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Crazy Talk: Medical Misconceptions and Snake Oil

In my roaming around the blogosphere I found some fairly humorous tidbits. It’s amazing what people will believe, or what crazy “cures” are being sold on the Internet. I thought you enjoy some choice samples:

1. Demi Moore uses leeches to “detoxify her blood.” Dr. Ramona Bates offers a great summary of the potential medical uses of leeches along with some caveats (like a 20% chance of infection with leeches… and a way to keep them from wandering too far afield. Tie a string to their tails? Yikes.) If blood letting is good for detoxification, why not donate blood instead?

2. One snake oil site promises to cure “shock” and cardiac arrests with an herbal liquid that turns out to be mostly brandy. This cure is “also helpful for animals who have experienced mild trauma.” Funny stuff.

3. An Indian magician who claimed to be able to kill people with a magic incantation was unable to do so during a TV show segment. The host of the show offered to be killed though the incantation was unsuccessful. Reminds me of the guy who swore he could make his arm impervious to harm by a sharp sword. That didn’t work either.This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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