Ultimate Healing: psuedo-science, science, or somewhere in between?
Posted: 22 March 2009 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I just saw the infomercial again, aired in Indiana.  Is the infomercial playing nationally, have other regions seen it?  It has played for nearly a year, and since TV commercials are expensive I know that someone is buying the book(s).  Author P. Johnson, and Hugh Downs are peddling the Ultimate Healing books… is this a library full of safe, effective, cheap, easy, scientifically proven, treatments and cures?  Or is the library full of something else?  The infomercial is full of men in white coats… any medical doctors among them?  Healing as simple as celery seed extract, soup, duct tape… but they don’t tell you exactly what to do, apparently we must buy the book to find those details.  Has anyone out there bought the book, what do you think?

I did see the infomercial mention the H. Pylori bacteria causing gastritis and peptic ulcer disease one time in the past, was that the Australian Nobel Laureate Barry J. Marshall that I saw talking about it?  Is there a simple cure for gastritis and peptic ulcer disease and every other health topic that they mentioned?  Has Author P. searched around for these answers, very nicely assembling them together in the old fashioned book technology (rather than a modern web portal full of links to the relevant information), saving us the time and trouble of doing what I did in this paragraph (I searched for one of the topics in the books for an hour and gathered a couple of links for you grin).

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Posted: 22 March 2009 02:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Well most pharmaceuticals are extracts of plants etc, so perhaps some medications have a greater concentration said palliative.
The best for sun burn is aloe Vera, and some say honey, ulcers (most) were found to be an organism but the man who discovered this had a major problem convincing a lucrative industry they were treating people wrongly.
Hard to get through entrenched positions when a fortune is at stake.

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Posted: 22 March 2009 03:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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This book is completely a hoax. I’ve seen the adds. in fact I tried in vain to find Hugh Downs contact information so I could write to him and tell him how disappointed I was that he had become a complete whore. The “interviews” he does with the author of this book are a complete joke obviously. For a half hour he plays the consummate shill while this guy goes on and on about “natural cures that doctors don’t want you to know about”. Right. I’ve spent my entire career studying medicine so I can hide useful, safe, and effective treatments from people. Its hard for me to attack any specific recommendation from the book because they don’t give specifics in the commercials, just a half hour of accusations about the medical community. I would like to actually look at the book so I can give you more specifics, but I’m not giving this guy any of my hard earned money for a book full of nonsense.

As a rule, anytime someone promotes a natural remedy as being somehow better you need to be suspicious since this is a common tactic of medical charlatans. Another give away is when someone uses the conspiracy approach and implies that they have some special knowledge that others are trying to hide from you for their own nefarious reasons.

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Posted: 24 March 2009 07:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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“Meet our team of over 600 of the world’s most famous alternative and traditional doctors who have contributed to this life-changing project…”

Quoted from Ultimate Healing.

From the web site these books look like a mixture of alternative and scientific medicine, mixing the good with the bad.  When people see medical connections they would be very impressed.  I imagine that the book does not tell the reader how well proven the various treatments are, and they will be very confused not knowing how effective and how safe.  The parade of men in white coats really does convince people to trust the information, Author P. and company are inspiring people that the books are a responsible choice.  This is the problem, that trusting people are being given advertising that is dubious.  I think that is what convinces them to buy the book, convinced that they are acting responsible.

But the book does look like the herbal supplement industry’s latest re-packaging, paired with some real medicine to make the herbals look more credible.  Author P. and company are contacting the public without first submitting to FDA scrutiny, saving costs I suppose.  They are cutting corners to do a cheap (un-evidenced) job of drug therapies, taking advantage of people’s innocent naïvité about the FDA drug approval process.

Doesn’t everyone who saw the infomercial agree?

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Posted: 24 March 2009 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Roger_Bacon - 22 March 2009 02:40 PM

Well most pharmaceuticals are extracts of plants etc, so perhaps some medications have a greater concentration said palliative.
The best for sun burn is aloe Vera, and some say honey, ulcers (most) were found to be an organism but the man who discovered this had a major problem convincing a lucrative industry they were treating people wrongly.
Hard to get through entrenched positions when a fortune is at stake.

No! The difference between the pharmaceuticals is that they have been tested for performance, purity and optimal dosage.
The herbal medications often have ingredients that are not listed on the bottle
The herbal medications never have pill to pill or capsule to capsule dosage consistency.
If you grow a digitalis plant to treat your heart disease—you would be an idiot. The dosage contained in each leaf, or even different parts of a leaf depend on many factors including sunshine, water and soil nutrients.

‘Big Pharma’ spends a lot of money to get this right. When you take a digoxin pill with a listed dosage of .125mg, each and every pill will have .125mg in it, no more and no less. Your doctor will also test you regularly to check your serum level of this drug, to make sure you are metabolizing it as expected, and adjust your dosage accordingly, based on recognized and tested scientific practice. Your position about entrenched positions and fortunes is a straw man.

YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD HEALTH FOOD STORES make a fortune pushing their at best useless ‘cures’ and worse…..well sometimes they even kill.

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Posted: 24 March 2009 02:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I believe that aloe vera was tested pretty extensively and found to have no useful medical properties ...

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Posted: 24 March 2009 07:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Infomercial LOL

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Posted: 24 March 2009 07:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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dougsmith - 24 March 2009 02:33 PM

I believe that aloe vera was tested pretty extensively and found to have no useful medical properties ...

I don’t know of research, but in my experience OTCs are better than aloe vera for first degree burns.  A professor of mine had, what he called, a “burn plant”, I guess it was aloe vera or some similar species.  Electrical Engineering students do burn themselves with the 900 degree Fahrenheit soldering irons, from time to time.  In my experience ordinary oil suspended in water hand lotion or Calemine lotion heals my skin back to normal faster than fresh aloe vera.

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Posted: 29 March 2009 06:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Roger_Bacon - 22 March 2009 02:40 PM

Well most pharmaceuticals are extracts of plants etc, so perhaps some medications have a greater concentration said palliative.
The best for sun burn is aloe Vera, and some say honey, ulcers (most) were found to be an organism but the man who discovered this had a major problem convincing a lucrative industry they were treating people wrongly.
Hard to get through entrenched positions when a fortune is at stake.

It wasn’t industry that had to be convinced, it was medical scientists and practitioners(i.e. doctors).  This took time (as it should) because there was a lot of work to be done between formulating the hypothesis and creating a safe and effective therapy .  Details of the history can be found in an article in Skeptical Inquirer from a few years ago.  The idea that the delay was caused by “big pharma” is a myth promulgated by CAM advocates.

[ Edited: 29 March 2009 06:40 PM by Jerry Schwarz ]
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Posted: 29 March 2009 09:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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dougsmith - 24 March 2009 02:33 PM

I believe that aloe vera was tested pretty extensively and found to have no useful medical properties ...

That was my understanding as well.

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Posted: 30 March 2009 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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jschwarz - 29 March 2009 06:29 PM
Roger_Bacon - 22 March 2009 02:40 PM

Well most pharmaceuticals are extracts of plants etc, so perhaps some medications have a greater concentration said palliative.
The best for sun burn is aloe Vera, and some say honey, ulcers (most) were found to be an organism but the man who discovered this had a major problem convincing a lucrative industry they were treating people wrongly.
Hard to get through entrenched positions when a fortune is at stake.

It wasn’t industry that had to be convinced, it was medical scientists and practitioners(i.e. doctors).  This took time (as it should) because there was a lot of work to be done between formulating the hypothesis and creating a safe and effective therapy .  Details of the history can be found in an article in Skeptical Inquirer from a few years ago.  The idea that the delay was caused by “big pharma” is a myth promulgated by CAM advocates.

Your absolutely right. I don’t even get the logic behind the conspiracy theory that CAM advocates were suggesting since “big pharma” produces and profits from the drugs that treat H.Pylori ( the organism that causes many ulcers). Some folks just see a conspiracy every place that its convenient I guess.

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Posted: 31 March 2009 06:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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From what I’ve heard of these “secret natural cures books” they are all the same. The book is as VAGUE as the commercials!

The real catch is that in these books, they entice you with slippery slope marketing and consumer testimonials about the secret cures, then state that they can only tell you about the cures on their pay-by-credit-card website because, get this, the FDA has threatened them that if they ever give out the “secret cures” every book that is published will be confiscated and the publishers will be jailed for disclosing government secrets. Therefore, you not only have to buy the book to be told which website to go to and pay to go on that website.

Then guess what? Once you’re on the website, the secret herbal concoctions are only available for purchase on THAT website! And how convenient, they already have your credit card info because you just used it to subscribe to the site. Well, you’re not going to come so far through TWO secret club entryways just to turn down the cure for cancer that the FDA is so concerned about they will send agents in black suits to bang down your door and take your book back, are you? You must purchase the secret cures!

And then guess what else! You can’t purchase one bottle. Nope. When you order a trial bottle, the fine print type mentions you agree that by ordering one bottle, you subscribe to a one year “contract” of monthly shipments of a variety of herbs, charged monthly to the card you’ve given them the number to. Since you clicked on the contract to order, you’re legally locked into the shipments. (Negative Option Marketing.)

So people have to:

- Pay for the book (they can’t tell you the cure on the radio)
- Pay to “join” the secret website (how do they know you’re not a secret government agent unless you pay?)
- Pay for the bottle of “miracle herbs”
- Pay for it every month for a year because you didn’t notice the 6-point-font disclaimer on the screen
- Still die of cancer

It’s disgusting, evil, marketing scam genius. 

Negative option marketing first started with those CD ordering places, you remember, the old 12 CDs for a penny? All you have to do is buy a few more over the next year? They neglect to mention there is a $7 shipping charge, as well as a $5 handling charge on each one?  And if you don’t send back that damned postcard, you’ve just purchased some lousy movie soundtrack you’ve never heard of.

Well these newer negative option marketing scams are sort of like the CD thing. You will see them everywhere on website ads for “Acai berry weight loss” or “Mandy’s dieting blog” “Cut belly fat with this 1 rule!” or “Tooth whitening secrets exposed!” or “I cured my wrinkles!” These sites pose as fake “real average people” with a blog about this great weight loss secret they’ve uncovered. Now, sites like that have been around a while so the new scam is that this average person has discovered a “dynamic duo” of two products that on their own do little, but together make you drop 7 pounds a week, have glowing white teeth, cure cancer, etc., etc. Then they say you can try their two products free, through this great site they tried themselves (the same damn site whose copywriters wrote the fake blog) just click the link for your FREE TRIAL! You only have to pay shipping and handling! Well that $5 shipping and handling charge, once they have your credit card number, is now an $80 a month “contract” you didn’t realize you signed. You’re stuck with acai berries up the wazoo for a year.

So they are a bit like the old CD club, except you didn’t know what you were getting into, and you can’t cancel anything or opt out by mailing back a postcard. In fact, the 1-800 number you call to cancel with will frequently ring unanswered, or the email contact will bounce back as undeliverable. They make it as difficult as possible (or impossible) to cancel. For example, if you get a hold of them at all, they will state you need a notarized letter from your doctor stating the herbal pills did not work.

More info on negative option marketing scams - protect yourself by reading these stories:

- Careful, Those Free Acai Products Might Come Attached To A Delicious Scam

- Florida AG Investigates FreeCreditReport.com

- Who’s Smiling Now? Enzyte Scammer Gets 25 Years In Prison

[ Edited: 31 March 2009 06:21 PM by Jules ]
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Posted: 09 April 2009 08:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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dougsmith - 24 March 2009 02:33 PM

I believe that aloe vera was tested pretty extensively and found to have no useful medical properties ...

It has some uses, but not as a first (or second) line drug.

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Posted: 09 April 2009 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Stefano - 09 April 2009 08:48 AM
dougsmith - 24 March 2009 02:33 PM

I believe that aloe vera was tested pretty extensively and found to have no useful medical properties ...

It has some uses, but not as a first (or second) line drug.

Such as? Do you have some reputable sources to substantiate that.

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Posted: 09 April 2009 05:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Aloe vera has a very important use in my baby-soft hand lotion.  cheese

(kidding…)

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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