The Case That CAM Is Unethical

Edzard Ernst is arguably the world’s foremost expert on the claims and the evidence (or lack thereof) for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Now he has teamed up with a medical ethicist, Kevin Smith, to co-author a new book, More Harm than Good? The Moral Maze of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Much has been written on

For Peat’s Sake! Naturopath Promotes Peat Bras and Tampons

This ND recommends peat therapy, including peat baths, peat tampons, and peat bras, for a variety of conditions including infertility and HPV infections. The evidence is lacking. Last week I reviewed the major naturopathy textbook. It mentioned a therapy I was not familiar with: peat therapy. I wanted to know more about the rationale for

Naturopathy Textbook

The Textbook of Natural Medicine reveals what students of naturopathy are taught. It claims to be a scientific presentation, but it reveals just how unscientific naturopathy is. It mixes good science with bad science, pseudoscience, outright errors of fact, vitalism, philosophy, ancient history, superstition, gullibility, misrepresentations, metaphysics, religion, hearsay, opinion, and anecdotes. Note: This is

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on Vaccination

  I recently came across Round the Red Lamp, a delightful volume of medical-themed short stories and other medical writings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a medical doctor and the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Among its many treasures are two of his letters that were printed in newspapers in 1887 on the subject of compulsory

Cowabunga! Can Cow Therapy Cure Cancer?

A hospital in India offers to cure cancer in 11 days with Ayurveda and cow therapy, giving patients a drink of desi cow milk, yogurt, ghee, urine, and dung. It’s very unlikely that cow therapy can cure cancer; but in another sense, the author of the book Holy Cancer says it “healed” him. You have

NES Health: Tooth Fairy Marketing

NES Health claims to scan the human biofield, detect imbalances, and correct them with infoceuticals. It’s not science, it’s clever marketing based on fantasy. Kirlian photography is said to show auras or biofields. It doesn’t. It shows a coronal discharge and is seen with inanimate objects like these coins. NES Health offers scans of the

Aloe Vera

Many claims are made for the health benefits of aloe vera, used both topically and orally. The scientific evidence is lacking. This home remedy may be soothing on the skin, but scientific claims don’t stand up to scrutiny. I had heard of aloe vera. I’ve seen it grown in flowerpots in the home and broken

How Naturopaths Treat Heart Disease

Naturopaths claim to excel at preventing and treating cardiovascular disease. Their claims don’t stand up to scrutiny. They co-opt from mainstream medicine, add non-evidence-based treatments, and fail to use effective drugs. Herb Garden at Bastyr University The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians website explains what naturopathy is and has a webpage with FAQs. Number 15

Shermer Tackles the Big Questions

A review of Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia, By Michael Shermer, Henry Holt and Co., 2018. $30.00. 320 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1-62779-857-0. In 1997, Michael Shermer wrote one of the classics of skepticism, Why People Believe Weird Things. He has continued to produce skeptical books at regular intervals, with topics