-rich plant kernels

Why would plants bother to fill their kernels with toxic alkaloids? Could it be to discourage animals from eating them?
Nah, they must have evolved that way to enhance human health.

Two more things:

many people, myself included, have benefitted tremendously from eating amygdalin-rich plant kernels

1. Since “cyanide radicals are not produced,” could you explain these?

2. How do you suppose amygdalin kills cancer cells?

They use bully tactics
I watched a documentary about Noam Chomsky once. One of the interviewees was a Chomsky political adversary, who complained about Chomsky’s fondness for bullying behaviour in debate, i.e. invoking facts.

Tom B.: “The fact that it contains a -CN ligand (also known as cyanide) is used in a deceptive argument against amygdalin: it is akin to saying that drinking from a glass cup is dangerous because broken glass can cut you. The body metabolizes amygdalin safely, and cyanide radicals are not produced, though they may claim otherwise…”

Oh, really?

How about reading this case report: Cyanide intoxication by apricot kernel ingestion as complimentary cancer therapy..

And this case report: Hydroxocobalamin treatment of acute cyanide poisoning from apricot kernels.

There are others like these PMIDs:
9832674
20196932

Rats, all this “thinking for myself” is so new and confusing that I plum forgot one:

Tom, could you please define “ligand”?

Say, Krebiozen, why the scare quotes on amygdalin? (I actually bumped against one paper which reported that most of the purported Laetrile examined was actually amygdalin, but I’ll be damned if I’m going looking again.)

I mean, it’s good enough for these guys.

I suspect the sweet flag, from a herbal supplier, was something else far more toxic

I’ve never bothered with nutmeg, but dried calamus rhizome (ground and gelcapped) produced no detectable effects for me, which jibes with this Erowid entry, despite its overall Blobovian tone.

I’ve heard some things about polkweed berries/root — I’d have to wonder if that ‘hydroxocobalamin’ Chris mentioned might render it sbm testable without sacrificing the mice a little inadvertantly early if administered along side improperly cooked salat parts.

Anybody got a synopsis on that stuff?

RW-ish note to HDB: Are you able to see whether this makes any reference to this?

I downloaded the 2nd article from EMJ. No, it does not mention the BMJ article, despite the Abstract being word-for-word identical. Does the EMJ (being an offshoot of the BMJ) have a kind of dual-publication policy? If not, then let RW know.

Narad,

Say, Krebiozen, why the scare quotes on amygdalin?

I thought it was a made-up name, rather than a real chemical one, but I was mistaken. I was thinking of ‘vitamin B17’, for which scare quotes are, I think, quite appropriate.

As for the sweet flag, if my 35+ year-old memories resemble reality at all, I used a couple of tablespoons of ground dried root and made a tea with boiling water. The Erowid account suggests it was sweet flag after all. Perhaps it was the vomiting, which was like nothing I have experienced before or since, that distracted me, but I noticed no psychoactivity at all.

Does the EMJ (being an offshoot of the BMJ) have a kind of dual-publication policy?

A look at the EMJ author instructions reveals that they no longer accept case reports. But, that’s how it works for JNIS.

Thanks.

Mrs Woo-

Sorry to hear that. 🙁 As long as his belief in ‘free energy’ doesn’t turn into an investment. I also have a currently incurable (though thankfully non life threatening) condition, Miyoshi distal myopathy. Think a low level form of muscular dystrophy…

I’d like to put this folate addendum with the *High dose vitamin C* thread but I guess comments are closed there.
===============================

In October 2006, an Australian news company reported that Vegemite had been banned in the United States, and that the United States Customs Service had gone so far as to search Australians entering the country for Vegemite because it contains folate, a B vitamin approved as an additive in the United States for just a few foods, including breakfast cereals …

… in September 2011, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd reported that US Customs officials tried to confiscate his supply of Vegemite as he entered the U.S., but this appears to have been a trivial encounter and not representative of any policy banning its importation into the U.S.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegemite#Rumours_of_bans_in_the_United_States_and_Denmark

Now following the wikipedia link for ‘folate’ goes to ‘folic acid and states this:

There is no “natural” and chemical form of folate and folic acid, and the two terms can be used interchangeably.

but looking down toward the RDI and UL we see the ‘whaa??’

The UL for folate refers to only synthetic folate, as no health risks have been associated with high intake of folate from food sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Folic_acid&direction=prev&oldid=637524906

note the revision war… what gives?? It sure looks to me like something ‘natural’ is getting memoryholed in favor of some synthetic oil-based crap yet again.

Folic acid is the natural occurring form and folate is the artificial. This is a fact not known by most scientists, making it difficult for most people to learn the difference

^^ The ‘newest’ entry for *folate*. Somebody is sure enough confused.

@EBMOD

I am sorry about your illness. We learn to adapt. The hardest part is Mr Woo’s interest/belief in woo.

He did invest in free energy. He is still sure that one day the guy who got him to invest in it will be giving him his very own free electricity generator that works forever with a nearly silent permanent magnet motor.

Mr Woo is the kindest, most honest man I have ever met. If he weren’t victimized by these people, it wouldn’t bug me as much. At least, I don’t think it would. It is hard to see his good nature abused.

Tim,

Folic acid is the natural occurring form and folate is the artificial. This is a fact not known by most scientists, making it difficult for most people to learn the difference

What nonsense. I have reverted the page back to the previous version, and reported the changes by “JonathanHerbst” as vandalism.

“I am sorry about your illness. We learn to adapt. The hardest part is Mr Woo’s interest/belief in woo.”

Indeed we do. 🙂

“Mr Woo is the kindest, most honest man I have ever met. If he weren’t victimized by these people, it wouldn’t bug me as much. At least, I don’t think it would. It is hard to see his good nature abused.”

Definitely best that he is kind hearted and naive with regard to science as compared to the inverse. I completely agree that these people who initiate these scams, especially when they invoke Christianity or ‘God told them’ are the some of the lowest scum on the earth. Pure psychopathy.

Thank you very, very much, Krebiozen 😀 .

I’m always doing things on impulse/intuition ((I’m no ‘scientist’ following that method nor ‘doctor’, after all.) and purchased the ‘folic acid’ in somewhat of a panic before learning of the difference a couple days later when also learning that my particular beers (ipa) was actually pretty high in it. They were the 800 mcg ones and I took several over a two day period. The thing is I saw the UL but also saw that people were being treated with large doses of ‘folic acid’ for depression/anxiety. The conflation is very misleading.

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2881%2990650-4/abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6115113

I’d have to wonder, if that stuff is floating around, if the only the way to clear it is to go a starvin’ for folate (avoid it for awhile).

p.s. *somebody* fibbed about his normal bp — It’s only that nominal when he’s very *relaxed* — It would probably be closer to the truth if he’d add 10 mm Hg to both. Dude sits on his butt all day much of the time.

From a chemistry point of view, the distinction between folate and folic acid has nothing to do with with whether it is synthetic or not, and the two forms interchange pretty freely in water, making the distinction rather meaningless in practice.

On the other hand, it appears that some people do make a distinction based on source and bioavailabilty. It doesn’t seem to be a wise practice given that it’s confusing to anyone who does know how -ate vs. -ic acid works in general, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was started by someone who did not understand how those suffixes relate.

justthestats,
The ‘-ic’ ubiquitously stuffed into everything now was not known to the human body until 1943 and it is converted (in %90 of the populace — the old and the rest are screwed) in the liver and not bacteria in the gut.

It should not be listed as an essential vitamin on food labels as “folic acid” as they always mean the synthetic… the other ‘-at’, I *think* does occure naturally in food after the real stuff decomposes somewhat. But on most labels (such as cheap macaroni/w cheap cheese) that do list folate mean the synthetic ‘folic acid’ — check the ingredients; Why do they never just say “vitamin B9”? In my experience, it is only synthetic stuff gets a mandated RDI/RDA to start with.

The real stuff to be supplementing with that is not poisonous (no UL) is levomefolic acid, (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate. — I am not at all clear that this is what is actually natural in food, only that the mandated fortifying ingredient is not.

In October 2006, the Australian press claimed that U.S. regulations requiring fortification of grain products were being interpreted as disallowing fortification in non-grain products, specifically Vegemite (an Australian yeast extract containing folate). The FDA later said the report was inaccurate, and no ban or other action was being taken against Vegemite.

^^ that is somewhat misleading. There is absolutely no reason to ‘fortify’ the Vegemite as it is already highest in natural *folate*.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folic_acid#United_States

{apologies for double-post..defunct email accidentally used (screw Yahoo! and it’s concern for my security) so it probably went into the spam folder somewhere}

justthestats,
The ‘-ic’ ubiquitously stuffed into everything now was not known to the human body until 1943 and it is converted (in %90 of the populace — the old and the rest are screwed) in the liver and not bacteria in the gut.

It should not be listed as an essential vitamin on food labels as “folic acid” as they always mean the synthetic… the other ‘-at’, I *think* does occure naturally in food after the real stuff decomposes somewhat. But on most labels (such as cheap macaroni/w cheap cheese) that do list folate mean the synthetic ‘folic acid’ — check the ingredients; Why do they never just say “vitamin B9”? In my experience, it is only synthetic stuff gets a mandated RDI/RDA to start with.

The real stuff to be supplementing with that is not poisonous (no UL) is levomefolic acid, (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate. — I am not at all clear that this is what is actually natural in food, only that the mandated fortifying ingredient is not.

In October 2006, the Australian press claimed that U.S. regulations requiring fortification of grain products were being interpreted as disallowing fortification in non-grain products, specifically Vegemite (an Australian yeast extract containing folate). The FDA later said the report was inaccurate, and no ban or other action was
being taken against Vegemite.

^^ that is somewhat misleading. There is absolutely no reason to ‘fortify’ the Vegemite as it is already highest in natural *folate*.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folic_acid#United_States

Tim,

The real stuff to be supplementing with that is not poisonous (no UL) is levomefolic acid, (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate. — I am not at all clear that this is what is actually natural in food, only that the mandated fortifying ingredient is not.

This sounds very much like a supplement salesperson trying to scare people into buying their special non-toxic bioavailable folate pills. I’m dubious about people taking bioactive substances that bypass the body’s natural regulatory processes without medical supervision.

If you are concerned, and you are not a pregnant woman, just eat plenty of leafy green vegetables and leave out the supplements. Problem solved.

@Krebiozen #89

The nutritional ingredient at issue in this litigation is a dietary ingredient called Folate, which is a B vitamin that helps the body make new cells. Folate is considered a critical supplement for prenatal health, and low folate intake is associated with various vascular, ocular, neurological and skeletal disorders, and may pose a serious risk to individuals with diabetes. While folate does not occur naturally in large quantities it can be found in leafy green vegetables, whole grains, citrus fruits, and organ meats. Tetrahydrofolates are the predominant naturally occurring forms of folate, and in particular, the tetrahydrofolate 5–methyltetrahydrofolic acid (abbreviated as “5–MTHF”) is one of the predominant naturally occurring folate forms

Merck was the first company to manufacture a pure and stable diastereoisomer of L–5–MTHF, a 6S Isomer Product, as a commercial source. Merck’s development of Metafolin was the culmination of decades of research and the investment of tens of millions of dollars. Metafolin is one of Merck’s most important products.

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-2nd-circuit/1673961.html
——————-

Also, concerns have been raised about the potentially untoward effects of unmetabolized synthetic folic acid with regard to cancer, depression, and cognitive impairment. With all these concerns, early data suggest supplementation with l-methylfolate rather than folic acid may mitigate these risks.

http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3218540/

Mrs Woo said Mr Woo believes in

permanent magnet motor

.

I’ve several times tried to explain to a mechanic friend why I can not help him make this because it would require….. Just a minute … Just a minute … A difference expendature of energy in bringing the magnets together vs. moving them apart.

Interestingly, I now recall hearing of university research that showed this very effect (I *think* it was some microgravity experiments). I don’t recall the details, promenance of the effect, or the distance of ‘apartness’ for which this holds (I can’t think of the right magical g-words to bring up the paper) but you ever tried to separate neodymium magnets after they pinched your finger-skin whilst playing with them??

Of course, my limited formal edumacation on such matters would force me to conclude that it may be possible but that it would not ‘last forever’ as, surely, they must become demagnetized. So, maybe more like a permanent magnet battery/motor where the battery is the motor. But just how much potential energy is really within a magnet? — Perhaps, as some alignments are burned then others are allowed to express themselves from throught the entire volume?

I once had a physics prof with a ‘wooish’ kinda name ( and pronouncing ‘cubed’ as ‘crip’ (X-crip) )who pondered on the feasability of a P-motion machine where a critically-shaped Mu-shield was in place — Thinking back, I’d think there’d still be ‘eddy-current’ damping forcing the device back to normality.
====================================

Sometimes though, a different way of thinking/parameterization can actualize a concept that is just so counterintuitive that it would never work and without breaking any *laws*:

Directly Downwind Faster Than the Wind (powered only by the wind):
http://www.wired.com/2010/08/ddwfttw/all/

@Narad/Naarad #64

Just out of curiosity, anything to show that amygdalin might work when applied topically (even if somewhat ‘invasive’/absolutely not socially acceptable) to shut down more time-critical parts of a malignancy??

What kind of sick-frack tumor has time to teach itself how to squirt out parathyroid hormone??

The body’s response to a fall in CPP is to raise systemic blood pressure and dilate cerebral blood vessels. This results in increased cerebral blood volume, which increases ICP, lowering CPP further and causing a vicious cycle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intracranial_hypertension#Increased_ICP

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflex_bradycardia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasovagal_response

@Krebiozen #89

I’m dubious about people taking bioactive substances that bypass the body’s natural regulatory processes

Yes, so am I.

If enough folic acid is given orally, unaltered folic acid appears in the circulation, is taken up by cells, and is reduced by dihydrofolate reductase to tetrahydrofolate

The bio-availability of natural folates is affected by the removal of the polyglutamate chain by the intestinal conjugase. This process is apparently not complete, thereby reducing the bio-availability of natural folates by as much as 25-50 percent. In contrast, synthetic folic acid appears to have a bio-availability of close to 100 percent. The low bio-availability and – more importantly – the poor chemical stability of the natural folates has a profound influence on the development of nutrient recommendations. This is particularly true if some of the dietary intake is in the synthetic form, folic acid, which is much more stable and bio-available. Food fortification of breakfast cereals, flour, etc. can add significant amounts of folic acid to the diet.

Consumption of large amounts of folic acid might also pose other less well-defined risks. Certainly, consumption of milligram amounts of folic acid would be undesirable.

http://www.fao.org/docrep/004/y2809e/y2809e0a.htm

Of course, that is mearly speculation in #94 on how might it be possible for that dude to go from anxiety to ‘crashed’ so rapidly. Nobody here has been ‘diagnosed’; that is for the upcoming head and neck guy. Part of it derives from a single datapoint of calcium flagged a small bit above normal from back early September.

Later ‘buddy-buster’ bloodwork from mid-november did not include the ‘chemistry’ part and he backed out of the scheduled full workup there at the last minute while at the office fearing and feeling the onset of another such attack as his bp had already become way, way high — Dude’s just too ‘wound up’; Maybe he should take the diagnostic technicians’ advice and stop looking at things on the internet.

Besides, I’m not shoving a fistfull of apricot pits up his snozz even it he payed me to.

Why would plants bother to fill their kernels with toxic alkaloids? Could it be to discourage animals from eating them?

herr doktor bimler,
Perhaps it is more plausible to encourage them not to chew them or digest them; Most everything else about fruits seem to indicate that they want to be eaten — A bird insisted on sitting on the canepole teepee of my potted cherry tomato plant over several years no matter what I did to deter him (tinfoil, ballons, swearing, … , directed energy weapons). He’d stain that whole plant bright purple crapping on it — leaving little stuck-together pyramids of polkberry seeds…

Besides, the seeds then get a nice little pile of starter fertilizer for next season. Now cane toads?? I’d guess that they don’t want to be eaten (whether chewed or not) when they squirt certain alkaloids out those ‘warts’. It must be so bitter that the critter slings it out — And such a bad trip later as to instill a passed-on, genetic *race memory*(??) for the derpier of animals that think they like nasty-tasting things.

^^ Of course, there are always exceptions. I’ll never understand man’s infatuation with hot peppers.

I know there can be no “perpetual motion,” but can’t find the words that make Mr Woo understand that it can’t work. I guess they choose magnets because they seem a bit magical to people.

Fruits are often actively evolved to be eaten; seeds, less often. So the apple tree “wants” me to pick and eat the fruit, but does fine if I then drop the core some distance from the parent tree. The tiny seeds in berries may not suffer from going through a bird’s digestive tract, but (most of them, at least) don’t need it either. There may be exceptions, but the Wikipedia article on the tambalocoque or “dodo tree” suggests that it isn’t one.

I have read that poison ivy seeds require the trip through a bird’s digestion to be viable, but I read it on the internet. Maybe time for a more in-depth search.

According to the head&neck guy, my friend does not appear to have nasopharyngeal carcinoma. He is derpy, sometimes — I mean, how could he discount this?? —

Unlike other head and neck cancers, this one is not associated with tobacco or alcohol use.

http://www.connecttoresearch.org/publications/23

Ohh yea, probably because he thought the government gave it to him.

Well, I’d gotten him into the truck and to the dreaded appointment. The exterior of the ‘professional complex’ was a little drab, alot ominous. Walking through the concourse was filled with eminant forboding for both of us…Being an enclosed mall with old red bricks and plain gray arches with graveyard-looking concrete benches scattered rather hodgepodge throughout; It looked like a scene pulled straight out of Terry Gilliams’ Brazil as we’d traversed straight along and through a darkened area complete with intermittent, buzzing, cold and shanty-looking fluorecent fail.

“I don’t think I can go through with this, It looks exactly just like a nightmare setting I’d just had — It looked like how I’d pictured it would be only instead of escaping I’m willfully walking through and toward this.” — “You and me both, brother”, I thought.

Just ahead there, on the left was some bright light spilling out into the gloom. Inside did not look very promising; More Gilliam. With it’s skinny waiting area stuffed with forelorn sickies, old and young, lining both sides not separated more than four feet apart, football crap on the dang telly; All awaiting their appointed final destination. There at the far end was a friendly-looking secretary awaiting him with open arms… “ahh, our new patient!”

[laying in this field of poppies poppies… Oh scheelite, remote viewing time again…]

“Mr. xxxxx, room 3”, she said, motioning like a Vanna White toward an exotic vowel. Room 3?? Oh Lord, this is the dream except left is right and visaversa — Room 3 was right across from a little paperwork station, just like the start of the aforementioned premonition. And there front and center was my self-supplied *recent history*…

Tick toc tick… This room is right out of 1953, or possibly Cuba, complete with a chair for dentistry or the strapped-down ‘endless examination’ of people concerned about protecting my freedoms. Next room over and through what must have been incredibly thin concrete walls were the sounds of moans and a muffled voice. The pitch increasing now, horrible. I’m outta he…. wait, is that whomever actually ‘humming’?? He’s not very good…. Oh, looky; Tuning forks. I’ve always wanted tuning forks. I picked one up, gave it a pluck, pressed the stem against the back of my skull, and listened as the sound completely localized to one ear…..

Tick tock… In walks this Dr.y looking dude. “I reviewed that ‘history’ and you’re fine. Come back and see me in thirty years.”

“But my terror is…”
“Have a seat in this chair” (yes, that dentisty-looking chair).
“You know, when I was in pediatric oncology…….”

Now, this guy was very informative. Very attention holding. This is the friendliest, most chatty, most personable Dr. I had ever met (N<10 minus the clinic ditz)… He's easing me into it, surely.

"….We've all got to die of something.", he paused as he whipped out a 6 ounce brown bottle with a stainless steel tube projecting from it. It looked like raw cannabis extract — "He's giving me pallative care, already", I thought. Naa, some kind of anestetic for the nose thingy; Now we're getting somewhere; Straight to the nitty gritty"

"Whow now! Where/ how does that go?" as it went up my nose.

"Hmm. Ahhhh. Hurumph." [here it comes] "There is some extensive scarring in here [I knew it, I'm dead]; Did you try and scoop out your own adenoids with a mellon baller when you were like six??"……

"No visible cancer?"
"No cancer."
"But my ears…"
"Ears stop up, sometimes. You know, for people like us….."

Did I just hear him right? Did he just all but prescribe me back onto just a little more alcohol and a little more tobacco?? Naa…..

"….Do get those teeth looked at though; Something is probably going on there that can become worse than just some swollen nodes…"
—————————-

"Close your mouth, dude. You know, that sportscaster is just not that mezmerizing."

"What? Oh. How'd it go?"
"No cancer. And he gave me a prescription for enough of that hydrox stuff you were ranting about to pacify a heard of nervous elephants…"
——————————

I'm envious, though he said I could have some whenever I needed it because he'll never pop all that. If I were to believe his tall tales of 'scription live-morphing malfeasance at the local CVS then I'd be worried about it to — But that's a whole 'nother windmill to chase —
======================================

ps. Has anybody noticed how porno that 'medicine wheel' graphic is?? Looks like the flaccid dude with the pixelated-out breasts must have really clinched up his buttcheeks on the other one, or something.

I would imagine all of you that have nothing but negative things to say about essential oils have not tried them. I am a Family Nurse Practitioner, and have been using them for four months and could not even begin to tell you how much they have helped my family. I would much rather put a speck of peppermint on my daughter’s big toes for her 104.5 fever than give her tylenol or ibuprofen (dropped her temp down to 99.9 in 15 minutes).

In four months, you’ve managed to completely abandon anything you learned in school, becuaes the handful of fevers you saw among your family in short that time resolved after you used essential oils?

Truly, your commitment to critical thinking is staggering.

I didn’t know fevers could drop that fast until it happened to me. Just about 15 minutes as well.

Rose from 102 to 104.5 while standing in a just cooler than body temp shower. Took 15 minutes to dry off and get driven to the ER. 99.0 at the ER and they could see me right away.

Although I do wonder if how cold it was outside even bundled up as I was may have played a role in breaking the fever and it wasn’t just the passenger seat of the car was magic.

A few years ago the Red Sox were in a losing streak until I started wearing my lucky Manny Ramirez jersey inside out on game days.

But when I tell people that had to be why the team won the next game they look at me kind of odd. I mean, what else could it have been? It can’t have just been an unrelated coincidence…

[toggle sarcasm off]

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