Corante

About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

Chemistry and Drug Data: Drugbank
Emolecules
ChemSpider
Chempedia Lab
Synthetic Pages
Organic Chemistry Portal
PubChem
Not Voodoo
DailyMed
Druglib
Clinicaltrials.gov

Chemistry and Pharma Blogs:
Org Prep Daily
The Haystack
Kilomentor
A New Merck, Reviewed
Liberal Arts Chemistry
Electron Pusher
All Things Metathesis
C&E News Blogs
Chemiotics II
Chemical Space
Noel O'Blog
In Vivo Blog
Terra Sigilatta
BBSRC/Douglas Kell
ChemBark
Realizations in Biostatistics
Chemjobber
Pharmalot
ChemSpider Blog
Pharmagossip
Med-Chemist
Organic Chem - Education & Industry
Pharma Strategy Blog
No Name No Slogan
Practical Fragments
SimBioSys
The Curious Wavefunction
Natural Product Man
Fragment Literature
Chemistry World Blog
Synthetic Nature
Chemistry Blog
Synthesizing Ideas
Business|Bytes|Genes|Molecules
Eye on FDA
Chemical Forums
Depth-First
Symyx Blog
Sceptical Chymist
Lamentations on Chemistry
Computational Organic Chemistry
Mining Drugs
Henry Rzepa


Science Blogs and News:
Bad Science
The Loom
Uncertain Principles
Fierce Biotech
Blogs for Industry
Omics! Omics!
Young Female Scientist
Notional Slurry
Nobel Intent
SciTech Daily
Science Blog
FuturePundit
Aetiology
Gene Expression (I)
Gene Expression (II)
Sciencebase
Pharyngula
Adventures in Ethics and Science
Transterrestrial Musings
Slashdot Science
Cosmic Variance
Biology News Net


Medical Blogs
DB's Medical Rants
Science-Based Medicine
GruntDoc
Respectful Insolence
Diabetes Mine


Economics and Business
Marginal Revolution
The Volokh Conspiracy
Knowledge Problem


Politics / Current Events
Virginia Postrel
Instapundit
Belmont Club
Mickey Kaus


Belles Lettres
Uncouth Reflections
Arts and Letters Daily
In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

« What's With Those People at Elsevier, Anyway? | Main | Eli Lilly Gives It Away »

June 26, 2009

Snort Yourself Some Zinc. Or Maybe Not.

Email This Entry

Posted by Derek

I missed commenting on this earlier, but many readers may have noticed the recent scandal caused by Zicam. This is a cold remedy which was sold as a homeopathic medicine, but its makers committed the unforgivable sin of actually having something in its formula besides well-shaken distilled water.

A lot of people are convinced that zinc is good for colds - I'm agnostic, having not seen much convincing evidence - so if that's the case, why not snort zinc up your nose? That, at any rate, seems to be the condensed version of the Zicam pitch, although I don't believe that they used that exact wording in their ads. (A gift for advertising copy might not be one of my more robust talents. . .) At any rate, snorting zinc salts has actually been known, for some time now, to injure the sense of smell in some people. So it's proved with Zicam, with several hundred victims.

The moral? If you're going to sell homeopathic medicine - and boy, is it a lucrative business - make sure that you don't put anything in there except sterile water. That'll cut down on your expenses, too, since most ingredients cost more than water, anyway. Stick with that strategy, and you can be absolutely sure that nothing bad will happen to your customers. Nothing good will happen to them either, but they won't know that. When their cold/headache/whatever goes away of its own accord, they'll ascribe it to your miracle product. Sit back and profit! Be sure to thank Senator Hatch while you count your money, though - it's only proper.

Comments (134) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Regulatory Affairs | Snake Oil


COMMENTS

1. Anonymous on June 26, 2009 8:08 AM writes...

Maybe this will bring some light to the scam that is homeopathic medicine. Here in NYC they sell Zicam right next to NyQuil, and to the untrained eye they look identical. It's absurd.

Permalink to Comment

2. John Thacker on June 26, 2009 8:19 AM writes...

Nothing good will happen to them either, but they won't know that.

Not entirely true. They may get a genuinely beneficial placebo effect.

Permalink to Comment

3. Chemoptoplex on June 26, 2009 8:35 AM writes...

"Stick with that strategy, and you can be absolutely sure that nothing bad will happen to your customers"

Not necessarily

But seriously, in a world where Cheerios get taken to task by the FDA for suggesting it "may reduce cholesterol", how can Zicam keep up their positive claim of "Actually shortens the Cold"?

Permalink to Comment

4. Sili on June 26, 2009 8:43 AM writes...

Apparently there was some good science behind the hypothesis. Unfortunately it didn't pan out.

http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2009/06/the_rise_and_fall_of_zinc_as_a.php

Permalink to Comment

5. Kismet on June 26, 2009 9:02 AM writes...

Yeah, zinc may really work after all if it's formulated as acetate or gluconate. Did anyone take a look at the following study? Any methodological or other flaws?

BTW, Sili, I don't get why *oral* administration damages the olfactory neuroepithelium of rats? I don't remember that lozenges were ever reported to have side-effects on smell in humans(it does not even make sense).

Duration and severity of symptoms and levels of plasma interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor, and adhesion molecules in patients with common cold treated with zinc acetate.
Prasad AS, Beck FW, Bao B, Snell D, Fitzgerald JT.
J Infect Dis. 2008 Mar 15;197(6):795-802.

Permalink to Comment

6. Chemjobber on June 26, 2009 9:22 AM writes...

I was also confused by the homeopathic part, but Wikipedia sez that it has zinc gluconate AND homeopathic garbage in it. So it was the real amounts of zinc that did the damage...

Permalink to Comment

7. Old Timer on June 26, 2009 9:28 AM writes...

I guess I don't buy enough cold medicine. I have seen Zicam right next to other medications and never noticed it was a homeopathic medication! Although, some of the other "non-homeopathic" medications make me wonder...

Permalink to Comment

8. Kathy on June 26, 2009 9:29 AM writes...

In 1988, I had a severe sinus infection and lost my sense of smell for about two years. I had never heard of Zicam. How do we know which patients developed anosmia from Zicam and which would have developed it anyway, AND which will eventually have their sense of smell return? (Just to stir the pot )

Permalink to Comment

9. Cloud on June 26, 2009 10:57 AM writes...

Kathy- we do sizable, well-designed clinical studies with controls. Which the makers of Zicam didn't have to do because they were selling their product as a supplement not a drug.

Permalink to Comment

10. Badger on June 26, 2009 11:38 AM writes...

Is there anything on the packaging that says whether a product is regulated by the FDA?

Permalink to Comment

11. Cellbio on June 26, 2009 12:13 PM writes...

Kismet, I took a quick look, and saw that the treated group had 6/25 subjects that were smokers, the placebo had 9/25. I would say that is a flaw, small study too. The impact on serum levels of anit-inflammatory molecules is slight at best. A quick search showed the lead author, Prasad, publishes a bit on the role of zinc in immune cell function. The work seems fine, but of course the bias inherent in publishing favors positive results, so I looked for additiona work. Haven't read in detail, but here is an abstract:

Zinc and the Common Cold: A Meta-Analysis Revisited1
Jeffrey L. Jackson*2, Emil Lesho and Cecily Peterson

* Department of Medicine–Educational Programs, Bethesda, MD 20814, Department of Primary Care, Internal Medicine Service, U.S. Army Medical Activity, Heidelberg, Germany and Department of Medicine, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA 98431

2To whom correspondence and reprint request should be addressed.

The common cold has been estimated to cost the United States > $3.5 billion per year. Despite several randomized clinical trials, the effect of treating colds with zinc gluconate remains uncertain due to conflicting results. We conducted a meta-analysis of published randomized clinical trials on the use of zinc gluconate lozenges in colds using the random effects model of DerSimonians and Laird. Ten clinical trials of cold treatment with zinc gluconate were identified. After excluding two studies that used nasal inoculum of rhinovirus, eight trials were combined and analyzed. The summary odds ratio for the presence of "any cold symptoms" at 7 d was 0.52 (95% confidence interval, 0.25–1.2). We conclude that despite numerous randomized trials, the evidence for effectiveness of zinc lozenges in reducing the duration of common colds is still lacking.

Permalink to Comment

12. Kismet on June 26, 2009 12:48 PM writes...

I'm also worried by the funding from "George and Patsy Eby Foundation" Eby et al. heavily promote zinc as a treatment for the common cold judging by their homepage. Other than that I think it's a neat study published in a pretty good journal. Maybe we should rather focus on ICAM than on inflammatory markers anyway..

The old meta-analysis is actually promising, isn't it? The result is right there, the CI only needs to be narrowed down but this may be due to a lack of power (?) Maybe if it was redone with the current data it'd be significant... I'm not sure if that proves anything if we consider publication bias, but it's a good start.

Permalink to Comment

13. Cellbio on June 26, 2009 1:38 PM writes...

Not sure what your are seeing in the ICAM data. Control group of healthy volunteers have 248 (+/- 83 pg/ml), compared to placebo, 227 +/- 149 before, 229 +/- 114 after treatment; Zinc treated cohort, 285 +/- 162 before, after zinc is 229 +/- 144. Same values of ICAM at the end of treatment period with or without zinc. Takes a special interpretation for the data to support an conclusion of treatment effect here. Probably just noise, but the pretreatment difference in ICAM should first be an indication that the groups are different before being accepted as the basis for a higher percentage drop.

I don't see any promise in the meta-analysis. Maybe I am missing soemthing. If power is lacking, and the CI covers 1.0, power may just confirm a lack of effect. No?

Permalink to Comment

14. Kismet on June 26, 2009 2:28 PM writes...

I'm not sure if it matters that the ICAM results are similar to the control or placebo group afterwards. Isn't the significant change within group more interesting? Although, you're right that the change is small and variation high so it could be noise or it might be clinically insignificant (or maybe it's something like regression to the mean).

I'm not really into statistics but I thought that if you combine many studies with a wide CI (which are not significant on their own) you can eventually narrow it down to something significant if there is a real effect? I assumed maybe the meta-analysis failed because of "not enough [quality] data" and if you add the recent study you should get closer to a CI

Permalink to Comment

15. Kismet on June 26, 2009 2:33 PM writes...

The last sentence should say "close to a CI ‹1"

Permalink to Comment

16. bbartlog on June 26, 2009 3:46 PM writes...

Nice of you to notice that not all homeopathic medicines are not in fact merely water. Of course, the link you provide (titled 'unforgivable sin' for some inexplicable reason) actually points out that qualifying as 'homeopathic' means that something is listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia, not that it's (necessarily) something diluted to the point of being indistinguishable from water. If you were curious, this might lead you to wondering: what portion of homeopathic medicines actually have active ingredients? How many of them are there that have effects (beyond the placebo effect)? But no, we'll stumble over this inconvenient factoid, update our worldview to note that homeopathic medicines include water *and a zinc solution*, and be none the wiser.
FWIW I consider homeopathy a branch of folk medicine. Prior to the advent of antibiotics, the fact that most of its prescriptions are placebos may actually have made it a better bet than mainstream medicine. Even today some of its remedies may well be effective (the diluted ones are often not diluted to the point of being water-equivalent).

Permalink to Comment

17. Cellbio on June 26, 2009 4:44 PM writes...

Kismet,

I guess the answer to your question is I don't know if the greatest importance is level related to starting point (intragroup delta) vs. comparison across groups, but it appears to me the small difference here can be explained by randomness as well as effect. Further, the strongest effect seen is an elevation of IL-1ra with placebo. This indicates that the variation in levels one day to the next may be all that the study is measuring. The authors suggest that IL-1ra levels rise because of ongoing inflammation which is held in check by zinc in the treated group. Could be true, but not proven.

BTW, thanks for the dicsussion, makes me look more closley at the data. I see in the symptoms table, what appears to drive the difference in cold symptoms is not headache or fever (IL-1 related), but cough, sore throat and nasal discharge. I wonder if the real driver of impacts on symptoms is related to the mechanism behind loss of smell. Is it all neurological and has nothing to do with immunology, inflammation or viral entry and reproduction?

If that is the case, why not use good old phenol to denature your nerve endings? or if you prefer brand names, buy Chloraseptic, 1.4% phenol.

Permalink to Comment

18. Anonymous on June 26, 2009 9:27 PM writes...

Stephen Colbert had a little news item on Zicam. Apparently, the guy who owns the parent company got his Ph.D. from some American University of something in Spain in the late nineties and then got his Bachelors degree from some other no name university five years later (note the order).

Zicam was also one of Rush Limbaugh sponsors, so Rush is going around saying that Zicam is being unfairly targeted by Democrats. The conservatives were always a bit looney with their rhetoric but seem to be going completely insane now.

Permalink to Comment

19. srp on June 26, 2009 10:00 PM writes...

I used Zicam once or twice (in lozenge form). It's a great placebo at least--it kind of feels like it's doing something up in your nose and throat and it tastes just a little bit bad so you feel like it's medicine.

Permalink to Comment

20. Kismet on June 27, 2009 7:02 AM writes...

This brings us back to the question I asked after checking the Silli's link (http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2009/06/the_rise_and_fall_of_zinc_as_a.php):
"BTW, Sili, I don't get why *oral* administration damages the olfactory neuroepithelium of rats? I don't remember that lozenges were ever reported to have side-effects on smell in humans(it does not even make sense)."
I may have to read the full paper to find out, though...

I don't know what mechanism of action you imagine? A systemic neurlogical or a local neurological effect? I don't think that ~80mg zinc can reach neurotoxic levels (leading to a loss of smell) via the systemic route (i.e. blood; many crazy bodybuilders have been taking 100mg/d for quite some time; IDK any side-effects related to smell), but only if it comes into contact with the nerves -- then again, how is oral zinc supposed to reach the olfactory nerves? Or does it as indicted by the rat study?

I thought if there was a neurotoxicity problem it would be rather related to the sense of taste when administered orally and in fact it seems that taste related side-effects are reported slightly and not-significantly more often in the treatment group.

Permalink to Comment

21. CM on June 27, 2009 9:04 PM writes...

@Kismet
The lawsuit concerns Zicam nasal spray.

Permalink to Comment

22. Anonymous BMS Researcher on June 27, 2009 11:03 PM writes...


As one who is very familiar with what the FDA expects from us pharma companies as evidence to back up our label claims, I rather resent the way purveyors of supplements manage to IMPLY drug-like properties without quite making actual claims. I have the background than enables me to tell the difference by reading the fine print with its standard weasel-word disclaimers ("not intended to cure or treat any disease, not evaluated by the FDA," etc.), but how can the average consumer distinguish between a drug and a product whose packaging is carefully designed to resemble that of a drug without QUITE saying it is a drug?

Permalink to Comment

23. LouHom on June 28, 2009 5:20 AM writes...

Zicam is not really a homeopathic product. Everyone seems to be confused and in error about this. The Zinc gluconate is at a 2x potency which is almost a material dose of Zinc gluconate. It is like sniffing the zinc up your nose. 2x means that the zinc gluconate has had 9 drops added to it, shaken. Then one drop of that has had a further 9 drops added and shaken. It has only been potentised twice and at 1 to 9 (i.e. the decimal potency, rather than the centesimal potency - 1 to 100 normally used for homeopathic preparations).

So yes, people were sniffing zinc gluconate in a fairly undiluted form which would possibly cause harm.

Normally homeopathic products are at least a 6x potency. Bach flower essences (i.e. Rescue Remedy, etc.) are all 5x potencies but they are made from flower essences and so fairly harmless.

Permalink to Comment

24. Jose on June 28, 2009 8:20 AM writes...

"Then one drop of that has had a further 9 drops added and shaken. It has only been potentised twice and at 1 to 9"

Oil of liverwort! Spleen of shrew! I potentise three through and through!

Permalink to Comment

25. Chemjobber on June 28, 2009 1:40 PM writes...

Anonymous BMS researcher is exactly right: I can't count the number of supplements (including ZICAM, Enzyte's another) that have adopted the advertising/marketing look and feel to attempt to piggyback on the reputation of larger pharma.

Permalink to Comment

26. Michael Geer on June 28, 2009 2:11 PM writes...

Derek, you disappoint me.

ZICAM is in no way a homeopathic regardless of what the company states or how you label it.

Geez, no wonder politics and the news are dumber than a sack of hammers if RESPONSIBLE people have no idea what IS homeopathic and WHAT IS NOT.

You really should apologize for Stepford Parroting of a false line of BS.

Permalink to Comment

27. TC on June 28, 2009 2:12 PM writes...

I'm looking at a box of Zicam GelSwabs right now. The word homeopathic is printed in small letters on the front lower right of the box and on the center bottom of the left and right sides. On the back, in the "Drug Facts" section, the word homeopathic is not used.

Active ingredient: Zincum Gluconicum 2x
Purpose: Reduces duration and severity of common cold

Inactive ingredients: benzalkonium chloride, glycerin, hydroxyethylcellulose, purified water, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide.

Permalink to Comment

28. Anna Keppa on June 28, 2009 2:31 PM writes...

"...so Rush is going around saying that Zicam is being unfairly targeted by Democrats."

"The conservatives were always a bit looney with their rhetoric but seem to be going completely insane now."

It's...interesting.... to see, amidst references to scientific studies ostensibly following strict rules of evidence and inference in a good-faith attempt to arrive at valid conclusions, a comment that parses thusly:

"...so Rush is going around saying that Zicam is being unfairly targeted by Democrats."

---- Incorrect. What Limbaugh said is that some liberals were making a big deal of the issue BECAUSE he was a Zicam sponsor. Colbert is an example. Ipse dixit.

"Conservatives were always a bit looney with their rhetoric. ---

----a generalized claim here supported only by the alleged statement of one person, Limbaugh. BZZZTT!!!

This is a statement that can easily be countered with references to over-heated liberal rhetoric, such as "the planet has a fever".

"[Conservatives] seem to be going completely insane now."

----another generalized claim here supported only by the alleged statement of one person, Limbaugh, on one issue, implying that conservatives are "going insane" on all issues, that none of their positions on issues are rational.

Here's your sillygism:

Rush is a conservative.

Rush offered an insane opinion.

THEREFORE, all conservatives are insane on all opinions.


"Highly illogical, Captain".

---- Spock

I certainly hope Anonymous is not a scientist or (shudder) physician.

Permalink to Comment

29. Anonymous on June 28, 2009 2:47 PM writes...

Sorry Anna Keppa - judging by Limbaugh's popularity, it is safe to say that his views represent that of a sizeable # of conservatives.

Stephen Colbert is not a liberal. He supported Bush for his first and second term but didnt support McCain. I think he just couldnt digest the thought of Palin being VP.

So ya, most conservatives are a bunch of morons and Rush is their spokesperson and he did say that "Democrats" (not liberals) were unfairly targeting Zicam.

Permalink to Comment

30. Michael Geer on June 28, 2009 3:31 PM writes...

Well, how about that?

Product labeling makes a thing so.

Wow. (head slap) Cheerios cures heart disease, the check's in the mail and etc.

Let's turn to a classically trained professional homeopath, trained the classical Hahnemann tradition.

{snip}

I have previously mentioned that the company that produces Zicam is not a homeopathic pharmacy. This is a company attempting to use a so called "homeopathic" preparation to market their product without regulation. The dispensing method of "Zicam" is not classically homeopathic nor are the uses of the other ingredients that is used to suspended the Zinc that they have diluted into a 3x potency. I believe the other ancillary ingredients are the culprit in the causation of the symptoms of "loss of smell" by the victims of this product and not the homeopathically prepared mineral Zinc. Homeopathically prepared Zinc has no side effects and is not administered in a nasal spray as we all know.

As homeopathy gains popularity, it's detractors find many and sundry ways to cast false aspersions. It is important to immediately speak out on every slanderous report intended to debunk homeopathy. This ZICAM affair is just another in a long trail of ignorance and willful injury to classical, proven and effective homeopathy.

In gratitude for your courageous response,

Dr. Nancy Gahles

Dr. Nancy Gahles
Doctor of Chiropractic (DC)
Certified Classical Homeopath ( CCH)
Registered, Society of Homeopaths, North America ( RSHom, NA)

Executive Director, Health & Harmony Wellness Education

President, National Center for Homeopathy
http://www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org/
Expert: Ask The Experts, Mothering magazine, Natural Medicine.com
Columnist: The Wave newspaper, Homeopathy Today
Advisory Board, IntegrativePractioner.com

Permalink to Comment

31. Buffy Pittman on June 28, 2009 3:34 PM writes...

I completely lost my sense of smell because I snorted too much Zycam fighting a cold. It felt like my nose was on fire, then the stuffiness just didn't go away.

I was astonished at how awful loosing one's sense of smell is. Food tastes like styrafoam. Plus no smelling the wysteria in my yard, no smelling a man, no smelling a gas leak, no smelling if I'd washed properly -- on and on.

Thank God after a few months my nose recovered. I later read zinc is put up the nose of lab animals to kill their sense of smell.

I never reported this to the FDA, btw.

Permalink to Comment

32. Paul on June 28, 2009 3:36 PM writes...

Zicam is not homeopathic. The label is a misnomer and I suppose is geared towards an audience who are drawn to "holistic" or "alternative" treatments, and who don't know what homeopathy is.

Anyway the zinc is the active ingredient and is indeed effective for some people. I suggest that the side effects should be clearly printed on the label and let the consumer make their own choice.

As for the juvenile "Anonymous" above and its comment "most conservatives are morons", that speaks more to his or her level of ignorance and simple minded stupidity than anything about conservatives, of whom I would wager Anonymous does not actually know any personally. As a former liberal I can attest to the fact that conservatives on average are much better informed, and more importantly, have matured beyond the permanent state of adolescence that seems to afflict the majority of liberals.

Permalink to Comment

33. jjim on June 28, 2009 4:31 PM writes...

Zicam isn't a placebo either. It's a "Nocebo", in Latin, "Placebo" means, literally, "I please". "Nocebo" means "I harm".

Permalink to Comment

34. Koblog on June 28, 2009 7:09 PM writes...

I don't suppose any commenters here have actually tried Zicam? Ah, but all are experts....

The theory is to create an inhospitable nasal environment where the rhino virus replicates. It's not your throat; it's your sinuses. Something like 1.5 quarts of mucus flow down your throat every day.

We get colds because our immune system gets overwhelmed by too many reproducing viruses.

Normally, you can fight them off. Get too tired or degrade your immune system some other way and you get sick.

What if you could make the petri dish that is the snot in your head so it could not grow the cold virus?

That's why Zicam went from lozenge to gel--to put it directly where the virus grows. By the time you have a sore throat, it's already filled your sinuses.

For the record, Zicam (gel and swabs) is the only cold remedy that ever worked for me.

Then again, I've only used the product with success and am I'm not an erudite theoretical expert like most everyone here.

Permalink to Comment

35. Koblog on June 28, 2009 7:12 PM writes...

Oh, yeah.

If Zicam get pulled for causing a few people to lose their sense of smell, shouldn't the FDA pull Viagra, since, well, it has actually killed some users?

Permalink to Comment

36. Kismet on June 28, 2009 7:23 PM writes...

Koblog, they lied about it being homeopathic and I'm assuming they probably lied about the risks. Why should people even try such a product? Whether nasal delivery works or not, the science on lozenges is more promising right now (& apparently free of the dangerous side-effects).

Cellbio what do you think (comment #20)?

Permalink to Comment

37. Peter on June 28, 2009 9:49 PM writes...

Well let me report several years worth of anecdotal evidence from my wife and myself. We take Zicam at the first sign of a cold, and more-often-than-not the next day symptoms are completely gone. Sometimes you have to keep taking it for a few days - if you stop the symptoms return.

So my first reaction on hearing the news was to go out and buy a dozen bottles as we are absolutely convinced it works and we have never had any problems with loss of smell. We think oral zinc gluconate works too (that's what we used to use before Zicam), but not quite as well, and oral zinc also does something very strange to my sense of taste for several hours. (A much more extreme version of how eating artichokes gives plain water a slight taste).

On the negative side, my son thought that he lost his sense of smell for a month or two after using Zicam, so likely there are many unreported cases of this happening.

Permalink to Comment

38. eugene on June 29, 2009 2:20 AM writes...

"I don't suppose any commenters here have actually tried Zicam? Ah, but all are experts...."

Anecdotal evidence doesn't count worth shit in real medicines that have to go through rigorous testing. Why are the makers of Zicam so afraid to do real testing? But I'm happy that you choose to sign-up as a free subject (or one who pays money) in place of the rats and bunnies. This trend will surely placate animal rights activists in the future and it's a good way to find some medicines that would fail in an animal model due to some non-human toxicity problem. There would be more human deaths and health problems with this new testing approach, but as they say: "that's the c'est la vie".

Permalink to Comment

39. big btech on June 29, 2009 7:29 AM writes...

FDA really screwed Matrixx here. Compnay made no explicit medical claims, and I agree the noption of Zn treating the cold is crap. That said, evidence for loss of smell is from a bunch of lawsuits started a few years ago that were consistently shown to have no merit.

Amazing that the FDA bags Zn, which may or may not cause hamr, but has no issue with cigarrettes, which clearly DO cause harm.

Permalink to Comment

40. zek202 on June 29, 2009 8:02 AM writes...

I am an MD and Zicam has worked great for me limiting the duration of colds that I get about twice a year. I do think it has affected my sense of smell to a degree. The instructions for the use of the jell were to not snuff the gel up the nasal passages but to squeeze the nares together to disperse the gel into the nose. I always made sure to warn people to do this and to not snuff the jell up the nose. The best way to prevent getting a cold? Wash your hands often (or use a gel) and never rub your eyes with your hands if you have not washed them recently.

Permalink to Comment

41. Reality Check on June 29, 2009 8:11 AM writes...

1) Zicam has never claimed to be a nasal "spray". It is a nasal "gel". If you sniff it or snort it, you are explicitly disobeying package directions. If you actually follow the directions -- even on the pump -- the gel will never get anywhere near the olfactory nerves. Sorry to be unsympathetic, but if you purposefully drink bleach, do you have the right to complain about the ill effects?

2) Stephen Colbert is liberal. His character is conservative. Think about that in the context of the issues he presents and in what light he pretends to view them.

3) Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer, not a religious leader or a politician.

Permalink to Comment

42. Trouble on June 29, 2009 10:07 AM writes...

Loss of sense of smell... is that a bug or a feature?

If I had to lose one of the five (er, seven if one counts balance and kinesthesia), I think I would pick that one.

Permalink to Comment

43. Tok on June 29, 2009 10:21 AM writes...

Simple solution. Regulate all these homeopathic medicines as drugs. Require all the same clinical efficacy and safety trials as any other drug. Otherwise they should not be allowed to even mention any disease on their packaging.

Permalink to Comment

44. Chuck Pelto on June 29, 2009 12:42 PM writes...

TO: Derek Lowe, et al.
RE: Zincam?

Never heard of it before now.

As for 'snortting' it.....

....I've practiced homeopathic techniques on myself for 22 years now. After being introduced to it by a lady friend. I was a skeptic at the time, but after several years of seeing it actually work on several things that the AMA couldn't do squat about, I've become convinced of its efficacy.

By and large, the blood vessels necessary to absorb the active agent into the body are not, repeat NOT, found in the nasal passages. They are in the mouth, under the thin tissues that line the cavity there.

So snorting a homeopathic materia medica is not, as I see it, a good idea.

RE: What's the Point?

Homeopathic techniques can be applied to deal with certain medical situations. Certainly not all. After all, even the AMA is smart enough to recognize that you have to apply the proper treatment to a given problem.....one would hope....

Homeopathy is just one tool. A tool that the AMA, and their useful fools, deny.

How can I say that?

Probably based on history.

What history?

The history that the AMA was—for years—opposed to (1) chiropractic and (2) acupuncture techniques. They claimed such were just so much 'snake oil'. However, oddly enough, such are now recognized as 'effective'.

So. If the AMA has opposed truly effective medical techniques in the past.....what's to prevent them from doing so today? It's called, legally speaking, a pattern of behavior.

Bottom line?

Homeopathic techniques work. And, when applied properly can be very effective in treating ailments and other disorders. The problem is a body of prejudice by simple-minded 'useful fools'.

Hope that helps....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. I'm open to questions. And I can even provide you with some suggestions on how you can, in the 'safety' of your own home prove how homeopathy can be effective.....

Permalink to Comment

45. Chuck Pelto on June 29, 2009 12:49 PM writes...

TO: Tok
RE: Regulation

Regulate all these homeopathic medicines as drugs. -- Tok

Impossible.

Why?

Because you can make a homeopathic materia medica in your own home.

Here's how....

[1] Collect a particular materia medica in it's natural state. [Note: How? Pick the plant, collect the mineral, or get the insect.]

For example. One of the most effective materia medica is a....now get this....red onion. Another is a honey bee. Another is common sulfur.

[2] Soak the collected materia medica in Everclear.

[3] Dilute the infused Everclear with more Everclear.

[4] Add the diluted infused Everclear to some milk-sugar tablets.

Voila! You have created a homeopathic materia medica.

Getting a 'clue' here? The FDA would have to regulate EVERY household in America.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[God made the Earth and everything therein for Man....who STILL hasn't figured out how to use it all.... -- CBPelto]

Permalink to Comment

46. Chuck Pelto on June 29, 2009 1:14 PM writes...

TO: Derek Lowe
RE: Out of Curiosity....

....I see that your 'resume' indicates you worked for a number of pharmaceutical companies.

Would any of those happen to be Pfizer? Or Merck?

I'm reminded of the Vioxx fiasco.....

RE: Why Do I Ask?

I can understand why the big pharm companies would be adamantly opposed to homeopathy or other natural forms of medical treatment. After all....it's their 'bowl of rice' at stake here.

RE: Case in Point

Back in 1997, researchers at Purdue University, proved that an extract from a broad-leaf evergreen that grows in the Amazon rain forest could kill cancer cells in vitro while leaving healthy cells alone.

Oddly enough....further research was apparently not pursued. At least with respect to the plant.

However, I understand that a major pharm company has been trying—for the last 12 years—to make a synthetic form of the extract. But to no avail.

So why has no further research been done for the naturally occurring substance?

Could it be because you can't patent a naturally occurring substance.

Then again, think what would happen to the trillion-dollar cancer treatment industry?

Imagine all those oncologists and radiologists who'd have to turn their lucrative practices into so many tea-shops.....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth will out.....]

Permalink to Comment

47. Chuck Pelto on June 29, 2009 1:19 PM writes...

P.S. Since the mortality rate for cancer in the US is around 550,000 per year....

....12 years x 550,000 = 6,600,000 deaths....

....that might have been avoided if resarch into graviola proved it cured cancers.

Permalink to Comment

48. eugene on June 29, 2009 1:31 PM writes...

"Getting a 'clue' here? The FDA would have to regulate EVERY household in America."

No, the FDA would have to regulate only things that are sold in stores to others for profit claiming to be medicines. If they don't want to do the testing, then it doesn't go on sale. You can drink whatever you want in your house.

"Back in 1997, researchers at Purdue University, proved that an extract from a broad-leaf evergreen that grows in the Amazon rain forest could kill cancer cells in vitro while leaving healthy cells alone."

Obviously it didn't do the same thing in vivo or in human. Any information to the contrary?

Permalink to Comment

49. Kismet on June 29, 2009 2:15 PM writes...

It's always hilarious that the kooks and conspiracy theorist join the discussion as soon as people critisise homeopathy. Same old arguments. Boring.
If you can cure cancer using that herb why not publish a verifiable case series in a reputable journal? Huh, why not?

Permalink to Comment

50. Anonymous on June 29, 2009 2:19 PM writes...

TO: eugene
RE: That Won't Work

No, the FDA would have to regulate only things that are sold in stores -- eugene

As one person can make enough homeopathic materia medica to supply the entire country. Out of ONE plant. And then, going John Galt, sell it on the black market. Or even just give it and/or the knowledge away.

RE: Graviola

Obviously it didn't do the same thing in vivo or in human. Any information to the contrary? -- eugene

Show us the research that proves your statement that it doesn't work in vivo.

Go on.

I defy you.....

Why?

Because such research was not attempted and/or published.

Why?

Because the entire cancer treatment industry would collapse.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Que bono?]

Permalink to Comment

51. Michael Geer on June 29, 2009 3:32 PM writes...

Chuck Pelto - beautiful retorts, sir.

Well done. And gentlemanly.

As to the nay sayers, try and imagine Independence instead of Dependence. Try to imagine Freedom instead of Enforced Legislation. Try to imagine taking care of yourself instead of looking to others.

It saddens me that you don't know how to make your own homeopathic remedies, because true freedom arrives when you can care for yourself instead of leaning on others. It always amazes me when freedom and independence aren't a person's first principles.

Permalink to Comment

52. Chuck Pelto on June 29, 2009 6:21 PM writes...

TO: Kismet
RE: Are You 'Bored'?

It's always hilarious that the kooks and conspiracy theorist join the discussion as soon as people critisise homeopathy. Same old arguments. Boring. -- Kismet

Here's something to (1) liven up your day AND (2) provide you with proof of homeopathy's efficacy in the 'safety' of your very own home.

Are you ready?

RE: The Test

Here's a little experiment on the efficacy of homeopathy you can do in your own home.

[1] Buy a bottle of cantharis, 6X to 30C 'miracle dilution' should work.
[2] Bring your oven to 400°F.
[3] Put a stainless steel skillet or pan in the over.
[4] Bake the skillet at 400°F for one hour.
[5] Remove the skillet from the oven and put it on the top of the stove.....USING YOUR BARE HANDS.
[6] After you've stopped dancing around the room and screaming obscenitites, take four tablets of cantharis of the 'miracle dilution' you've purchase. The process is to put them UNDER your tongue and let them dissolve on their own. Do NOT swollow them.

If your experience is the same as MINE—and this has happened to me on four occasions, but strictly by accident—the pain will go away in 15 minutes and there will be no scar tissue.

First instance while cooking for an Alpha Course dinner. Someone put a stainless steel pan in front of me to dish up food from without telling me where the pan had been; straight out of the hot oven. Instant 2d degree burns. Since I had no cantharis with me at the church, I had to wait until I finished the supper and drove home. All the while in very interesting pain in both hands. Fifteen minutes after the cantharis, no pain. Blisters went away without any scar tissue.

Another instance, a small fire in my candle making shop. Hot wax got on the electric burners were had been red hot. I tried to put the small fire out by smothering it with a towel. Unfortunately, I had not covered my hand completely and a pinkie finger came into contact with the burner element. Instant crispy skin, but a nice mahogony brown.

Took cantharis. Pain gone in 15 minutes. Pain tried to return two hours later. More cantharis, no more pain. No scar tissue.

Try it yourself....

However, I DO recommend you try it in treating an accident instead of on purpose.

A bottle of cantharis can be had at any good Vitamin store, e.g., Vitamin Cottage, for about $7. Is that too much to invest in first aid? Or an experiment?

Enjoy....

Chuck(le)

P.S. If anyone can tell me how scar tissue not forming after a severe burn is a psychosomatic response or a placebo effect, I'd REALLY like to hear it.

P.P.S. And I've got a lot more where THAT came from.....

...whether you believe it or not is not my particular problem. Rather, it's yours.....

....especially if we get a killer-flu pandemic this Fall.

Why is that? Because all the Tamiflu will be deployed to support the first responders and people in critical fields, e.g., power, water, etc. utilities, emergency services, food distribution.

The rest of US will be pretty much on our own.....as the AMA has nothing else effective against viral infections......

Vaya con Dios, compadres!

Permalink to Comment

53. Chuck Pelto on June 29, 2009 6:30 PM writes...

TO: Kismet
RE: Why Not Publish?

If you can cure cancer using that herb why not publish a verifiable case series in a reputable journal? Huh, why not? -- Kismet

Good question.

Maybe you could remember how much money is made selling radiation and chemo-therapy. Not to forget the pain pills and other ancillary activities associated with the treatment of cancer.

Then again, as I mentioned in an item above, you might remember how the AMA openly opposed the practices of chiropractie and acupuncture for so long. And yet, the FDA and HHS finally admitted that they were effective forms of treatment for certain medical disorders.

Please explain why the AMA opposed such for so long. Then please understand how there MIGHT be a correlation between their opposition to those treatments and to such things as homeopathy....which is widely practiced amongst all those superstitious buffoons in Europe, including the British royal family....and a REAL cure for cancer.

Hope that helps.....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth will out.....]

Permalink to Comment

54. Chuck Pelto on June 29, 2009 6:40 PM writes...

P.S. I'm not a doctor. Nor a researcher at an institution of higher learning recognized and accredited by the AMA....which holds a monopoly on the practice of medicine in this country.....

Furthermore, I have serious doubts that the AMA or any drug company would fund such research, if they couldn't make a dime off of the results.

I honestly think they care more about making money than saving lives. I base that opinion on watching them closely for 58 years......

Permalink to Comment

55. Chuck Pelto on June 29, 2009 7:39 PM writes...

TO: All
RE: Hey! Speaking of Tamiflu....

Get a load of THIS!

I may not be a doctor, but my undergrad work was pre-med microbiology, with an emphasis on pathogens.

This stuff could well get 'serious' come fall.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Gear Up!]

Permalink to Comment

56. Anonymous on June 29, 2009 8:58 PM writes...

P.S. This is the second reported significant mutation of the H1N1 in TWO WEEKS. The previous report came from Sao Paulo, Brazil, on 16 June 09, according to THIS REPORT.

If it's mutating that fast, I suspect we have an increased probability of something 'interesting' happening this Fall. And, if a more vicious form comes out as resistant to Tamiflu, I suspect that the vaunted American medical industry is going to be hard pressed to deal with a pandemic.

[Whatcha gonna do?]

Permalink to Comment

57. Bored on June 29, 2009 10:18 PM writes...

Derek,
It is funny the number of people that respond to your blog when you discuss pop culture as opposed to lab procedure. "Things I won't work with" usually gets a dozen or so comments. This one has 56 so far. Why don't you try commenting on creationists who use homeopathic remedies and deny global warming, have converted to Scientology and despise Obama? It would be quite rich.

Permalink to Comment

58. sepisp on June 30, 2009 2:06 AM writes...

Chuck Pelto, natural compounds don't have any special magic to them that would make them automatically more effective than synthetics. The theory of vital force was disproved in the 19th century and we're still stuck with believers like you. --insert standard rant about education here--

Permalink to Comment

59. eugene on June 30, 2009 5:50 AM writes...

# 50

"As one person can make enough homeopathic materia medica to supply the entire country. Out of ONE plant. And then, going John Galt, sell it on the black market. Or even just give it and/or the knowledge away."

Then sell it on the black market. You are not allowed to sell it in stores since it is not tested. You should not be allowed to do your large scale clinical trials on an unsuspecting population.

"Show us the research that proves your statement that it doesn't work in vivo."

You don't get to make demands. You just said that drinking plant extracts cure cancer, so you better damn show us that drinking tea can cure cancer. Do the research yourself, it can't be that expensive if it's just a plant extract. You don't get to ask people to disprove a negative. That's not how the real world works. Prove that a positive exist.

Better yet, prove that there are no aliens.

#51 "because true freedom arrives when you can care for yourself instead of leaning on others."

The sooner you move out to the woods or the arctic and cut off all contact with the world, the better my life as a societal slave will be.

Permalink to Comment

60. Chuck Pelto on June 30, 2009 9:42 AM writes...

TO: sepisp
RE: The Natural vs. the Unnatural

Chuck Pelto, natural compounds don't have any special magic to them that would make them automatically more effective than synthetics. -- sepisp

Except, apparently, for the fact that no drug company has been able to synthesis the active agent(s) in graviola.

Also, as I stated earlier, no drug company can patent said naturally occurring agent(s). Hence....

....my claim that they don't care about saving lives. All they care about is the money.

Hope that helps....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. What's this "standard rant about education" think?

Permalink to Comment

61. PIV on June 30, 2009 10:14 AM writes...

Re: Graviola

Looks like there may be some interesting compunds there. However...

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11835443?dopt=Citation

Lannuzel A, Michel PP, Caparros-Lefebvre D, Abaul J, Hocquemiller R, Ruberg M.Toxicity of Annonaceae for dopaminergic neurons: potential role in atypical parkinsonism in Guadeloupe.

Mov Disord. 2002;17:84-90.


Permalink to Comment

62. SK on June 30, 2009 1:48 PM writes...

chuck: "Also, as I stated earlier, no drug company can patent said naturally occurring agent(s). Hence........my claim that they don't care about saving lives. All they care about is the money."

Of course they can...ever heard of penicillin? aspirin? taxol?

Permalink to Comment

63. tgibbs on June 30, 2009 2:25 PM writes...

If Zicam get pulled for causing a few people to lose their sense of smell, shouldn't the FDA pull Viagra, since, well, it has actually killed some users?

The issue is not that Zicam has adverse effects (pretty much everything that actually works does), but rather that the company has been using the "homeopathic" label to get away with selling a drug without doing appropriate studies to actually determine the risks and benefits.

Permalink to Comment

64. Chuck Pelto on June 30, 2009 5:04 PM writes...

TO: eugene
RE: The Dark Side of Marketing

Then sell it on the black market. -- eugene

If it comes to that. I just might. But in the meantime....


RE: Testing....Testing...

You are not allowed to sell it in stores since it is not tested. You should not be allowed to do your large scale clinical trials on an unsuspecting population. -- eugene

I’d hardly do that. Indeed, what I do in threads like this is allow others to hear about the efficacy of such and let them to try and decide for themselves.

Like the little experiment I offered to Kismet, above.

You can try it for yourself too. But, as I suggested, it would be better to just go out a buy a vial of cantharis for yourself and keep it with your regular first aid materials against a bad burn incident.

RE: The Missing Research

"Show us the research that proves your statement that it doesn't work in vivo." -- Chuck Pelto to eugene

You don't get to make demands. -- eugene

I can make whatever ‘demands’ I wish.

On the other hand, your failure to provide evidence that there was in vivo testing speaks volumes....all for the badder for your position.

You just said that drinking plant extracts cure cancer, so you better damn show us that drinking tea can cure cancer. -- eugene

Send me the names and e-mail addresses of anyone you know who has been diagnosed with incurable/inoperable cancer and told they should sign up with a hospice care organization.

We could have scads of evidence.

Do the research yourself, it can't be that expensive if it's just a plant extract. You don't get to ask people to disprove a negative. That's not how the real world works. Prove that a positive exist. -- eugene

As I said, send me names and e-mail addresses.

Better yet, prove that there are no aliens. -- eugene

Now you’re just being ‘silly’. And, furthermore, you’re manifesting a serious lack of knowledge in ‘logic’. As in “it is impossible to prove a negative”.

#51 "because true freedom arrives when you can care for yourself instead of leaning on others." -- Michael Geer to eugene

The sooner you move out to the woods or the arctic and cut off all contact with the world, the better my life as a societal slave will be. -- eugene

First ‘silliness’ and then ad homs?

Running seriously low on ‘logic’ and ‘reason’ there, eugene.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[God made the Earth and everything therein for Man.....]

Permalink to Comment

65. Chuck Pelto on June 30, 2009 5:12 PM writes...

TO: PIV
RE: Graviola & Side Effects

Lannuzel A, Michel PP, Caparros-Lefebvre D, Abaul J, Hocquemiller R, Ruberg M.Toxicity of Annonaceae for dopaminergic neurons: potential role in atypical parkinsonism in Guadeloupe. -- PIV

I'm familiar with that one.

It seems to come from the Peruvian derived plants. Not the ones that grow in Brazil. Probaly something to do with the soils. Like the way Hatchs, NM, grows the worlds VERY BEST green chilis.

How do I know this?

Personal experience.

One of the other things the natives of the Amazon use graviola for is type II diabetes [Note: A birthday gift from my Father, God rest his soul.].

I used to use the Brazilian graviola, but due to some very odd reason, that is no longer available. Someone suggested a 'customs' issue, but on which side of the supply line, I have no idea.

I had no experiences with muscle twitchings with the Brazilian.

However, since I know use the Peruvian I notice if I drink too much of the tea infusion, I'll get odd twitchings in an eyelid or small muscles between the index fingers and thumbs.

Nothing severe, but certainly odd.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[A doctor's reputation is made by the number of eminent men who die under his care. -- George Bernard Shaw]

Permalink to Comment

66. Chuck Pelto on June 30, 2009 5:19 PM writes...

TO: SK
RE: Patents

Also, as I stated earlier, no drug company can patent said naturally occurring agent(s). -- Chuck Pelto

Of course they can...ever heard of penicillin? aspirin? taxol? -- SK

Aren't those derived by patented PROCESSES?

I know for a fact that penicillin requires considerable processing before it can be used effectively. And I believe that aspirin is similar. But I can't speak to taxol.

All that's necessary to get the active agent(s) out of graviola is make a tea out of the ground up leaves and stems.

You know how to make 'tea' don't you?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Wine and cheese are ageless companions, like aspirin and aches, or June and moon, or good people and noble ventures. -- M. F. K. Fisher]

Permalink to Comment

67. eugene on July 1, 2009 3:09 AM writes...

"Running seriously low on ‘logic’ and ‘reason’ there, eugene."

You wouldn't know reason or logic if it was a ten ton truck heading for you. Read my post again.

My flippant tone with you is because I realize you are too far gone to reason with, but others reading who are on the fence will realize that you are basically full of it. A giant conspiracy to keep the world from knowing that tropical fruit tea cures cancer. Please. That would have to be bigger than the conspiracy about creating plane holograms and sending cruise missiles at the pentagon on 9/11. There are people who want to help others working in drug research, you've got a lot of nerve insulting them by saying they are only in it for the profits and will actively deny treatment to a huge segment of the population if they can't make any money on it. You've also got a lot of nerve offering snake oil to real patients without any proof on your part. It's not my job to prove your fantastic claims as true.

It's obvious that you've glossed over the giant potholes in your own argument that me and others have pointed out. I'm focusing on only one part, others have shot you down over patenatability issues, etc...

Also, my response to #51 was to another poster. Please make sure to post under one username because otherwise things can get confusing.

Permalink to Comment

68. Compliance Analyst on July 1, 2009 6:53 AM writes...

Actually there are quite a few drugs that are derived from plant materials. I know one of our main drugs is made from a plant. Yes it does require additional processing, but having a process that produces a consistent product is how things are approved for marketing to the general public by the FDA. Go and read the CFR a few times to get an idea of the requirements.

I do believe that homeopathic remedies do work (please read Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice....good read about ethnobotany), but stating that a pharma company would withhold a multibillion dollar drug that cures cancer is one of the most paranoid (read as idiotic) things I have ever heard.

Pharma companies are bound by regulated processes that produce a product with the same "identity, strength, quality, and purity" of the drug product. That is why penicillin and aspirin require additional processing to make consistent product. I doubt many homeopathic remedies would ever meet content uniformity requirements.

Permalink to Comment

69. PIV on July 1, 2009 8:47 AM writes...

"However, since I know use the Peruvian I notice if I drink too much of the tea infusion, I'll get odd twitchings in an eyelid or small muscles between the index fingers and thumbs.
Nothing severe, but certainly odd."

Ahh, what's a little Parkinson's between friends?

Seriously, are you treating your own cancer with this tea?

Permalink to Comment

70. Chuck Pelto on July 1, 2009 10:36 AM writes...

TO: PIV
RE: A Little Parkinson's for Tea

Ahh, what's a little Parkinson's between friends? -- PIV

I've got Parkinson's disease. And he's got mine.

RE: Self-Treating for Cancer

Seriously, are you treating your own cancer with this tea? -- PIV

Funny you should mention that.

As a matter of fact, I suspect that I AM.

How so?

Well....

...having spent 27 years in the infantry, I got a LOT of sunshine on my nordic skin.

Towards the end of my career there were a couple of times when I developed odd, itchy, reddish sort of bumps on the upper portion of my forearms. They wouldn't go away on their own accord, so I'd go see the docs about them.

The doctors would get out their liquid nitrogen and freeze them off. Never bothering to do a test for squamous carcinoma. And that was that.

However, with my interest in medicine (see comment above), I looked such up on the web and they looked like early stages of squamous carcinoma.

Shortly after I began drinking the graviola tea, a LOT of these odd, itchy, reddish sort of bumps started showing up on my arms and back, i.e., places that got lots of exposure to the sun while in the field. They'd itch like CRAZY. Then they'd scab over and slough off.

Are/were they pre-cancerous conditions that the graviola's active agent(s) went after? Or maybe little squamous carcinoma sites that the body might have eventually detected and attacked naturally?

I don't know, but I suspect the graviola had something to do with them.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. If YOU know of anyone who has an incurable/inoperable carcinoma and the doctors have told them to seek hospice support, please tell them about graviola.

After all....

....at that point, what have they got to lose. Eh?

Permalink to Comment

71. Chuck Pelto on July 1, 2009 12:11 PM writes...

TO: eugene
RE: Rational Irrationality

"Running seriously low on ‘logic’ and ‘reason’ there, eugene." -- Chuck Pelto to eugene

You wouldn't know reason or logic if it was a ten ton truck heading for you. Read my post again.

-- eugene

Very phony. More on that later.....(below)....if you can find it.

My flippant tone with you is because I realize you are too far gone to reason with, but others reading who are on the fence will realize that you are basically full of it. -- eugene

Yeah. All lieutenant colonels of infantry are really irrational. Especially those who’ve been through the Command and General Staff College and write computer code to plan the movement of heavy brigades across the country by rail.

However, I may have an excuse for my irrational behavior. I landed too many times on my head while jumping out of those perfectly good airplanes in flight.

But in truth, your comment here reminds me of a famous quotation....

All of us who are concerned for peace and the triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field. -- Albert Einstein

I do believe that applies to just about ANY field where [hidden] political agendas play a more import part than anythink else.

RE: Conspiracy Theory

A giant conspiracy to keep the world from knowing that tropical fruit tea cures cancer. Please. That would have to be bigger than the conspiracy about creating plane holograms and sending cruise missiles at the pentagon on 9/11. -- eugene

No.

More on a par with the Gulf of Tonkin Incidents in 1964, being ‘fabrications’ on the parts of President Johnson and Secretary of Defense MacNamara, fomenting a war that cost 58,000 American lives and, based on reports, 6 million Vietnamese lives. Not to forget the lives lost in Cambodia (think The Killing Fields) and Laos.

How many years was it that that ‘impossible’ conspiracy was kept a secret? Wasn’t it over 30?

So. Tell US, again, how ‘conspiracies’ can’t possibly happen....

RE: The Good People in the Pharm Industry

There are people who want to help others working in drug research, you've got a lot of nerve insulting them by saying they are only in it for the profits and will actively deny treatment to a huge segment of the population if they can't make any money on it. -- eugene

I’m sure there are good-hearted people in the pharm and medical industries.

But let me tell you about one I knew in the military.

He was an intelligent and warm-hearted person who was an officer in the US Navy at Pacific Fleet headquarters when the ‘Gulf of Tonkin Incident’ was reported. He was part of the operations staff there. He KNEW the truth of the matter. But he kept his mouth shut about it. He and hundreds of other ‘intelligent’ and ‘warm-hearted’ people thorough-out the military and naval departments.

And because of their ‘bravery’, millions of people died.

The ‘gentleman’ confessed his transgression to a group of us as he cried in his beer at a post-general meeting gathering of the Denver chapter of Mensa, shortly after MacNamara’s book came out.

Most of the ten of us sitting around the largish table were flabbergasted at the confession. As for myself and a good friend of mine who was a very active anti-war activist.....we had blood in our eyes.

So. Yes. A lot of people have their hearts in the right place. But sometimes, some of them can be suborned. The problem is how do you recognize the good from the not-so-good.
RE: A Job Is a Job

You've also got a lot of nerve offering snake oil to real patients without any proof on your part. It's not my job to prove your fantastic claims as true. -- eugene

No. It’s your ‘job’ to prove that there WERE in vivo tests done with graviola. But since you can’t, or won’t, my arguments, that they stopped testing graviola.

You stated, earlier, that the in vivo tests must have proved graviola was ineffective.

I asked you to show me the reports from those tests.

You’ve refused.

Why is that?

On the other hand, in the absence of such results/reports, I state that no such tests were ever conducted. The ‘why’ is up to conjecture. But as I stated in my earlier comment ‘que bono’?

RE: Potholes?

It's obvious that you've glossed over the giant potholes in your own argument that me and others have pointed out. I'm focusing on only one part, others have shot you down over patenatability issues, etc... -- eugene

What ‘potholes’?

The penicillin? Aspirin?

Here’s the definition of a ‘patent’, eugene.

The term patent usually refers to a right granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. -- Wikipedia on Patents

So it seems the processes for extracting and refining the materials used for pharmacological penicillin and aspirin are what were patented. Not the substances themselves.

RE: Naming of Names

Also, my response to #51 was to another poster. Please make sure to post under one username because otherwise things can get confusing. -- eugene

I’m aware of who you were responding to. Please go back and not my attributions.

As for using one name......I use my own whole name. Unlike some people around here. But this system doesn’t seem to remember me very well. I check the box, but my information never shows up. So sometimes, I click the POST button and it comes across as ‘anonymous’. But I’m hopeful you’re intelligent enough to recognize my style/formating. And, according to your comments, I suspect my hopefulness is fulfilled.

So....what’s your point? Running out of things to say against me?

RE: Heartlessness

I notice you are not offering to help people hopelessly afflicted with cancer by telling them about graviola. Why is that? Do you hate people that much? Or is it that it could impact on your cash-flow?

Whatever the reason....their blood is on YOUR hands. And, as surely as God lives, there will be a reckoning.

As I mentioned to PIV (above), what have they go to lose, at the point where the vaunted American medical industry has given up all hope on them? Except their cancer.

RE: But....

....don’t take my word on the efficacy of homeopathy. Do that experiment I offered to Kismet for yourself. Or do you think that $7 for a vial of cantharis is too expensive to prove something? Or maybe you’re afraid of the results?

After all....if it really DID work for a bad burn....that would truly shake the foundations of ‘reason’. At least for YOU. As for the rest of us, i.e., with more open minds than yours, it’s just ‘business as usual’, another day of wonder.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[In this universe...imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Einstein]

P.S. Imagine a world where effective pharmacological treatments were as affordable as a box of chamomile tea.

Does that upset anyone here? Why is that?

P.P.S. Show US the reports on research done on in vivo use of graviola to treat cancer in lab rats or monkeys. Without such reports, there is no proof that any such research was ever conducted.

And using occam’s razor, that makes more sense than any other explanation.

P.P.P.S. There’s your ten-ton truck, eugene. With a full load of rock. And it just squashed your VW Beetle.

Permalink to Comment

72. weirdo on July 1, 2009 1:41 PM writes...

Dude, put down the hash pipe, and take the tin foil hat off.

Permalink to Comment

73. Hap on July 1, 2009 1:54 PM writes...

1) PCP or crack is more likely. Or maybe a designer drug. I don't think hash explain the Dunning-Krueger effect too well.

2) I'd be more worried about him slashing his wrists with Occam's razor than about him wearing the tinfoil hat. Besides, tinfoil hats are sooo comfortable...

Permalink to Comment

74. Compliance Analyst on July 1, 2009 2:51 PM writes...

Uhhh....dude.....you said that graviola works, PIV and Eugene ask for scientific proof, i.e. clinical research, etc. You tell them/him to go find in-vivo tests to prove that it didn't work? Love the Mensa name-drop but it does not help the argument....

Permalink to Comment

75. z on July 1, 2009 9:05 PM writes...

It's usually best to ignore fools, but I think eugene in #67 has an interesting point that it is sometimes worth arguing with such people for the sake of on-the-fence passersby. Somehow, we need to educate people more effectively. General scientific literacy is poor. Knowledge about how the pharmaceutical industry works is especially poor. Too many people have no idea how the scientific process works, have no idea where drugs come from, and have no trust in the pharmaceutical industry (flawed though it may be, but better than most of the alternatives).

Permalink to Comment

76. Bruce Grant on July 1, 2009 9:54 PM writes...

Homeopathy does have a lone Senator to thank for its exemption from FDA regulation, but it's not Senator Hatch.

Homeopathic "remedies" were specifically excluded from the 1938 Food Drug & Cosmetic Act via an amendment surreptitiously attached by Senator Royal S. Copeland (D, NY), a homeopathic practitioner.

Senator Hatch reprised Senator Copeland's act 56 years later on behalf of the "dietary supplements" industry (heavily represented in his Utah constituency) in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.

Why Utah? Mormon teachings, as many know, forbid the consumption of caffeine-containing beverages. But early Mormon settlers shrewdly noted that the prohibition did not extend to ephedra, which grew in abundance in Utah and which they brewed into "Mormon Tea." Subsequent generations discovered a wider market for ephedra-containing products and built Utah-based businesses around it.

Permalink to Comment

77. Chuck Pelto on July 2, 2009 9:13 AM writes...

TO: Compliance Analyst
RE: What Was Said

Let’s ‘review’ what has been said by whom, here. Shall we?

you said that graviola works -- Compliance Analyst

In item #46 (above) I commented to Derek Lowe that researchers at Purdue University had determined that agent(s) in graviola would kill cancerous cells in vitro while leaving healthy cells alone.

PIV and Eugene ask for scientific proof, i.e. clinical research, etc. -- Compliance Analyst

In item #48 (above) eugene says....

Obviously it didn't do the same thing in vivo or in human. -- eugene

This indicates that research—in vivo—had been accomplished, when for all my searching, no such research has been done.

You tell them/him to go find in-vivo tests to prove that it didn't work? -- Compliance Analyst

So I asked eugene to show us all the research that had been done in vivo so we can know the results. Whether they support his claim that it doesn’t work or whatever.

The point being that if no one can find such research it was either (1) never done or (2) done and the results never published.

If you know of the research and can point to it, I’m certain we’d all appreciate it.

On the other hand, if no one can find any such research, my observation still stands.

The next question becomes.....WHY is there no report of such research available?

Aren’t the drug companies interested in finding a solid cure for cancer? Wouldn’t they pursue such a possibility that a simple plant could cure it?

If not....WHY NOT?

I look forward to your reply.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. About that M thing....

Love the Mensa name-drop.... -- Compliance Analyst

Maybe, just MAYBE, if you review the discussion between myself and eugene, you might see the reason for that. But then again....maybe not.....

....but it does not help the argument.... -- Compliance Analyst

It was never intended to provide an argument about the efficacy of either homeopathy or graviola.

[For more information, please re-read this message.]

P.P.S. At least your providing some cogent discussion, as opposed to a number of the more lame-brain people who offer nothing but ad homs.

P.P.P.S. I offer to you and all the more lame-brain people here the same challenge I offered Kismet....

....get yourself some cantharis and keep it in your medicine cabinet against a bad burn accident at home.

Any skeptic who doesn’t, doesn’t have as open a mind as they would like to think. Indeed, I think they resemble more the ‘flat-earthers’ than any other school of thought. [Note: At least the members of Skeptics who showed up for a monthly meeting of the Colorado Springs chapter of Mensa, I attended, took the vials I offered them.]

You have nothing to lose and a world of interesting self-help to gain.....especially if that flu goes ballistic this Fall.....

Permalink to Comment

78. Compliance Analyst on July 2, 2009 1:06 PM writes...

Chuck,

The reason you will not find people going out to buy cantharis and following your recipe is probably due to the idea that who knows where the cantharus is coming from and what initial concentrations are. I don't want to put a potentially toxic substance in my body if I have no clue where the raw material is coming from. Who knows if some guy in North Africa is milking flies and realizing that he doesn't have enough for a bottle, goes ahead and adds in something else?

People are are not debating that some homeopathic remedies work. They are asking for proof...

As far as graviola and in-vivo studies...I have only found statements about in-vitro, which means little. You also have to understand that a pharma exec/pres/ceo has only about 5 years of life to their "reign", I would suspect if they had a cure that could put them in the history books, then I would assume that their egos would not stop them from announcing their claim.

As far as my Mensa comment...does the story require that information to make your claim plausible? Not really.....that is what we call "name-dropping" in the professional world, which doesn't help an argument, just makes you look like a pompous ass.

Permalink to Comment

79. Chuck Pelto on July 2, 2009 2:22 PM writes...

TO: Compliance Analyst, et al.
RE: Oh?

The reason you will not find people going out to buy cantharis and following your recipe is probably due to the idea that who knows where the cantharus is coming from and what initial concentrations are. -- Compliance Analyst

So you're saying, in an indirect manner, that you DO believe that a miniscule amount of a substance, i.e., we're talking less than an avagadro's number (sic) CAN have a profound impact on ones physiology?

Or are you just totally paranoid about how the FDA manages health 'food suppliments'?

If the latter....

....I think I've seen more recalls of processed meat than I've EVER seen of such 'food suppliments'. But maybe I've missed something.

Last recall I recall seeing was from Greeley, Colorado. Just last week. Something the lines of 300,000+ pounds.

Please. Show me the last reported recall of a 'food suppliment'.

Then again, since this is a pharmacological web-site, I do believe that the FDA has ordered rather strong-ish warnings about depression and suicidal tendencies to be applied to anti-smoking aids. That just last week too.

Please. Show me where the FDA has last ordered such warnings about homeopathic 'food suppliments'.

What's my point?

There seems to be more of a problem with the pharmacological and regular food supply than with 'food suppliments'.

Why is that?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. More later.

Right now I have to get back to preparing the weekend 'feast'.

Permalink to Comment

80. Chuck Pelto on July 2, 2009 3:16 PM writes...

TO: Compliance Analyst
RE: Okay!

The fresh-baked sour-dough is out of the oven. The potato and four-bean salad are marinading. And I've prepared my reply to the rest of your comment......

RE: Heh

I don't want to put a potentially toxic substance in my body if I have no clue where the raw material is coming from. Who knows if some guy in North Africa is milking flies and realizing that he doesn't have enough for a bottle, goes ahead and adds in something else? -- Compliance Analyst

Or, considering my preceding comment, you’re just ‘gutless’? Or maybe you’re just hiding behind this argument because you’re afraid that the result might be different from your carefully crafted ‘reality’....such as it is.

And what would be driving that? “Compliance Analyst”. That’s an interesting job description. Which pharm company would you happen to be working for? Is there an opportunity to be suborned here? Like that naval officer I knew, as describe in an earlier comment?

RE: The ‘Debate’

People are are not debating that some homeopathic remedies work. They are asking for proof... -- Compliance Analyst

Funny you should mention that term. I happen to judge debate competitions in my state. Have for several years. Albeit I took a ‘sabbatical’ this last year for filial matters, aging parents.

Interesting think, debate. It requires BOTH sides to provide proofs of their positions/understandings. Either side can call upon the other to offer their proofs.

Even more interesting....

....in this thread, I offer everyone an opportunity to prove something to and for themselves.

The ‘funny’ part of it is that people, as you describe them, are ‘afraid’. Of what is a matter of conjecture. And I think I’ve offered MY thoughts on that.

Who’s afraid of a few measly molecules, anyway? Especially if they are not catalytic in nature. You know....things like prions.

However, AGAIN, I offer you the opportunity to prove or disprove the efficacy of homeopathy for yourself.

You remind me of a quotation from a famous American ‘philosopher’ of the 19th Century.....

He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

[Note: I faced my fear of public speaking by joining my school debate club. I faced my fear of heights by becoming a paratrooper.]

How will you face YOUR ‘fear’ of homeopathy?

RE: The Graviola ‘Research’

As far as graviola and in-vivo studies...I have only found statements about in-vitro, which means little. -- Compliance Analyst

You’re either missing, or more likely, evading the point.

The point being, as I expressed to you earlier, that if no one can find any such research, then the most likely explanation is that no such research has been conducted.

Your prevarication is duly noted.

You also have to understand that a pharma exec/pres/ceo has only about 5 years of life to their "reign"..... -- Compliance Analyst

Five years? Really? How is it you know that sort of ‘trivia’? You work on a pharm?

I know the average ‘life’ of a combat-arms battalion/brigade commander....barring relief for cause....which I saw happen once. I know that from 27 years in the infantry. So based on your statement of knowledge, I suspect you ARE working on a pharm.

That would go far to explain something I mentioned just earlier in this comment.

However, I suspect that one could prove or disprove the efficacy of graviola in curing cancer in less time than that.

Heck!

Give me a good lab and half the budget for the development of Vioxx and I’ll do a great job of proving or disproving the efficacy of graviola. And, I suspect that I could return the majority of the budget, to boot. And in half the ‘life expectancy’ of a pharm CEO

....I would suspect if they had a cure that could put them in the history books, then I would assume that their egos would not stop them from announcing their claim -- Compliance Analyst

How much does a comment in the ‘history’ page talley for at the ‘bottom line’ of a corporate balance sheet presented to the share-holders?

Egos may drive researchers. But money drives corporations. Last time I worked for one. [Note: USWest/Qwest.]

RE: Still Hung-Up?

As far as my Mensa comment...does the story require that information to make your claim plausible? Not really.....that is what we call "name-dropping" in the professional world, which doesn't help an argument, just makes you look like a pompous ass. -- Compliance Analyst

Well....

....I guess my latter understanding....that you wouldn’t “see the reason” behind the comment to eugene is the more accurate. Not unexpected of you. But I had hopes you were a tad better than the likes of eugene and some others here.

To spell it out for you....

...eugene alleged I had not grasp of ‘logic’ or ‘reason’. I provided the comment about memberships in certain organizations—verifiable with said organization—as evidence that he has ‘absolutely no clue’ about me.

You, on the other hand, look like you’re sort of ‘jealous’ about such a thing. But that’s hardly MY ‘problem’, now. Isn’t it......

All it was was evidence that eugene doesn’t know me well enough to say whether I’m an idiot or not. Simple as that. If you want to make more of it, I suspect self-esteem issues. [Note: If that’s the case, I recommend you take the test yourself. Your local chapter should be offering it once every month or three. Then again. You might have some test you’ve already taken that would qualify you. My qualification came via the battery of tests administered by the US Army when I enlisted in 1970.]

RE: Back On-Topic

As I said in my initial comment in this thread, I have no knowledge of Zincam. However, based on my 22 years of working with homeopathy. And working effectively with it, ‘snorting’ a gel, is not, repeat NOT, the way to take/apply a homeopathic materia medica.

And since when is something you ‘snort’ considered a ‘food supplement’? Most food I’m familiar with is taken by mouth, as opposed to nasal passages.

Now, I DID, recently inflict a severe strain on my ankles, while working in a garden that my flower club took on for the city. It’s a lovely place now, formerly overgrown with the weeds of neglect. A small island on a boulevard. I was doing what we Nam-era vets call the ‘gook squat’, down on your haunches resting your fourth-point-of-contact on your raise heels.

As I hadn’t done such in 20 years. Several hours later my ankles ‘complained’.

I applied a gel of Arnica to the protesting areas. And the pain went away.

But I seriously doubt if I’d snort such a gel. I have sinus issues enough as it is.....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Some people tak drugs very seriously...]

Permalink to Comment

81. Martyn on July 2, 2009 3:35 PM writes...

@Chuck:

An Avogadro's number, as you put it (a mole, in chemistry-speak) is actually a pretty large amount of any substance, and will certainly have an effect. One Avogadro's number of strychnine, for example, is 334 grams. I'll bet you could get "a profound impact on one's physiology" from much, much less than that...

Permalink to Comment

82. Anonymous on July 2, 2009 3:44 PM writes...

TO: Martyn
RE: Avogadro's Number

An Avogadro's number, as you put it (a mole, in chemistry-speak) is actually a pretty large amount of any substance, -- Martyn

Yes. When you consider molecules. But tell me....

....how many such molecular equivalent weights are required to achieve LD50 using ricin?

Just as a point of 'comparison'.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. How much less is in a 30C dilution of a homeopathic materia medica?

Permalink to Comment

83. Anonymous on July 2, 2009 3:46 PM writes...

TO: Derek Lowe
RE: [OT] Could You PULHEASE.....

....get the 'Remember Me?' system to function?

Thanks,

Chuck(le)
[Consistency is the the hobgoblin of good user interface.]

Permalink to Comment

84. Martyn on July 2, 2009 5:15 PM writes...

I can't calculate for crude biological material (I assume that's what materia medica means), as I have no idea of the concentration of active ingredients in biological samples; but here's my attempt at the maths, based on the ricin toxin protein.

Using data from wikipedia (mass 60,000 daltons, lethal dose 500 micrograms), I calculate the lethal dose for a human to equal 0.000000008333 moles of ricin toxin - that's 5,018,333,333,333,333 molecules, which I hope you'll agree is a big number.

At 30C dilution (I understand this to mean that the pure material is diluted to 1% in water, then the resulting solution is diluted to 1% in water, iterated 30 times) a solution of ricin toxin contains 1/(10^60) grams per millilitre - that equals 1.667/(10^65) moles, or 1.004/(10^41) molecules per millilitre. That's 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000001004 molecules of ricin toxin per millilitre.

I hope you'll agree that this is a small number.

To contain a lethal human dose at this concentration, you would need 9.96x10^37 litres of your 30C solution. To put that in context, the sun has a volume of 1.4x10^30 litres and the milky way has a volume of about 1.4x10^42 litres (again using wikipedia figures).

I hope I've got the maths and the facts right - feel free to pick out any errors I've made - but I think these numbers speak for themselves. The burden of proof is certainly not upon the scientific community to prove that 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000001004 is a significantly smaller number than 5,018,333,333,333,333.

Permalink to Comment

85. Chuck Pelto on July 3, 2009 7:54 AM writes...

TO: Martyn, et al.
RE: Off....

....for the Independence Day holiday. Back on Monday....with a reply.

Everyone have a great celebration!

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Yesterday the greatest question was decided which ever was debated in America; and a greater perhaps never was, nor will be, decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, ''that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.'' -- John Adams]

Permalink to Comment

86. Kismet on July 3, 2009 12:38 PM writes...

We're still waiting for the case reports of you showing either a. you can cure cancer* or b. that you can substantially improve upon standard therapy* or c. actually any proof for any of your claims.

*if as you say those people are desperate enough to try anything and you *know* that your herb really works, then I think it's pretty cruel that you don't let anyone find out and condemn all those people to unnecessary death, isn't it?

It can't be that hard to convince a doctor to try and test your homeopathic remedies if they really work. Or maybe.. they just don't work?

Permalink to Comment

87. Chuck Pelto on July 6, 2009 9:38 AM writes...

TO: Kismet
RE: Funny

We're still waiting for the case reports of you showing either a. you can cure cancer* or b. that you can substantially improve upon standard therapy* or c. actually any proof for any of your claims. -- Kismet

Earlier you were saying you were bored.

So I gave you a little experiment you could perform in your own home to relieve your boredom.

NOW you whine that I have no proof of graviola.

Apparently you missed the requests for names and e-mail addresses of people YOU know who have been told by the vaunted American medical industry to seek hospice care for their cancer.

Why is that?

RE: As I Was Saying....

*if as you say those people are desperate enough to try anything and you *know* that your herb really works, then I think it's pretty cruel that you don't let anyone find out and condemn all those people to unnecessary death, isn't it? -- Kismet

.....I know of four people died of cancer over the last year. But I couldn’t convince ANY—directly or indirectly, i.e., via their relations—of them to try to save their own lives. Even after the doctors had told them that the vaunted American medical industry has no hope for them.

Heck. One of the members of my Friday Morning Mens’ Bible Study Group is a minister working in hospice care for a major metro area hospital organization.

He can’t speak to his patients/‘parishoners’ suffering from terminal cancer about graviola. Three guesses as to what would happen to him if he did.

First two don’t count.....

[Note: For the truly obtuse, something to do about practicing medicine without a license, in the first place. See how the system is so neatly tied-together? And enforced by the Rule of Law? And guess who gets to decide what is ‘good practice’.....]

So.....

....who REALLY has an open mind? Especially when the Angel of Death is sitting beside them? Like some kind of ‘buzzard’....

Apparently NOT VERY MANY.

RE: Convincing People

It can't be that hard to convince a doctor to try and test your homeopathic remedies if they really work. Or maybe.. they just don't work? -- Kismet

Yeah??!?!?!?

Try it sometime.

As I indicated above, people just won’t listen. Even when they have nothing to lose.

Better still, convince a pharm company to give up their lucrative corporate income.

By the way....

....have you tried that little experiment yet?

Why not try it yourself and experience it for yourself.

Why bother a doctor? When you can learn for yourself?

Hope that helps....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic. - Robert A. Heinlein]

P.S. Guess who he was referring to in THIS venue......

Permalink to Comment

88. Chuck Pelto on July 6, 2009 9:42 AM writes...

TO: Martyn
RE:

I can't calculate for crude biological material (I assume that's what materia medica means), as I have no idea of the concentration of active ingredients in biological samples; but here's my attempt at the maths, based on the ricin toxin protein. -- Martyn

Good ‘assumption’, as opposed to most I’ve encountered in my 58 years on this ball-o-dirt.

Using data from wikipedia (mass 60,000 daltons, lethal dose 500 micrograms), I calculate the lethal dose for a human to equal 0.000000008333 moles of ricin toxin - that's 5,018,333,333,333,333 molecules, which I hope you'll agree is a big number. -- Martyn

Yes. To me, after so long away from the field, that’s a rather ‘large’ number.

And I’m assuming that when you say ‘lethal dose’, you’re thinking of LD50. Or are you thinking of LD100?

At 30C dilution (I understand this to mean that the pure material is diluted to 1% in water, then the resulting solution is diluted to 1% in water, iterated 30 times) a solution of ricin toxin contains 1/(10^60) grams per millilitre - that equals 1.667/(10^65) moles, or 1.004/(10^41) molecules per millilitre. That's 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000001004 molecules of ricin toxin per millilitre. -- Martyn

My understanding of homeopathic dilutions is that. Not that I’ve a ‘degree’ in such. I’m just somewhat self-educated.

I hope you'll agree that this is a small number. -- Martyn

And yes....I consider this to be a rather ‘small number’.

To contain a lethal human dose at this concentration, you would need 9.96x10^37 litres of your 30C solution. To put that in context, the sun has a volume of 1.4x10^30 litres and the milky way has a volume of about 1.4x10^42 litres (again using wikipedia figures). -- Martyn

That’s a LOT of ‘water’ to drink. Don’t you think?

So.....

....how is it that (1) Compliance Analyst—and others—are so afraid of something as ‘harmless’ as that? Unless they’re ‘afraid’ for reasons other than the obvious, i.e., ‘hidden agenda’ reasons.

I hope I've got the maths and the facts right - feel free to pick out any errors I've made - but I think these numbers speak for themselves. The burden of proof is certainly not upon the scientific community to prove that 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000001004 is a significantly smaller number than 5,018,333,333,333,333. -- Martyn

My math skills have deteriorated since the advent of the personal computer. I’ll trust your report as honest.

But with respect to ‘proofs’, it seems to me that in the effort to find a cure for dread diseases, the ‘scientific community’ would bend every effort, follow every possibility to see if something that they might have thought wouldn’t work....

....could actually—you know—‘work’.

Look at the field of super-conductors.

In the late 80s, it was ‘understood’ that no super-conductor could be ‘green’ in color. Oddly enough, someone found one of the more efficient super-conductors WAS, actually, ‘green’.

Remember how it was thought by the ‘scientific community’ of the time, that the Earth was the center of the Universe?

The ‘powers that be’ at the time persecuted the ‘heretics’ that suggested otherwise. However, as anyone with more than two synapses to rub together knows now....the proposition—heretical as it was then—is true.

Who says the same political agenda mechanisms of today, couldn’t do the same?

Look at the human-caused global warming ‘debate’. Talk about a misnomer. If you don’t agree with Al Gore, you’re a latter-day heretic.

In the meantime, homeopathy is practiced openly by learned men in Europe.

Why is that?

Are they THAT ‘superstitious’? That ‘stupid’? Or that ‘corrupt’.

Seriously. Is Great Britain RULED by a bunch of superstitious idiots? The Royal family retains homeopaths as part of their medical staff.

RE: Back to Business

Again, I call upon people who read this to get themselves a vial of cantharis and put it in their medicine cabinet. Then, the next time they or a family member experience a bad burn accident, to use it....properly, of course.

See if it helps.

If it doesn’t what have lost? What have you gained?

If it DOES.......three guesses.....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. -- Thomas Jefferson]

P.S. I wonder how that might apply to Obama-care.....

Permalink to Comment

89. Compliance Analyst on July 6, 2009 11:01 AM writes...

Chuck,

Again...why I do not buy cantharis or any other home rememdies....it is not very regulated. Dietary supplements are not regulated in the same fashion as drugs or even food for that matter. I would rather buy from a regulated environment. That is a personal choice and has nothing to do with a "disbelief" of homeopathy. There is not much control/regulation for dietary supplements, as they just came under governmental regulation in 1997. Yes that is over 10 years ago....but this is the US government...

I do work for the pharma industry....surprise, you are on a website where most of the people are in the industry. I work for a mid-sized generic company. I ensure our company follows the regulations set forth by the FDA, DEA, and any other acronym that you can make up by auditing my company as well as suppliers (part of my distrust of where raw materials are coming from....see over-sulfated chondroitin sulfate).

Do I care to say who my company is....not really...I am not an official spokesperson.

As far as my "jealousy"...good try...I have no desire to join (though my IQ would certainly qualify me). I prefer enjoying life with my wife, 6 month old, and puppy. I get enough debate at home to keep me busy.

Enjoy your day...

Permalink to Comment

90. Chuck Pelto on July 6, 2009 12:00 PM writes...


TO: Compliance Analyst
RE: Bull-Pucky

Again...why I do not buy cantharis or any other home rememdies....it is not very regulated. -- Compliance Analyst

Anything bought and taken by mouth is ‘regulated’. And if you doubt this....you’re more ignorant than you appear.

The only exception....for the moment....is what can be bought for oral consumption at a Farmers’ Market. And, based on what I’ve seen reported in the last 12 months....our rich Uncle Sam, is interested in regulated THAT as well.

Your obtuse evasion is duly noted.

Dietary supplements are not regulated in the same fashion as drugs or even food for that matter. -- Compliance Analyst

See comment in this reply, immediately above.....

RE: Where You ‘Buy’

I would rather buy from a regulated environment. That is a personal choice and has nothing to do with a "disbelief" of homeopathy. -- Compliance Analyst

Go ahead. And God help you if the Swine/Avian flu go ‘ballistic’. Cause the AMA won’t.

There is not much control/regulation for dietary supplements, as they just came under governmental regulation in 1997. Yes that is over 10 years ago....but this is the US government... -- Compliance Analyst

Ten years? That long? And you still don’t trust the efforts of the FDA? 

Do you WORK for a pharm company? And how long has the FDA ‘regulated’ YOUR company?

How LONG does it take for the FDA to ‘regulate’ an activity before YOU ‘accept’ what they do? Does it correlate well with the existence of the company you ‘work for’?

I do work for the pharma industry....surprise, you are on a website where most of the people are in the industry. I work for a mid-sized generic company. I ensure our company follows the regulations set forth by the FDA, DEA, and any other acronym that you can make up by auditing my company as well as suppliers (part of my distrust of where raw materials are coming from....see over-sulfated chondroitin sulfate). -- Compliance Analyst

Oh!

You DO work for such a company. Interesting......heh.....

Do I care to say who my company is....not really...I am not an official spokesperson. -- Compliance Analyst

Too bad. One would think that someone with so much ‘courage’—so much ‘confidence’—wouldn’t care to say who he worked for.

For example, for 27 years I worked for you, via our rich Uncle Sam and the US Army. Am I ashamed? No.

Why aren’t you so ‘forthcoming’? Ashamed? Of what?

Or rather, is it the possibility that your company might ‘fire you’?

If the latter is the case, why is it I see a correlation between your situation and that of others I’m aware of? E.g., my brother-in-Christ who works for a major hospital in their ‘hospice care’ department, vis-a-vis suggesting graviola as a possible ‘treatement/cure’ for cancer?

By the way, your ‘evasion’, that you are “not an official spokesperson” speaks volumes in support of my supposition(s).

As far as my "jealousy"...good try...I have no desire to join (though my IQ would certainly qualify me). I prefer enjoying life with my wife, 6 month old, and puppy. I get enough debate at home to keep me busy. -- Compliance Analyst

Be advised, your psychological issues are not my concern.

‘nuff said on that.

Enjoy your day... -- Compliance Analyst

I always do....one way or another. Either way, it is always ‘educational’.

Hopefully, you and others who read here do the same....

....and learn something accordingly.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[It's not my business to try to educate people who don't choose to learn.....

....but I try anyway.]

Permalink to Comment

91. trrll on July 6, 2009 2:07 PM writes...

In item #46 (above) I commented to Derek Lowe that researchers at Purdue University had determined that agent(s) in graviola would kill cancerous cells in vitro while leaving healthy cells alone

If you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of everybody who has ever worked with cells in vitro rolling on the floor laughing.

For those who haven't: Mammalian cells have not evolved to grow in vitro. Growing cells in vitro is a bit of a black art. You can get some cell types to grow in vitro under appropriate conditions. Sometimes. For a while. Cells in vitro are always on the edge of death. Indeed, sometimes they just up and die for no discernible reason. So the fact that some chemical is able to push them over the edge carries very, very little weight; things that kill cancer cells in vitro are pretty much a dime a dozen. Most of the time, they turn out not to work very well on cancer cells in vivo. So yeah, if you find something that kills cancer cells in vitro, it is probably worthwhile to check whether it will also work against cancer in an animal. You might get lucky. But don't hold your breath.

Permalink to Comment

92. Chuck Pelto on July 6, 2009 3:04 PM writes...

TO: trrll
RE: Interesting Report

If you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of everybody who has ever worked with cells in vitro rolling on the floor laughing.

For those who haven't: Mammalian cells have not evolved to grow in vitro. Growing cells in vitro is a bit of a black art.....So yeah, if you find something that kills cancer cells in vitro, it is probably worthwhile to check whether it will also work against cancer in an animal. You might get lucky. But don't hold your breath.

-- trrll

However. The earlier report still stands. Despite your bout of 'hilarity'.

Why is it that the thought of killing cancer cells while leaving healthy-normal cells alone is so 'funny' to you?

Not worth the effort to do further research?

Or perhaps it is a threat to your corporate 'bottom line'?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth will out.....]

Permalink to Comment

93. Martyn on July 6, 2009 4:20 PM writes...

The idea that the royal family are an intellectual force over here in the UK, or even that they 'rule' us in any meaningful way, is receiving plenty of attention on another thread, so I won't go into that here.

Your use of the geocentric model as an example of a failed theory is more interesting. There was never a strong base of scientific evidence for geocentricity, and it was superceded by an alternative, mathematically simpler theory which provided a good explanation for the existing observations (ie stars appearing to move in circles around us) as well as for previously inexplicable phenomena. The vilification you mention was, ironically enough, largely based on the rather weak (in my opinion - maybe we shouldn't get into that) anecdotal evidence of the bible.

Now, back to homeopathy: we have a model that predicts how concentration of a given chemical will affect its biological activity. It's called a dose-response curve, and it is about as robust a piece of science as you will ever find, supported by every medicine that has ever been used. You must surely understand that your anecdotes, told to us in the comments section of a blog, don't outweigh the huge body of evidence upon which medicine is built.

My advice to you is this: have your materia medica tested properly in vivo, and transparently so we can all see the results - if this means setting up a company to do so, all the better. If the tests aren't done, you have no evidence with which to claim anything. And if it turns out effective, you become a squillionaire Nobel laureate and save a load of lives in the process. It's a win-win.

Permalink to Comment

94. CM on July 6, 2009 7:03 PM writes...

n grad school I recall seeing several papers with various compounds (aptamer conjugatessemmed like a popular route at the time) that killed cancer cells in vitro and left healthy/different cells alone, my group even published a few of their own. This was actually a really effective way to get NIH funding for cancer research, my advisor got millions for it as I'm sure many others did as well. Ultimately I doubt their effective inside even a mouse much less a person. As far as graviola is concerned, its full of a particular class of molecules (I forget their name) that inhibit ATP uptake in cells. Several big pharma companies are exploring this class and synthesizing their own b/c it does show potential. Clinical trials will follow if reg tox and fih studies are promising.

Permalink to Comment

95. Bored on July 6, 2009 8:03 PM writes...

A long time ago in a blog entry way up at the top of the page, we started out discussing zinc.
All you guys need to get each others phone numbers and work this out amongst yourselves.
You are filling up the Corante server.

Permalink to Comment

96. DT on July 6, 2009 8:48 PM writes...

2-deoxyglucose definitely has a fair amount of papers out on it. I would not push the active ingredients in graviola aside...

Permalink to Comment

97. Jake on July 6, 2009 10:13 PM writes...

w/r/t geocentry, it's important to remember that the heliocentric model had one serious flaw at the time--where is the parallax??? if the earth really revolves around the sun, it's proper to expect that we'd be able to observe relative changes in positions of the stars.

eventually of course the flaws of the geocentric model outweighed those of the heliocentric one, but until then the earthers deserved their day

Permalink to Comment

98. Chuck Pelto on July 7, 2009 8:48 AM writes...

TO: Martyn
RE:

The idea that the royal family are an intellectual force over here in the UK, or even that they 'rule' us in any meaningful way, is receiving plenty of attention on another thread, so I won't go into that here. -- Martyn

As if I claimed they were such.

Rather, didn’t I just say that they retain homeopathic practitioners? And that was as an example of how in Europe homeopathy is practiced openly by ‘medical professionals’?

Or are you suggesting that your Royals are a bunch of inbreed, idiots?

The point is that whereas in Europe homeopathy is accepted as a medical practice, here in the States, it is repressed with all the vehemence the AMA can bring to bear. Just as they persecuted chiropractie and acupuncture.

There’s a pattern of behavior there which brings into the public light the nature of the AMA as a repressive force in the practice of medicine as it jealously guards its monopoly of it.

Or am I wrong and homeopathy is not openly practiced in England?

RE: Geo-Eccentricity

Your use of the geocentric model as an example of a failed theory is more interesting. There was never a strong base of scientific evidence for geocentricity, and it was superceded by an alternative, mathematically simpler theory which provided a good explanation for the existing observations (ie stars appearing to move in circles around us) as well as for previously inexplicable phenomena. -- Martyn

So what if there “was never a strong base of scientific evidence for geocentricity”. It was still held to by the powers-that-be of the time via the persecution of competing theories. Just like the AMA does of competing practices today.

THAT was the point. Sorry you didn’t quite ‘get it’. Hope the expansion helped.

The vilification you mention was, ironically enough, largely based on the rather weak (in my opinion - maybe we shouldn't get into that) anecdotal evidence of the bible. -- Martyn

So what? Are you claiming it DIDN’T happen?

Or merely trying to change the subject as if the AMA doesn’t persecute competing theories?

A practicing MD in Denver, CO, was ‘persecuted’ via the state licensing board on several occasions for practicing homeopathic techniques on his patients that he believed would benefit more from such than from allopathic ones.

RE: Homeopathy Itself

Now, back to homeopathy: we have a model that predicts how concentration of a given chemical will affect its biological activity. It's called a dose-response curve, and it is about as robust a piece of science as you will ever find, supported by every medicine that has ever been used. You must surely understand that your anecdotes, told to us in the comments section of a blog, don't outweigh the huge body of evidence upon which medicine is built. -- Martyn

Who said I was saying there are no positive results from pharm products? In fact I’m not saying that such products don’t have a place in the arsenal of medical practices. What I have done is point out that some pharm products have some adverse side-effects. Or do you deny that they do?

Instead, I am saying that homeopathy works....where applicable.

And what do I get for that? Look at some of the less-than-cogent comments here. Something about drugs and/or foil-head gear. Oh well....there’s nothing new under the Sun.

My advice to you is this: have your materia medica tested properly in vivo, and transparently so we can all see the results - if this means setting up a company to do so, all the better. If the tests aren't done, you have no evidence with which to claim anything. And if it turns out effective, you become a squillionaire Nobel laureate and save a load of lives in the process. It's a win-win. -- Martyn

Again, you’re missing the point.

Why don’t YOU prove it to yourself. Buy the cantharis. Put it in your medicine cabinet. When someone in your household has a bad burn, use it properly.

You can certainly prove it to yourself faster than I can convince Merck or Pfizer to slit their own corporate throats.

Don’t you think?

Besides, you have to be licensed by the FDA to set up a ‘drug company’, here.

As I commented earlier.....

“See how the system ties itself together”?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do, when flu come for you?]

Permalink to Comment

99. Chuck Pelto on July 7, 2009 8:52 AM writes...

TO: All
RE: 'Bored'

You are filling up the Corante server. -- Bored

In other 'progressive' words....

...."Shut Up!"

An interesting approach to 'debate'. Don't you think?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The typical 'progressive' approach to open and honest discussion is to tell the other side to 'shut up'.]

Permalink to Comment

100. alig on July 7, 2009 8:54 AM writes...

To follow-up on Trrll's point (and to try and push this to 100 comments), healthy-normal cells do not actually grow in vitro. Even the so-called "normal" cells have been immortalized such that they are no-longer normal. Typically the "normal" cells are less-sensitive to drugs (NCEs) than the cancer cells in vitro. I have seen thousands of compounds that are more potent at killing cancer cells than "normal" cells in vitro. Only a few of these have the requisite PK/PD/tox/developability properties to maybe be useful at treating cancer in humans. In fact, two of these compounds I saw that kill cancer cells but not "normal" cells in vitro are in clinical trials. The in vitro profile of these compounds is not what makes them special, it's their in vivo efficacy and safety. Thousands of compounds had the same in vitro profile, only a few worked in vivo.

Permalink to Comment

101. Tok on July 7, 2009 10:07 AM writes...

"Instead, I am saying that homeopathy works....where applicable."

Traditional dilution homeopathy only works where a placebo would work. Until homeopaths prove otherwise in a series of placebo-controlled double-blind trials, they should not be able to make any claims about efficacy other than it's no better than placebo.

Permalink to Comment

102. Chuck Pelto on July 7, 2009 11:07 AM writes...

TO: Tok
RE: What's the Matter?

Traditional dilution homeopathy only works where a placebo would work. -- Tok

Not enough 'imagination'? Or not enough 'money'....

....to try that little 'experiment' at home, I offered above?

And, if you want to try the 'placebo' idea, take some blank sugar tablets and see if the pain of a bad burn goes away in 15 minutes.

If it doesn't, try the real thing....the cantharis.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[There is none so blind, as he who will not 'see'....for himself.....]

Permalink to Comment

103. Chuck Pelto on July 7, 2009 11:26 AM writes...

TO: Tok, et al.
RE: The Placebo Thingie

Some additional information for those with an open mind, i.e., not blinded by their own pejorative predilections.....

I've got gout. A birthday gift from my Father, God rest his soul.

First attack occurred in my freshman year in college (1970-71).

No other attacks until the 1990s, when I had one other.

Since 2003, I've had several acute attacks. They are, as with my Father, brought on by severe stress. His worst attack came the day he retired from the Air Force after 26 years of service.

In the first attack in the 21st Century (2003), I found a homeopathic materia medica that worked.

In 2007 I had three attacks in a span of four months. The January attack did not respond to the materia medica I took in 2003.

As there are 47 materia medica indicated for gout in Boericke's tome, I had to look for additional symptoms that would indicate the proper materia medica to take. Several rough days later, I noticed that I was taking a LOT of hot showers. Even to the point of catch hot water in a cup and pouring it over myself: CHILLS.

So I cross-referenced chills with gout and found another materia medica. I took it and within 15 minutes the acute symptoms disappeared.

So, a couple of months later, I had another attack. I took the materia medica that worked for the January attack. No affect. [Note: Wouldn't the placebo effect have worked for me?]

Then I noticed that I (1) was not suffering from chills and (2) my tongue looked like someone had painted it with whitewash.

I cross-referenced the new symptom with gout and found a different materia medica. Took it and the acute symptoms disappeared.

Two months later there was a third attack. I tried the previous materia medica. No joy, i.e., no relief. I tried the January attack's materia medica. Also, no benefit. I even tried the materia medica from the 2003 attack. Again....no relief.

I waited for another major symptom to manifest itself. It finally did and after cross-referencing it with gout found still another different materia medica. And THAT ONE worked.

So....what's my point....

You can take your placebos all you want. But if they don't work and you find something different that DOES WORK....there must be more at work than the mere 'placebo effect'.


I think your 'placebo' theory only works on people with weak minds in the first place. You know....that old Jedi Mind Trick.

RE: Back to my Challenge

Get yourself some cantharis. It'll only cost about $7(US). Put it away against some unfortunate accident in the kitchen. I have one or two of those each year, as I do most of the cooking in this household and I have other hobbies that involve hot things: candle-making, firing my own ceramics, electrical soldering, etc.

What's it going to cost you, anyway? And you just might learn something useful?

Or are you afraid of being labeled a heretic? Or, worse, do you work for a pharm company that might fire you if you said something like, "Hey! Maybe we ought to look into homeopathy?"

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Once all the other possibilities have been eliminated, what remains MUST be the truth.]

Permalink to Comment

104. Anonymous on July 7, 2009 12:00 PM writes...

Chuck, we're still waiting for that well designed double blind placebo controlled study. Insinuate we're cowards all you want; facts are all that matter.

Permalink to Comment

105. Hap on July 7, 2009 12:12 PM writes...

What is this "facts are all that matter" thing that you speak of? I thought if you ignored reality long and hard enough and asserted yourself to it most strongly, it would go away (or comply with your wishes, anyway) and bother you no more.

Oh wait, it must have been "if you ignored reality long and hard enough and asserted yourself to it most strongly, you would go away and bother it no more". Oops, my bad.

It's good to know the Barnum sales philosophy is alive and well.

Permalink to Comment

106. Chuck Pelto on July 7, 2009 1:02 PM writes...

TO: Anonymouse
RE: Still Waiting?

Chuck, we're still waiting for that well designed double blind placebo controlled study. Insinuate we're cowards all you want; facts are all that matter. -- Anonymouse

Awwwww......

....what's the matter.

You want everything handed to you on a silver salver?

No guts? Or just too poor to afford a vial of cantharis?

Oh well....

....as I commented earlier....

There is none so 'blind'....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. It's YOUR loss. Not mine.....

Permalink to Comment

107. Chuck Pelto on July 8, 2009 8:02 AM writes...

TO: Hap
RE: Indeed

It's good to know the Barnum sales philosophy is alive and well. --

Look at all the people who buy pharm company products based on what their doctor tells them.

I remember that the last three prescriptions MY GP provided did nothing but harm to me in the long run.

The first, for lower blood sugar, turned me into an insomniac.

The second, Lipitor, ate my mental cognition. I found that I could no longer focus my mental skills sufficiently to write computer code. And later, I began losing the names of friends and common household items. THEN I began speaking like Yoda....e.g.....

If Yoda so strong in Force, why cannot Yoda in proper order, words put?

I dropped that and it took me 2 years to get back to the point I could write computer code.

The third gave me central sleep apnea. For the ignorant, that means your brain forgets to tell your lungs to breath as you sleep. You could wake up dead the next morning.


RE: What's the Matter?

Can't afford $7(US)?

Maybe, if you have the courage, you should drop your internet access long enough to afford the purchase of a vial of cantharis.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[There is none so blind.....]

Permalink to Comment

108. bad wolf on July 8, 2009 9:46 AM writes...

#83--Derek, for the love of God, don't get the "remember me" system to function.

Permalink to Comment

109. Andy on July 8, 2009 12:54 PM writes...

Would love to get involved in this discussion but there seems to be an air of futility about arguing with this guy...

In the meantime, this Mitchell and Webb video about homeopathy was suggested by someone else in Derek's "Argumentum ad Crumenam" post, but thought it was so funny it deserved being mentioned here as well!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMGIbOGu8q0

Permalink to Comment

110. Chuck Pelto on July 8, 2009 7:15 PM writes...

TO: Andy
RE: Futility?

Would love to get involved in this discussion but there seems to be an air of futility about arguing with this guy... -- Andy

It's easy to 'argue' with me.

And the best way would be to honestly try my proposed experiment.

Try it and tell me if cantharis relieves the pain or not.

Better still. Try some sugar blanks first and see if they provide relief and then, if they don't, try the cantharis.

Why these people are 'afraid' is the really interesting aspect.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. Thanks for the link. I'll check it out. I could use a laugh today. Just came back from a Planning & Zoning Commission public hearing where I a report from a ringer for Queen for a Day...

She even has inoperable/incurable cancer. Guess what I told her.....

Permalink to Comment

111. Andy on July 9, 2009 3:27 AM writes...

Hi Chuck,

Your experiment with the the 400 degree skillet sounds interesting, although I'm not going to burn myself deliberately to test it. Though I did look into the cantharis on http://www.abchomeopathy.com and was surprised to see that I can get 125 30C tablets for only GBP 5.95 compared to the 6C for 5.25. All that extra strength for only 70p!!

In the end I decided not to buy either the sugar tablets or an aqueous solution, on the grounds that:
(i) Whenever I have to pay two pounds for a bottle of water in an airport I feel like I'm being screwed, would be totally gutted to pay even more for even less;
(ii) Ditto for sugar when my local supermarket put the price of sugar above one pound a kilo;
(iii) Some nagging doubts about efficacy as discussed in previous posts.

I do have a question though, relating to the inverse relationship of potency and concentration relating to something I read on above website:

"If you are not 100% sure which remedy to take, usually a low potency, such as 6X, should be taken before a high potency and the patient observed carefully. If symptoms improve, but not fully, the same remedy should be taken in a higher potency (such as 30C). If, after taking the low potency remedy, relief is not felt, or the condition changes, a different remedy should be taken in a low potency.

Really high potencies, such as 200C, are normally taken in very low doses (typically once per week) whereas lower potencies are taken every few hours for a few days. It is generally considered to be a bad idea to take high potencies often."

My question is: you're claiming that the remedies become more potent as you dilute them. If we take something like ricin, which is not so good for you if administered pure, and keep diluting it (sorry, "energising", or whatever word it is you use), to let's say 500C. Wait - to hell with it, this is only an example so let's go crazy! - fifty thousand C, do we at some point end up with something that's so potent it's toxic again?

In other words: concentrated ricin - bad, dilute ricin - homeopathically fantastic, really dilute ricin - bad again? How do you explain this?

As for "guess what I told her...." - false hope?? I hope you were able to make some money there - where there's desperation, there's opportunity!!

Andy

p.s. sorry for monotonous plain text, would have liked quotes and italics for emphasis in places but don't know what the tags are...

Permalink to Comment

112. Chuck Pelto on July 9, 2009 7:39 AM writes...

TO: bad wolf
RE:[OT] God??!?!?

for the love of God -- bad wolf

You believe in the one true, Judeo-Christian God? Are you a 'brother'? Or do you invoke an entity you don't believe in to be 'cute'?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. Andy....

.....an interesting reply. I'll get to it later this morning, as I've a commission meeting to attend to right now.

Permalink to Comment

113. Chuck Pelto on July 9, 2009 11:04 AM writes...

TO: Andy
RE: [OT] HTMLs for Blogging Emphasis

Here's the various HTML codes for accomplishing changed styling of text....

{blockquote}Blockquote{/blockquote}
{strike}Strike-through{/strike}
{b}Bold{/b}
{i}Italics{/i}

Just replace the left and right braces with left and right carrots.

More later....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Consistency is the hobgoblin of good user interface.]

Permalink to Comment

114. Chuck Pelto on July 9, 2009 11:56 AM writes...

TO: Andy
RE: The ‘Experiment’

Your experiment with the the 400 degree skillet sounds interesting, although I'm not going to burn myself deliberately to test it. -- Andy

Well....

....as I said, I don’t recommend it. But I do recommend having the materia medica handy against an accident. And then trying it to see if ti works as well for you as it does for me and for the distaff. [Note: She does all the work involving flour and the oven. She even wins prizes at the state fair for her efforts.] We both work extensively in the ‘power plant’ of the household and at least once a year, each of us has such an accident.

In fact, I’m recovering from such an accident involving a deep fat fryer. It was a second-degree burn, blistering as a result of some splashed, hot oil.

I didn’t take any cantharis for it, to see if it would develop scar tissue. The way it looks right now, it just might.

RE: DIfferent Potency Pricing Methodology

Though I did look into the cantharis on http://www.abchomeopathy.com and was surprised to see that I can get 125 30C tablets for only GBP 5.95 compared to the 6C for 5.25. All that extra strength for only 70p!! -- Andy

If you understand the processing, just going to a greater dilution isn’t that much trouble in the overall process. So the difference in pricing from 6C to 30C is accounted for by the amount of effort necessary for another dilution.

Hope that helps explain the difference.

RE: In the ‘End’

In the end I decided not to buy either the sugar tablets or an aqueous solution, on the grounds that: (i) Whenever I have to pay two pounds for a bottle of water in an airport I feel like I'm being screwed, would be totally gutted to pay even more for even less; (ii) Ditto for sugar when my local supermarket put the price of sugar above one pound a kilo; -- Andy

You ARE being ‘ripped off’ in airports. You should have seen the expression on an airport bartender’s face when I commented about THEIR pricing for a martini! I gave him a nickel as a tip and told him to go buy himself a mask.

If I hadn’t been in Class-A uniform with the jump wings and ranger tab, I think he might have been stupid enough to start a fracas.

As for pricing for homeopathic materia medica, I have to say that ~$10(US) IS ‘pricey’. Compared to what we pay on THIS side of the Big Pond, ~$7(US). And I have to wonder as to why. But that’s another matter.

But, compared to the price of many pharm company ‘products’, $7 is rather inexpensive. Take for example one anti-cancer drug. I don’t recall the name of it. I think it starts with an “X” or a “Z”, but a one month supply costs ~$600(US).

A pound of graviola powder, which will last almost two months of four cups of tea per day, costs ~$25(US).

(iii) Some nagging doubts about efficacy as discussed in previous posts. -- Andy

I can understand. I come across the doubt ALL THE TIME. That’s why I ask people to prove it to themselves. I sure as hades am not able to afford going into the pharm business myself.

Look upon it as a ‘grass roots’ effort.

And, as bad wolf was kind enough to invoked God Almighty, think of the parable of the sower, vis-a-vis this business of ‘doubt’.

RE: Potency & Concentration Relations

I do have a question though, relating to the inverse relationship of potency and concentration relating to something I read on above website:

"If you are not 100% sure which remedy to take, usually a low potency, such as 6X, should be taken before a high potency and the patient observed carefully. If symptoms improve, but not fully, the same remedy should be taken in a higher potency (such as 30C). If, after taking the low potency remedy, relief is not felt, or the condition changes, a different remedy should be taken in a low potency.

-- Andy

Actually, my understanding of potencies and remedies is not oriented in that manner.

My understanding is that the greater potencies, i.e., more dilute, are oriented towards systemic problems. The lesser potencies are for acute, non-systemic issues.

That from the experiences the distaff had with a licensed MD who also practiced homeopathic treatments when he felt those were more effective in a given situation. [Note: Remember what I said about having more tools at ones disposal for dealing with issues? There’s an old adage I like to bring up when the discussion takes this turn....

A man with only a hammer as a tool, treats all situations as nails.

So doctors who only use allopathic techniques, have fewer tools to help their patients with. And if bird or swine flu go ‘ballistic’......]

Really high potencies, such as 200C, are normally taken in very low doses (typically once per week) whereas lower potencies are taken every few hours for a few days. It is generally considered to be a bad idea to take high potencies often." -- Andy

More like once per year. The distaff had such a situation. The doctor gave her ONE dose. The ‘annual’ problem did not return for several years. When he gave her another does.

My question is: you're claiming that the remedies become more potent as you dilute them. If we take something like ricin, which is not so good for you if administered pure, and keep diluting it (sorry, "energising", or whatever word it is you use), to let's say 500C. Wait - to hell with it, this is only an example so let's go crazy! - fifty thousand C, do we at some point end up with something that's so potent it's toxic again? In other words: concentrated ricin - bad, dilute ricin - homeopathically fantastic, really dilute ricin - bad again? How do you explain this? -- Andy

I don’t claim the remedies become more potent as you dilute them. That’s the current theory in homeopathic circles. I do not necessarily ascribe to all their popularly held theory. [Note: And therein, I’m something of a heretic with their established ‘community’.]

As for ricin.....

....yes a very potent poison. But then again a LOT of homeopathic materia medica is derived from poisons: aconite from monkshood, nux vomica from poison nut (think strychnine), etc.

But at dilutions that are not blatantly lethal, they, in my honestly held opinion, give the human body defense mechanisms a ‘clue’ as to what sort of disorder they’re dealing with. This seems, as I’ve observed, to energize the body to go out and do battle with the root problem.

RE: The Lady

As for "guess what I told her...." - false hope?? I hope you were able to make some money there - where there's desperation, there's opportunity!! -- Andy

Based on what I’ve seen to date, it’s not a false hope. Besides....what hope has the AMA given her? They’ve told her her situation is literally “hopeless”.

As for money? You must think me a rather callous sort of fellow. Either that or a total fool.

In the first place, I look upon telling people about this sort of stuff as my part of ministry, i.e., pointing out that God gave us ALL of this stuff for our benefit. Why should I take money for doing God’s work on this ball-o-dirt?

For the latter, it would be punishable as practicing medicine without a license on this side of the Big Pond. The AMA has that much of a strangle-hold on said activities.

I told her to look into graviola as a possible treatment for her cancer when no one else has offered her ANY hope. And you consider this ‘bad’?

What do YOU do for a living? You seem to know something about making money from desperation.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.]

Permalink to Comment

115. Bored on July 10, 2009 8:46 AM writes...

The "Jedi mind trick" doesn't work on Toydarians (Watto the junk dealer.) So would homeopathic medicines work on them? Would the Placebo Effect work on them?

Speaking of "work", it is obvious that one person here doesn't.

Permalink to Comment

116. Hap on July 10, 2009 9:12 AM writes...

He was polite enough to give the HTML text flags, though.

It's funny (well not really) how having one's hot button topics met with aggressive resistance reorders one's priorities. Too many threads on Slashdot and Pharyngula have driven this point home.

Permalink to Comment

117. Chuck Pelto on July 10, 2009 9:53 AM writes...

TO: Bored
RE: Another Ad Hom?

Speaking of "work", it is obvious that one person here doesn't. -- Bored

If you're referring to me, you're parading your ignorance. I'm self-employed developing databases. I 'come up for air', i.e., clearing the creative mental sluices, from time to time before diving back down into code and design by visiting and commenting on blogs.

Hope that helps.....but....well, based on past experiences with people who go for the ad hom....I have serious doubts.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth will out....but sometimes it takes a LONG time for it to sink in with some people.....]

Permalink to Comment

118. Org Lett Reader on July 10, 2009 2:29 PM writes...

Chuck Pelto,

I'm very confused about the relationship between concentration and potency. It seems counterintuitive to me. What do homeopaths mean by "potency"?

If one were to drop 1 microgram of the active homeopathic ingredient into an Olympic size swimming pool, would we have a wickedly potent solution?

Can toxicity be associated with very high potency? If so, we'd better hope that that 1 microgram doesn't find its way into our water supply.

Permalink to Comment

119. Steve on July 10, 2009 3:17 PM writes...

If one were to drop 1 microgram of the active homeopathic ingredient into an Olympic size swimming pool, would we have a wickedly potent solution?

Not until you pick up and shake the pool 3 times, then whack it a few times to 'potencize' it.

Permalink to Comment

120. Chuck Pelto on July 10, 2009 6:15 PM writes...

TO: Hap
RE: [OT] Polite?

He was polite enough to give the HTML text flags, though. -- Hap

Politeness is not calling someone 57 varieties of mofo.

What I did was ‘gracious’.

Hopefully you can use the information as well. But beware, it doesn’t work on all blogs. Case in point, most Blogger-based blogs won’t accept blockquotes. Others have different idiotsyncratic approaches to communications.

RE: Hot Buttons vs. Aggressive Resistence

It's funny (well not really) how having one's hot button topics met with aggressive resistance reorders one's priorities. -- Hap

In my freshman year in college, I was involved in a psych experiment on justthis issue. Oddly enough, I was the one all the 'buddy-fockers', i.e., plants put into a group to ‘drive’ the effort, in the group were supposed to object to everything I said.

[Note: The term ‘buddy-fockers’ is a ‘polite’ way of saying something else as we came to love them in an Army Field Problems Test environment.

You have a team of five men....this is the infantry, women are NOT ‘involved’. One man is identified as the ‘leader’ for the situation. He is taken aside and give a mission briefing and 10 minutes to get his act together.

While he’s doing that, one of the evaluators for the problem talks to one or several of the other people in the team, telling them that they are to do something that will ‘screw-up’ the exercise. For example....

The situation is to conduct a linear ambush of a suspected enemy forces patrol.

The leader sets the ambush up.

When the enemy patrol is moving into the proposed ‘kill zone’, the ‘buddy-focker’ suddenly jumps up and starts screaming like he’s having a psychotic episode.

The challenge to the ‘leader’ is to demonstrate he can react to the sudden change in circumstances.]

At any rate, this psych department experiment had ME as the ‘leader’, i.e., the person of ‘interest’ in the study. They wanted to see how I reacted to so much outright and blatant rejection by so many other people in the group.

After the experiment was fully disclosed, I took the lesson to heart. Which probably goes far in explaining my never cowering in the face of adversity.

Heh....now that I think on it further, it also explains my going airborne-ranger in the Army.....I’ve become something of a Die Hard kinda guy.

So maybe there is some truth to the rumor that I’m nigh impossible to ‘argue’ with. But facts do sway me. And I’m STILL waiting for someone to provide factual evidence, i.e., an honest report, that cantharis does not work for dealing with bad burns in a home environment.

Too many threads on Slashdot and Pharyngula have driven this point home. -- Hap

What, specifically, is “this point”?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. Please....

....tell us when trying to save peoples’ lives is not a ‘hot button’.

Permalink to Comment

121. Chuck Pelto on July 10, 2009 6:42 PM writes...

TO: Org Lett Reader
RE: Confusion, Anyone?

I'm very confused about the relationship between concentration and potency. It seems counterintuitive to me. What do homeopaths mean by "potency"? -- Org Lett Reader

Welcome to the ‘party’, pal! -- Bruce Willis in Die Hard

But then again, a LOT of things in ‘nature’ are ‘counter-intuitive’. Don’t you think? Even famous researchers/scientists have understood that for quite some time.

Witness THIS observation....

Nature will tell you a direct lie if she can. -- Charles Darwin

Then again, attending the local Master Gardeners program, we were demonstrated how ‘ignorant’ we were about capillary action and adhesion vis-a-vis the flow of water through varying forms of earth strata. Darn near EVERYONE in the class thought the water, with nutrients, would flow one way. When in reality.....it flows in the opposite manner.

Go fig.....

RE: Diltuions

If one were to drop 1 microgram of the active homeopathic ingredient into an Olympic size swimming pool, would we have a wickedly potent solution? -- Org Lett Reader

Perhaps. As I understand the currently accepted theory. But then again, as I mentioned earlier, I’m something of a heretic with that school of thought as well as with THIS ‘school’, albeit for different reasons.

Personally? If there’s a single molecule in there, I see no problem. After all, I think all homeopathic materia medica does is alert the body’s defense mechanisms to what it’s up against, causing them to start cranking out the necessary ‘agents’ to deal with the disorder.

RE: Toxicity

Can toxicity be associated with very high potency? If so, we'd better hope that that 1 microgram doesn't find its way into our water supply. -- Org Lett Reader

At face value, I tend to doubt it. See the earlier discussion in this thread about moles and consider that many homeopathic materia medica are derived from highly toxic materials found in nature.

God alone, at this point, knows WHY it works....that homeopathic dilutions of toxic materials do not harm animals....including humans.

All I know is that based on 20+ years of experience, I KNOW it works. And not just with myself, but with my wife and with a 6 month old infant. Do infants know about the placebo effect?

Case in point. My youngest daughter was just taken off breast-feeding and put onto formula with her evening feeding.

At 1 am there arose an horrific screaming from her room. We rushed in to see what the problem was. There was no problem in her diapers. There was nothing else that we could identify. Her mother, who introduced me to homeopathy, dug out Dr. Pano’s book and turned to the section on infants. She then went to the medicine cabinet and took out a vial of one of the materia medica we had.

We had to hold Lisa’s mouth open and put the tablets into her mouth as she did not want ANYTHING going into her stomach. She tried to spit the tablets out, but as they were the weak milk sugar form, they dissolved within 5 seconds.

Fifteen minutes later, we had our happy baby back again.

We suspect that the change in food caused an adverse reaction in her upper-gastro-intestinal system, i.e., she had a VERY upset tummy.

I’d like to see a study done on the placebo effect in adults and other age groups, including infants. Anyone here know of such a study?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby," when babies wake up like every two hours?]

P.S. Must have been stated AFTER the baby learned to sleep through the night.....

Permalink to Comment

122. Chuck Pelto on July 10, 2009 6:49 PM writes...

TO: Steve
RE: VERY Funny

Not until you pick up and shake the pool 3 times, then whack it a few times to 'potencize' it. -- Steve

A video of that would qualify for either the Guiness Book of World Records or a grand prize-contender for America's Funniest Home Videos.

But, still and all....

Don't YOU get 'potencized' by getting 'whacked' a few times?

I know I would be.....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time-a tremendous whack. -- Winston Churchill]

P.S. Come around to my place for your 'education' in my 'point'....

Permalink to Comment

123. Andy on July 19, 2009 3:54 PM writes...

Hi Chuck,

Meant to reply previously but didn't get around to it. Seems that the conversation has dried up around here anyway. Not so interested anymore - you win - but thanks for the html text flags, and good luck with your magical remedies!

p.s. to answer your question, I'm doing a postdoc in chemistry in germany. Perhaps why I have a hard time buying into the homeopathy thing!

Permalink to Comment

124. Chuck Pelto on July 19, 2009 8:33 PM writes...

TO: Andy
RE: Commo Skills

Meant to reply previously but didn't get around to it. -- Andy

Know what you mean. After all, being a commissioner for two city and two city-county panels can take up a bit of time. And can certainly be 'over-bearing' on things like blogging about saving peoples' lives....don't you think?

RE: The 'Drought'

Seems that the conversation has dried up around here anyway. Not so interested anymore - you win - but thanks for the html text flags, and good luck with your magical remedies! -- Andy

Actually. You're right. It has 'dried-up' here. Seems to have moved to another thread in this web-site.

Something to do with a discussion of whether or not the Royal family of England is stark-raving-mad....See Argumentum ad Crumudgeons...or something like that.

RE: Medical Backgrounds

p.s. to answer your question, I'm doing a postdoc in chemistry in germany. Perhaps why I have a hard time buying into the homeopathy thing! -- Andy

Heh....

...most, rational, people on THIS side of the Big Pond would suspect that you have issues other than your stated one vis-a-vis homeopathy. After all, it is—to the best of my knoweledge—STILL openly practiced in Germany. Or am I 'mistaken'? Has the German equivalence to the vaunted AMA driven homeopathy into extinction? Like the Druids?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth will out.....]

Permalink to Comment

125. Andy on July 20, 2009 3:44 AM writes...

Hi Chuck,

Okay, one final comment...

And can certainly be 'over-bearing' on things like blogging about saving peoples' lives....don't you think?

I understood this as "oh, so you have more important things to do than talk about saving peoples' lives??" As far as I can tell the discussion degenerated from that a long time ago. Now it's just you repeatedly making the same moronic arguments and refusing to provide any evidence regarding homeopathy (presumably because none exists). Your anecdotes don't count for much around here I'm afraid. And as a general point regarding homeopathy saving peoples' lives...well, I think about the best we can say is that in the majority of cases it doesn't do any harm. There are exceptions of course (http://whatstheharm.net/homeopathy.html), but hey...

As an aside, you can stop boasting about mensa and your work on city panels and so on. It's sort of boring, unimpressive and I suspect most readers here are more interested in hearing rational evidence-based arguments than having you name-drop your perceived credentials...

you have issues other than your stated one vis-a-vis homeopathy...

Not sure what issues you're referring to here - care to elaborate? Not sure either about the homeopathy situation in Germany - I've been here only a couple of months. And in any case, even if homeopathy is openly practised here, so what? A bunch of morons believing something doesn't make it correct! (there's a comment I could make here extending to your religious beliefs, but I'm not so interested in lighting that piece of blue touchpaper...)

Thanks again for the tags...

Permalink to Comment

126. telewizja kablowa warszawa on November 1, 2011 10:18 AM writes...

I thought of that as soon as I read this! I went through the comments expecting someone to have mentioned Michael Scott and I was getting sad when no one did, so I'm glad you did :)

Permalink to Comment

127. Rossie Santangelo on March 14, 2012 6:44 AM writes...

You undoubtedly help it become seem simple with an individual is presentation even so understand this topic to be really an element that we think A totally free certainly by no means understand. It looks like it's too complicated and also incredibly broad for me. I'm excited for your post, I most likely try and help obtain the hang up with the usb ports!

Permalink to Comment

128. enlargement gury on July 19, 2012 12:18 PM writes...

I have personally put to use the Enzyte capsules, plus spotted fairly great results with them. Also, i could truthfully last much longer while having sex.

Permalink to Comment

129. Laurie Franklin on March 8, 2013 6:02 PM writes...

I am greatly disturbed that I can no longer used the Zicam Nasal Gel Cold Remedy. It has killed my cold many time within 48 hours. Of coures, I didn't "snort" it. I used it properly and it worked miraculously.

Hopefully history will prove that this is THE cure for the common cold. If used properly there should be no problem with the product. I would like to make my own if I can find a good recipe, but it seem that this topic is blocked everywhere. Makes me wonder what the hell is really going on!

Permalink to Comment

130. Deer Hunter 2014 Unlimited Coin on November 19, 2013 11:08 AM writes...

When I initially commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each
time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment.

Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks
a lot!

Permalink to Comment

131. louis vuitton 直営店 on November 26, 2013 5:37 PM writes...

louis vuitton 直営店 ながら、私はルイ ・ ヴィトン モノグラム Multicolore マリリン - を見た彼女はされているでより豪華な人。最もよい取り引きとのホットなトレンドを見つける最高目を引くアクセサリー。何であれ、一人一人古典的な財布。 グッチ 長財布 通販

Permalink to Comment

132. Ukres on November 29, 2013 5:37 AM writes...

Your post is interesting and possibly as good as your understanding of homeopathic drugs goes.

I do not use or propose using homeopathic medicines because no clinical trials have been able to demonstrate reproducible efficacy.

But the point to note is that there is not just 'distilled/sterile water' in the bottles of homeopathic medicines- you missed the ethanol, a bit careless a comment from a chemist!

Enjoy your blog otherwise- enlightening!

Permalink to Comment

133. japs on December 7, 2013 3:27 PM writes...

Of course, using a huskier voice while having sex is also recommended.
In addition to its sex-determining role, the X chromosome includes a great deal of other information.
The final option is above 31, because we all know that no one past this will survive the
sexual Logan's Run.

Permalink to Comment

134. biuro rachunkowe żoliborz on December 9, 2013 3:52 AM writes...

This is the right webpage for anybody who really wants
to find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost tough
to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa).
You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic which has been written about
for decades. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

Permalink to Comment

POST A COMMENT




Remember Me?



EMAIL THIS ENTRY TO A FRIEND

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):




RELATED ENTRIES
How Not to Do It: NMR Magnets
Allergan Escapes Valeant
Vytorin Actually Works
Fatalities at DuPont
The New York TImes on Drug Discovery
How Are Things at Princeton?
Phage-Derived Catalysts
Our Most Snorted-At Papers This Month. . .