Herbal remedies and other Hooey

Pure Pedantry

Category archives for Herbal remedies and other Hooey

Most of the stuff you hear about hyperbaric oxygen being used to treat is total nonsense. It isn’t effective at treating autism or cerebral palsy. But an article in the Times makes the point that it is effective for treating some things: The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, the professional organization in this field, recognizes…

Did you catch this story? A man in Illinois walks into a church and shoots the pastor. After killing the pastor, his gun jams, he grabs a knife and starts stabbing himself. At which point, he is tackled by two guys and remanded into custody. Now his lawyer is claiming that his mental status was…

This beat poem is too funny. It is by Tim Minchin in which he describes a dinner party where he confronts a hippie — recorded live at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London in December 08. Sadly NSFW and audio only. Check it out beneath the fold:

For acupuncture to work, you don’t actually have to put in the needles: The acupuncture study of 215 patients who were undergoing radiation treatment in the abdomen or pelvic region chose by lot one of these two acupuncture types. 109 received traditional acupuncture, with needles penetrating the skin in particular points. According to ancient Chinese…

Fad diets and cave men

Crooked Timber has a great post on using what you think ancestral man ate to argue for various types of fad diets: There seems to be about as much theorising relative to evidence in the discussion of what cavemen ate and did, as the ev psych crowd try to get away with about their family…

A Christmas present, maybe? Maybe not. A “neurotheology” researcher called Dr Michael Persinger has developed something called the “God Helmet” lined with magnets to help you in your quest: it sounds like typical bad science fodder, but it’s much more interesting than that. Persinger is a proper scientist. The temporal lobes have long been implicated…

My rant last Friday about Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) promoted a vigorous discussion, and I am happy about that. That ambivalence about CAM in even the scientific community is an interesting issue in and of itself. Several commenters criticized my piece on the grounds that I was being inexact or extreme. For example, jope…

Complementary and alternative medicine has no business participating in mainstream science or medicine.

Enzyte exec admits they were lying

Color me unsurprised. You have no doubt seen the commercials for the herbal penis-enlarging supplement Enzyte. They feature a guy with a weird smile and his grinning wife. The pills themselves come in suspiciously medicinal-looking packaging. (With a picture of a race car on the package, you begin to wonder who their target market is…)…

If my job was to debunk poorly justified herbal remedies, I would eat well for life. Here is the newest one: stem cell enhancers. As covered in the Scientist: A California company is marketing the latest in dietary supplements, an extract from algae they claim will boost the number of circulating stem cells, easing disease…