Tag Archives | alternative medicine

Creepy Medical Cannibalism In Europe’s Past

Res Obscura on a part of medical history which is not secret, yet never discussed, most likely because it is so gruesome:

What did the jars [in seventeenth and eighteenth century pharmacies] actually contain? Things found in herb teas sold today, like chamomile, fennel, licorice, and cardamom — alongside some utterly bizarre ones, like powdered crab’s eyes, Egyptian mummies, and human skull, or “cranium humanum.” I was struck by the degree to which they take for granted the consumption of human bodies as medicinal drugs.

Substances like human fat or powdered mummy were once so common that hundreds or perhaps even thousands of antique ceramic jars purpose-built to contain them still exist in antique shops, museums and private collections. This is no secret, but it remains more or less the domain of specialists in early modern history.

It was a relatively common sight in early modern France and Germany to witness relatives of sick people collecting blood from recently executed criminals to use in medical preparations:

For those who preferred their blood cooked, a 1679 recipe from a Franciscan apothecary describes how to make it into marmalade…[T]hese medicines may have been incidentally helpful—even though they worked by magical thinking, one more clumsy search for answers to the question of how to treat ailments at a time when even the circulation of blood was not yet understood.

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Burzynski: Fighting the Big Pharma Cartel to Cure Cancer

[Note: the opinions expressed below are those of the contributor alone and publication does not indicate that The Disinformation Company endorses those opinions.]

My friend Talitha Thayla organized a screening of Burzynski: The Movie at Traditions Cafe in downtown Olympia, WA. It's a movie about the legal struggles of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, a physician whose antineoplaston cancer treatments has earned the ire of the United States Food and Drug Administration. The movie depicts patients being cured of aggressive brain cancers when the only alternative was crippling doses of radiation and chemo. You can watch the video in this post. As I watched the movie a familiar pattern unfolded: A monopolistic big business cartel uses the legal system to conduct a witch hunt against an individual who threatens their hegemony in keeping themselves rich and the public powerless. Only this time there is a refreshing twist: Burzynski is making headway in the fight. He's beaten the Texas Medical Board's and the FDA's malicious prosecutions Five times. One thing the FDA in its witch hunt against Dr. Burzynski never denied: His natural, non-invasive non-toxic therapy cures cancer. Burzynski: Cancer Is Serious Business from BurzynskiMovie on Vimeo.
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The Pentagon Seeks Inner Peace

Flickr_-_The_U.SThe Pentagon and peace: not two words you see in the same sentence too often. Wired‘s Katie Drummond goes inside the Pentagon’s Alt-Medicine mecca, where the generals meditate:

The general is surprisingly good at meditation. It’s not just the impeccable posture — that might be expected of a man long used to standing at attention. It’s his hands, which rest idly on his knees, and his combat boots, which remain planted firmly on the floor. Over the next several minutes, Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, the Surgeon General of the Army, will keep his eyes closed and his face perfectly relaxed.

Few in this hotel conference room, where three dozen have assembled to mark the 10th anniversary of the Samueli Institute, a research organization specializing in alternative therapies, are able to match Schoomaker’s stillness.

Even as our first speaker implores that we “close [our] eyes … feel the chair, feel the air, feel the breath going in and out,” this motley crew of professors, bejeweled clairvoyants, military personnel and Einsteinian-haired futurists tap their toes, shuffle papers and ogle paper plates of fruit and croissants.

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Europe To Outlaw Hundreds Of Herbal Health Products

herbs2Count this one as a sweeping victory for Big Pharma: regulations set to go into effect across Europe this year will ban hundreds of herbal medicines in one fell swoop. I appreciate the EU’s effort to keep people safe from untested substances, but is it really possible that echinacea could be any more hazardous than, say, prescription antidepressants? The Independent reports:

Hundreds of herbal medicinal products will be banned from sale in Britain next year under what campaigners say is a “discriminatory and disproportionate” European law.

With four months to go before the EU-wide ban is implemented, thousands of patients face the loss of herbal remedies that have been used in the UK for decades. From May 1, 2011, traditional herbal medicinal products must be licensed or prescribed by a registered herbal practitioner to comply with an EU directive passed in 2004. The directive was introduced in response to rising concern over adverse effects caused by herbal medicines.

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