alternative medicine

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You May Want to Reconsider Using Essential Oils on Young Boys

Study lends new evidence they can cause prepubertal gynecomastia

(Newser) - Wait a minute before dabbing lavender essential oil on your male child: A new study finds that regular exposure to certain plant-derived oils puts boys at risk of prepubertal gynecomastia—or, as Science Alert bluntly puts it, "man boobs." "Our society deems essential oils as safe,"...

No, Those Aren't Hickeys on Olympic Athletes

They're bruises from 'cupping therapy'

(Newser) - If you watched Michael Phelps snag his 19th gold medal in Rio Sunday, you might also have noticed he had several red dots on his upper body like "a Gatorade bottle had given him a hickey," per Fox Sports . That's essentially what happened, but instead of a...

Scientists Figure Out What Type of Person Believes BS

This may be the first study of 'pseudo-profound bullshit'

(Newser) - This has to rank among the best opening statements ever in a study abstract : "Although bullshit is common in everyday life and has attracted attention from philosophers, its reception (critical or ingenuous) has not, to our knowledge, been subject to empirical investigation." And so researchers at the University...

Hallucinogenic Brew May Help Depression
 Hallucinogenic Brew 
 May Help Depression 
study says

Hallucinogenic Brew May Help Depression

Results from first human clinical trial of ayahuasca are promising

(Newser) - A psychedelic brew from the jungles of Brazil shows promise as a treatment for depression—in fact, as a treatment for those who don't respond to more traditional medication. Researchers at the University of Sao Paulo have just published the results of the first clinical trial involving the anti-depressant...

Archaeologists Whip Up 'Elixir of Long Life'

Recipe includes aloe, lots of alcohol

(Newser) - Archaeologists were digging under a former German beer garden in New York City's Lower East Side when they came upon a stash of 150-year-old liquor bottles. Among them was a small vial—once the container for an "Elixir of Long Life," DNAInfo reports. "We wanted to...

Medical-Conspiracy Theories Hot With Americans
6 Medical Conspiracies
People Really Believe
study says

6 Medical Conspiracies People Really Believe

Nearly 50% of people surveyed believe at least one theory

(Newser) - Think a US spy agency has infected black Americans with HIV? Or cell phones cause cancer and the government secretly knows? You're not alone: Roughly half of Americans believe in one or more medical conspiracies, according to a new survey. Two researchers asked 1,351 adults whether they knew...

Jobs' Doctor: Late Surgery Wasn't Stupid

...though Dean Ornish did advise him to have it immediately

(Newser) - There’s been a lot of Monday-morning quarterbacking over Steve Jobs’ seemingly less-than-genius decision to put off cancer surgery and try a vegan diet and various alternative medicines instead. By the time Jobs finally had the surgery, the cancer had spread to his liver, and he told his biographer he...

Alternative Treatments May Have Doomed Steve Jobs

Delaying surgery was a deadly mistake, expert says

(Newser) - Steve Jobs would probably be alive today if he had been less of a skeptic about conventional medicine, according to a Harvard expert who has researched the kind of cancer that killed the Apple CEO. Jobs' preference for alternative medicine—outlined in a 2008 CNN article —caused him to...

Oprah, Your Health Gurus Are Quacks
 Oprah, Your Health 
 Gurus Are Quacks 

Oprah, Your Health Gurus Are Quacks

Time to learn to love exercise

(Newser) - It’s obvious why Oprah has so many unconventional health “experts” on her show. “Sensationalism sells,” writes conditioning specialist James Fell in the LA Times . “Stuff that stands up to scientific scrutiny often lacks the pizazz that makes for scintillating television.” But it’s time...

Scientists Try to Solve the Mystery of Acupuncture

Researchers use modern medicine to test ancient therapy

(Newser) - Western researchers are using high-tech tools to unlock the secrets of an ancient therapy: acupuncture. Neuroimaging studies show the practice can calm parts of the brain linked to pain and activate those linked to recuperation. Doppler ultrasounds, meanwhile, show that acupuncture increases blood flow. Carefully placed needles can even make...

Huffington Post: A Hotbed of Junk Medicine
Huffington Post: A Hotbed of Junk Medicine

Huffington Post: A Hotbed of Junk Medicine

Unpaid bloggers push enemas for swine flu, vaccine hokum

(Newser) - During the height of swine flu panic, a Huffington Post blogger advised dumping the Tamiflu and sticking with "deep-cleansing enemas," which will supposedly keep you influenza-free and help you lose weight, too. HuffPo is a hotbed of junk medicine, Dr. Rahul K. Parikh writes in Salon, with...

Anti-Chemo Dad: Son, Wife Have Left US

Says family would accept low doses with alternative treatment

(Newser) - The father of a Minnesota 13-year-old ordered to undergo cancer treatment says his son and wife have fled the US, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. “I have an opinion where they are, but I can’t say I know,” said Anthony Hauser, noting that wife Colleen’s disappearance...

Study: Even 'Fake' Acupuncture Eases Back Pain

Back pain sufferers reported less pain with or without needles being used

(Newser) - Acupuncture without the puncture helped relieve back pain in a new study, Reuters reports. Researchers divided patients with chronic back pain into several groups and discovered that the groups who received conventional acupuncture with needles and those who received simulated acupuncture with toothpicks reported greater—and almost identical—pain relief...

Placenta Drip: Fad or Fantastic?

Afterbirth consumption risky, unproven to boost health

(Newser) - Feeling tired? A Tokyo clinic offers relaxation drips containing human placental extract as a pick-me-up. Long used by the Japanese to treat liver disease and menopause symptoms, placenta—with its immune molecules and nutrients that sustain the fetus during pregnancy—is symbolic, if not utterly scientific. The idea of a...

Economy, Science Take Toll on Cold Remedies

Use of supplements continues steady fall

(Newser) - Americans looking to save money are increasingly doing without alternative therapies for colds, MSNBC reports. The popularity of supplements like zinc, echinacea, and Vitamin C have waned in recent years, in part due to studies that have questioned their effectiveness. The percentage of Americans using them fell from 9.5%...

Pentagon's New Painkiller: Ancient Chinese Medicine

Military doctors will start training medics in 'battlefield acupressure'

(Newser) - US Air Force doctors deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan next year will have a new medical weapon in their arsenal: acupuncture. Military physicians, pleased with the success of treating wounded troops at home, will begin teaching battlefield medics how to fight severe or chronic pain by inserting tiny needles under...

Move Over, Apples: It's a Mandarin a Day Now

Satsumas provide natural antihistamine for colds and allergies

(Newser) - Satsuma mandarin oranges from northern California’s Placer County aren’t in the medicine aisle, but the citrus packs a potent dose of a natural antihistamine that can relieve cold and allergy symptoms, the Sacramento Bee reports. A study found that a glassful of the fruit’s juice has six...

Patients Could Polish Their Bedside Manner, Docs Say

Lousy rapport impairs treatment, survey finds

(Newser) - Odds are you're annoying your doctor, according to a Canadian study that asked nearly 300 physicians about their daily frustrations. As the Globe and Mail reports, many had difficulty establishing rapports with patients, who routinely resisted or flouted their advice —which can lead to patient safety problems. “When...

Cold 'Remedy' Firm Settles Suit for $23M

Airborne ends class action with promise of consumer refunds

(Newser) - Herbal supplement company Airborne will pay $23.3 million to settle a class-action suit alleging false advertising but won't say it did anything wrong, CNNMoney reports. At issue was the company's claim its pills could cure colds. Airborne denies “any wrongdoing or illegal conduct,” but it will give...

'Nose Bidet' Gives Sinuses Alt Relief

'Stuffy' people turning to ancient Indian neti pots to clear nasal passages

(Newser) - Sufferers of stuffy sinuses are turning to an ancient remedy to clear their nasal passages: the neti pot. Also called the "nose bidet," the neti pot is filled with non-iodized salt water, the spout is placed in one nostril, and water is poured in and streamed out the...

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