Turmeric/Curcumin: The “Natural Remedy of the Century” or a Waste of Money?

Turmeric is a yellow spice used in Indian cuisine; its active ingredient, marketed as a dietary supplement, is curcumin. It is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine, where it is said to balance vata, pitta, and kapha, to kindle agni, and to help reduce kapha and ama. It allegedly supports the blood, liver, joints, immune system,

GAPS Diet

A correspondent asked me to look into the GAPS diet.  I did. I was sorry: it was a painful experience. What a mishmash of half-truths, pseudoscience, imagination, and untested claims! GAPS stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome. It is the invention of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. According to her, a wide variety of health problems can be

Defending Isagenix: A Case Study in Flawed Thinking

The Internet is a wonderful new medium for communicating ideas and information in a rapid and interactive way. Many articles are followed by a “comments” section. Like so many things in this imperfect world, comments are a mixed blessing. They can enhance the article by correcting errors, adding further information, and contributing useful thoughts to

Detoxification Quackery – From Footbaths to Fetishism

The last time I went to the Puyallup fair, I passed a booth where an elderly man and woman were sitting with their feet in basins of water. How nice – a chance to rest their tired feet after a day of walking the fairgrounds! Unfortunately, they weren’t just resting, they were being scammed. The