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Sun Jan 5, 2014, 03:26 PM

Rickety Woo

My children's pediotrician became a close personal friend. He saved my oldest son's life, when my boy was a tiny infant, misdiagnosed by two other doctors. That was 30 years ago this month, and even after that amount of years, remembering that period of time brings up some emotions. I think that a story about him might shed some light on one of the current "controversies" being debated on DU:GD
.
My friend was a faculty member at Syracuse University. He was highly respected in the medical community. He was also on the board of the NYS Museum's Iroquois Studies. His passions had areas of overlap: for example, he knew that Onondaga children were the only group that did not suffer from diabetes. Children from the other nations of the Confederacy have much lower rates of childhood diabetes than the rest of the country, but Onondaga still stood out.

At this time, this is certainly a topic of interest for the United States. It may not be the #1 issue confronting our society, but it has areas overlapping the larger issue of "health care" in our country.

A question at the starting point of considering why this small sub-culture doesn't have childhood diabetes would be is it genetics or environment -- or, of course, a combination of the two? Since virtually all Onondaga people have some Celtic DNA, due to interactions between the Iroquois and Euro-Americans in the colonial era, my friend wanted to study differences in life-style; these include diet, ways of dealing with stress, family support systems, etc.

Repeated attempts to gain the access such a study required proved frustrating for my friend. He never got a "yes" or "no" response from the nation's leaders. As we came to know one another, my friend realized I could assist in his gaining that access. Hence, on weekends, my boys and I would bring him up to the Territory.

This led to some interesting discussions on related topics. For example, the Jesuit diaries from the "contact era" document how the Iroquois treated some Euro-Americans for what is known as "rickets." This was a condition the Iroquois recognized, and knew how to treat. To make a long story a little shorter, it involved boiling the inner bark of a White Pine; that tea successfully treated rickets.

For several years, my friend boiled the said bark, but could not identify what made the tea work. Yet, he knew it wasn't just in people's minds. One evening, after we returned from the Territory, something clicked in his mind: he had boiled the bark in a metal pot, whereas the Iroquois had boiled it in clay pots.

He experimented with a clay pot, a reproduction of what the Iroquois used in the pre-contact and early contact eras. And he found the answer.

I tell this story, not to advocate "woo" over "science," but rather, to suggest that having an open mind is generally a good thing.

Peace,
H2O Man

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Arrow 69 replies Author Time Post
Reply Rickety Woo (Original post)
H2O Man Jan 2014 OP
spanone Jan 2014 #1
livetohike Jan 2014 #2
2naSalit Jan 2014 #3
truebluegreen Jan 2014 #4
malaise Jan 2014 #5
Ms. Toad Jan 2014 #6
zeemike Jan 2014 #7
ryan_cats Jan 2014 #10
zeemike Jan 2014 #13
Michigan-Arizona Jan 2014 #22
zeemike Jan 2014 #29
Michigan-Arizona Jan 2014 #31
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2014 #8
mike_c Jan 2014 #26
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2014 #27
H2O Man Jan 2014 #33
mike_c Jan 2014 #34
hueymahl Jan 2014 #50
IdaBriggs Jan 2014 #57
CSStrowbridge Jan 2014 #54
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2014 #59
MyNameGoesHere Jan 2014 #9
MisterP Jan 2014 #30
G_j Jan 2014 #11
rhett o rick Jan 2014 #12
ConservativeDemocrat Jan 2014 #18
rhett o rick Jan 2014 #25
Enthusiast Jan 2014 #36
RC Jan 2014 #19
Bernardo de La Paz Jan 2014 #14
Zorra Jan 2014 #15
Blue_In_AK Jan 2014 #16
Enthusiast Jan 2014 #37
NuclearDem Jan 2014 #40
3catwoman3 Jan 2014 #63
Blue_In_AK Jan 2014 #65
DeSwiss Jan 2014 #17
JDPriestly Jan 2014 #20
fascisthunter Jan 2014 #21
intaglio Jan 2014 #23
hueymahl Jan 2014 #51
Bernardo de La Paz Jan 2014 #60
intaglio Jan 2014 #61
Bernardo de La Paz Jan 2014 #62
intaglio Jan 2014 #64
Bernardo de La Paz Jan 2014 #66
intaglio Jan 2014 #67
Bernardo de La Paz Jan 2014 #68
intaglio Jan 2014 #69
mike_c Jan 2014 #24
Cha Jan 2014 #28
Uncle Joe Jan 2014 #32
tavalon Jan 2014 #35
AtheistCrusader Jan 2014 #38
NuclearDem Jan 2014 #41
BrainDrain Jan 2014 #39
NuclearDem Jan 2014 #42
panader0 Jan 2014 #43
Nitram Jan 2014 #44
cali Jan 2014 #45
840high Jan 2014 #46
Octafish Jan 2014 #47
geek tragedy Jan 2014 #48
Progressive dog Jan 2014 #49
Bluenorthwest Jan 2014 #52
La Lioness Priyanka Jan 2014 #53
gcomeau Jan 2014 #55
blackspade Jan 2014 #56
enki23 Jan 2014 #58

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 03:38 PM

1. recommended.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 03:45 PM

2. Thanks H2O Man

some are content with knowing what works and some look for the science of why it works. The cures are out there, if we listen.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 03:56 PM

3. Thanks from me too,

one who uses what most would call woo but have been used with great success by people since waaaay before the industrial revolution. One key to using natural/herbal elements in making medicines is that you never use metal or plastic at any point in the process, it's always glass or porcelain or wood or clay. Pots, vessels, even the spoons, etc. Storage should also be in glass or porcelain. And yes, I know that tap water arrives via metal or plastic pipes but once received and put into use for medicinals, that should have been the extent of exposure to metal and plastic.

Just sayin'...

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 04:09 PM

4. Bravo! And thank you.

 

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 04:11 PM

5. Excellent post

If woo wasn't useful to Western medicine, why was there such a fight to control the patent for neem?

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 04:15 PM

6. Thank you.

That is perhaps a gentler way to make the point I've been trying to make in these threads.

"woo" and science are not mutually exclusive. It is often curious minds which observe that something is apparently going on and which keep puzzling at it and (often) eventually make the connection which connects the "woo" to the underlying science.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 04:54 PM

7. Just to relate something similar.

I saw a documentary some 20 or 30 years ago made by a film maker...can't remember his name now...but he had a son that had seizures and the doctors kept proscribing different medications and nothing helped and they got worse.
So he did some research on it and found that back at the turn of the century there was a clinic that treated such conditions and they claimed success, but he could find no information on it whatsoever.
Then he discovered that there was a nurse still alive that worked there so he went to see her and found out what the treatment was...and yes it sure sounded like woo...what they did was put them on a high fat diet...cream instead of milk and lots of butter and fatty foods...so to make a long story short it worked and his son never had any more of the seziures...and he made a film about it.

I wish I could remember who he was and what the name of the film was, but it was too long ago for my memory to dredge it up.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 05:08 PM

10. Sounds like Lorenzo's Oil

Sounds like Lorenzo's Oil but that was made in the early '90s. Here's what Wiki has to say.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenzo's_Oil

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Response to ryan_cats (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 05:22 PM

13. Yes that sounds like it.

But I don't think I saw the movie, on reflection but a film about the movie because it had the filmmaker on their talking about it...like I said my memory is not all that good.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 07:07 PM

22. Was it Jim Abrahams?

I remember seeing or hearing about it as well. He produced the movie First Do No harm & it was the Ketogenic Diet for kid's with Epilepsy. It was dealing with a nurse from John Hopkin's if I remember right. He started the Charlie Foundation:

"The Charlie Foundation to Help Cure Pediatric Epilepsy was founded in 1994 after twenty month old Charlie Abrahams, having endured multiple daily seizures, and failed every available anti-convulsant drug and one brain surgery, was cured of his epilepsy by the ketogenic diet at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The diet was undertaken despite resistance from the five pediatric neurologists he had seen.

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Response to Michigan-Arizona (Reply #22)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 08:53 PM

29. That sounds like it.

That must be what I saw.
Thanks for clearing it up for me.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #29)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 09:42 PM

31. You are very welcome!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 04:59 PM

8. In other countries, there is actual honest scientific research

 

into native medicines. I know, I was part of it, and I know that those many herbs and other remedies have valid medical uses.

Here it is called Woo, in other places it is called scientific research.

As to the rest, well, after the gender wars, now we have the woo wars, time to judiciously again, use the trash thread. This is what DU has come down to.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 07:33 PM

26. as a scientist, I can offer a different perspective....

Many many pharmacologically active compounds are expressed in "herbs and other remedies"-- that is not in doubt, so no one should dismiss them out of hand. However, and I'm sure you know this, the line between science and woo is somewhere between thoughtful testing and application of those herbs and other remedies, with objective data collected and scrutinized, and the magical thinking that simply accepts that they're effective because they're "natural" or some such nonsense. And of course every time someone reports that they miraculously recovered from stage 4 liver cancer after a strict regime of enemas and green tea-- I'm just making that example up-- woo happens when others accept their anecdote as evidence for yet another miracle cure without question, and without any real data.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #26)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 07:39 PM

27. Alas this is what I am talking about

 

http://www.ceprobi.ipn.mx/OfertaEducativa/MCDPB/coordinacion/Paginas/Coordinacion.aspx

There is actual research into how these things work. Here people go for them since we know they "work" since many folks have come from cultures where they are used regularly. Most folks either embrace them as absolutely working, or reject them as woo.

In other places scientists are working with curanderas to find how the hell they work, and if they are useful, if we can synthesize them. The problem with teas is the lack of a consistent dose. We really need to change some of our attitudes.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #26)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 10:09 PM

33. Valid points.

Your position is solid. And you present it in a rational, objective manner. That is distinct from some of the petty nonsense that is substituted for debate on this forum in recent times -- on a variety of topics. No group has a monopoly or exclusive rights to being obnoxious here. (smile)

For sake of discussion -- and I want to highlight that it's not meant to argue (and I'm confident that you know that, so I say this for others who may not know either you or I) -- my ancestors didn't "test" the White Pine bark in a manner that would be considered a controlled scientific experiment. But they knew what they were attempting to do, and were successful.

I think of science as essential for the survival of our species. More, it adds to the quality of life. I'm not supportive of uninformed people, no matter how well-intentioned, attempting to practice "grass roots" medical work. I spent years in assisting a medicine man gathering the roots and herbs he used in his "free clinic." It's not an art that the average person should attempt. And while there are numerous things that can be treated by "folk medicine," there are many that absolutely cannot be. There are many, many outstanding medical professionals in our society, and hopefully our socio-economic system will be expanded to where every person has access to high-quality care.

Thank you for your contribution to this thread!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #33)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 10:30 PM

34. in my discipline we make a strong distinction between science and natural history...

...without attaching value judgements, generally. Both are important. I raise the point here because there are two ways to achieve predictability in nature. The first is generally the domain of science, where mechanistic understanding underpins prediction. In your example, that would require analysis of white pine bark tea and formal experimentation to test various hypotheses.

The second, more often associated with natural history, is predictability through repeated observation. One need not know anything about orbital mechanics to predict the changing seasons, for example. Natural history is not unscientific per se-- many students make that mistaken assumption and think that once we get out the sophisticated measuring equipment we've left nature history behind and begun doing science. It is often quite difficult to convince them otherwise.

Science and natural history are like two sides of the same coin, two approaches to achieving predictability, which is important because true things remain true as long as their context is constant. Your ancestors discerned an effect of white pine bark tea through repeated observation. Whether that began as a formal inquiry is ultimately unimportant, I think. The knowledge was acquired, and subsequent experiences confirmed its predictable effects.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #34)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 12:49 PM

50. +1 to this post and your post before this one

About as succinct a summary of the difference between magical thinking and rational thought in this context as I could imagine.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #26)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 02:24 PM

57. As someone who has been jumping through hoops to get

 

Testing done, it's NOT easy. The only reason we've gotten as far as we have (and still have a long way to go) is because of the parents. I believe the same thing happened in the autism community.

On a good note, just got notified that a family in England's child started turning over yesterday back to front and front to back six times in a row. They've been using the protocol for about four weeks now; their baby will be 24 months next week. They are seeing the same pattern of improvement with increased appetite, etc.

Another "lucky" child.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 01:28 PM

54. You realize...

"In other countries, there is actual honest scientific research into native medicines."

You realize we do this research here, right? Hell, there's a lot of research looking at natural substances that might be cures for diseases. One of the serious problems with cutting down the rain forest is there are plants that might contain natural cures for diseases. HOWEVER, these have to be tested using a double-blind control group. Unless that happens, then any herbal remedy is just woo.

In the United States, anything can be sold as a Herbal Remedy without any evidence that is works. For fuck sake, they don't even have to contain the herbs they say they contain...

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/05/science/herbal-supplements-are-often-not-what-they-seem.html?_r=0

Why would anyone trust a totally unregulated market over something that has to undergo rigorous testing.

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Response to CSStrowbridge (Reply #54)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 02:37 PM

59. I know how research is done

 

You do realize that is how it is done abroad too? You also did read what I wrote about US pharma trying to steal that biodiversity from other nations? Right?

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 05:03 PM

9. WooHoo!

I don't get it. What the woo is going on? Woo started all this wooinism?

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Response to MyNameGoesHere (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 09:21 PM

30. I was just scared that "woo me with sciene" had been banned from DU

an herbalist-vs.-Bell-Curver war won't really damage DU's community like that would

aanndd we're back to It's Always Sunny

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 05:11 PM

11. +1000

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 05:17 PM

12. One would think that it would be redundant to tell the "politically liberal" posters in DU to

 

have "an open mind." I wish it were so.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 06:08 PM

18. It's fine to have an open mind...

...but don't let it be so open that your brains leak out.

The "woo" being derided here isn't stuff that works that science hasn't investigated to understand why. It's assertions that clearly and completely go against all scientific evidence simply because people want it to be true. Usually based by appeals to emotion and conspiracy based rumor mongering, rather than logic.

Being fact based, reality based, isn't where the GOP is at right now. So it makes perfect sense for Democrats to take emotional arguments, and subject them to scrutiny.

Of course we have a handful of people on our side who engage in this sort of behavior. (And they seem to congregate here in the D.U. for some reason.) But it is better for Democrats to hold the line on this, whether or not your feelings get hurt.

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community

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Response to ConservativeDemocrat (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 07:22 PM

25. The problem I see is that a small group has decided that they can make the decision

 

as to what is woo and CT and they wont listen to debate. They are not open-minded but willing to disparage and deride those who do not agree with their definitions. When something goes to the hosts or jurors, we should respect the decision whether we like it or not.

I believe its a very small group that are responsible for a majority of the alerts. I think they try to use the alert system to shut down arguments that go against their world views. I find it's usually the conservatives that are stubborn and not willing to listen. They think that there is only one right answer and they know what it is and are not at all willing to recognize that most things are subjective.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #25)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 06:51 AM

36. +1 a whole bunch.......nt

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 06:15 PM

19. +10

 

I could , but i know the answer, not enough here who are actually "politically liberal".
Oh where is the DU of old, from before many were run off, or gave up and left?

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 05:35 PM

14. An open mind is not "woo".

But one's mind should not be so open as to be drafty.

Anecdotal evidence is evidence. But it is only indicative, not definitive. When the friend made the clay pot connection, he had an indication. So he did a study (experiments) and obtained scientific evidence, which is much more definitive.

Another lesson to learn from the story is that "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence". It is only indicative. However, when the absence is repeatedly tested in multiple ways, those indicators can add up to a nearly definitive statement. But technically it can never be definitive.

In this case, the strong anecdotal evidence was sufficient motivation for the friend to continue looking for positive definitive evidence. His persistence paid off, where some might have been satisfied with the "absence of evidence" and written off the anecdotes. His work showed that would have been a mistake.

All the same, it is important not to draw too strong a lesson here. It would be "woo" to persist too long, especially if the anecdotal evidence is not strongly indicative, as it was in the Iroquois case. When one researcher looking at a hypothesis a few different ways fails to find evidence, that is very different from multiple researchers following many lines and failing to find support for a hypothesis.

I would like to know if your friend was able to research the diabetes issue and what he found.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 05:39 PM

15. Recommend nt

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 05:46 PM

16. I'm sure the PTBs thought Galileo and Copernicus were "woo," too.

I agree with you. It's always better to keep an open mind. No matter how "smart" we think we are, we don't know everything.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 06:52 AM

37. Excellent point, Blue.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 09:17 AM

40. No, TPTB were the ones peddling the woo.

 

And were annoyed when someone contradicted them with actual scientific observations.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 04:16 PM

63. Is it not the case that the more we learn...

... the more we realize how much we don't yet know or understand?

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #63)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 06:32 PM

65. Yes, that's the way I see it.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 05:48 PM

17. Everything science now knows......

 

...it all started with ''woo.''

- K&R

Health Benefits of Pine Needles

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 06:17 PM

20. Absolutely. An open mind cures many aches and pains.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 06:19 PM

21. Well Reasoned(nt)

 

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 07:09 PM

23. Sorry, H20 Man, but your friends story makes no sense

Rickets is a deficiency disease of childhood caused by lack of vitamin D normally because the victim is not getting enough vitamin D from either sunlight or their diet. For adults (Jesuit missionaries) vitamin D deficiency would evidence as bone fragility and perhaps some anemia but would not be called "rickets". The general debility of a vitamin D deficiency would not be cured by a short course of vitamin D supplement. Additionally it would be highly unlikely they would suffer such extreme effects as long as their faces received an hour or two of daylight in every day and, like good Catholics of the time would, if they ate fish once a week.

What makes the story even more curious is that vitamin D is not soluble in water and is not denatured by boiling nor by contact with iron or copper utensils, so what gives?

Now, white pine bark does contain vitamin D and several other vitamins - notably vitamin C and in summer traveling Europeans were liable to scurvy but vitamin C becomes unstable in solution and is destroyed by boiling - so that is not the solution.

In continental America there used to be a common illness suffered by native Americans and colonists called "Rabbit Starvation". This illness is a vitamin E deficiency brought about by eating very low fat meats like rabbit as a staple. Unlike vitamin D, vitamin E is denatured by contact with iron or copper but there are two problems here (1) vitamin E is not water soluble and (2) native Americans were fully aware of the real cure - eating fat from virtually any animal other than rabbit.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 12:57 PM

51. But it was a natural solution from morally superior indigent people!

Please stop complicating the morality lesson with actual facts!

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Response to intaglio (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 03:01 PM

60. Perhaps the OP meant "scurvy", not rickets.

Scurvy is caused by vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C is soluble in water, but as an acid (ascorbic acid), it can react with iron pots (less so with stainless steel, perhaps, but maybe even then) or aluminum pots (not from the 1600s, but might have been used by 20th century researchers).

The Iriquois may not have been actually boiling the bark. They may have been heating it to less than 70 degrees.

Further, the clay pot issue is important in the heating of Vitamin C because metals like tin compete with ascorbic acid in the major pathway of oxidation of the Vitamin C. It is the oxidative effects of air (accelerated by heat) that degrade Vit. C.

Finally, even if a high percentage of Vitamin C were destroyed by the preparation with heat, there would be still a lot left to treat the illness. When you are comparing to the zero Vitamin C in the missionaries diet, then "something", anything, is a huge increase.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #60)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 03:19 PM

61. As I pointed out in my post vitamin C becomes unstable in water

and is destroyed by boiling, it is not particularly vulnerable to being denatured by contact with metals.

To repeat, personally I think that vitamin E deficiency might have occurred and vitamin E is destroyed by contact with metals but, and it is a big but, it is not water soluble. It might be that boiling is needed to mobilise the vitamin E within the bark but there problem with that is that the known cure for this type of sickness - called Rabbit Starvation - is eating fat obtained from a non-lean animal like an elk, beaver, porcupine or otter.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #61)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 03:25 PM

62. As I pointed out, it was not necessarily boiled, and minimal amounts can survive to cure scurvy. nt

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #62)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 06:07 PM

64. No, it is the solution on water that renders vitamin C unstable

and it takes little heat to denature it.

Additionally as you could not be bothered to read either my post nor the OP I will quote the OP; last sentence paragraph 6:
To make a long story a little shorter, it involved boiling the inner bark of a White Pine; that tea successfully treated rickets.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #64)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 09:05 PM

66. I did read, which is why I responded the way I did. Where is the OP?

1. It takes 70 degrees Celsius to denature it. That's more than "a little heat".

2. Chemical reactions rarely proceed to 100% unless there are extremes of energy or time or a catalyst is present. Thus heating to 70 deg C will denature some, maybe even most of it, but not all of it.

3. When someone is telling an anecdote they do not necessarily use scientifically precise language. Thus it is possible that the Iroquois back in the 1600s gently steeped the pine bark without bringing it to a boil. We are reading about it third or fourth hand.

4. Even if it was boiling, a small amount of Vitamin C can survive. That can be enough to cure (greatly improve) scurvy, when the victim previously is not getting any.

5. Pasteurized orange juice is brought to near boiling or boiling and yet Vitamin C survives. That is distinct from flash pasteurized which is much quicker.

6. Did you read my posts? Some of these points I'm making for the third time and you haven't responded to them. However, at this point I'm losing interest.

7. The OP seems to be missing in action and has not cleared up a number of hanging questions and issues about his interesting story.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #66)

Tue Jan 7, 2014, 08:51 AM

67. OP = Original Post, the post that started this discussion

1) 70 degrees is far below boiling point, indeed it requires considerably less heat to raise water to that temperature than to continue to take the water to boiling point, you are confusing heat with temperature.

2) Nice high school chemistry and, very loosely, true; but many experiments were carried out by the Royal Navy regarding scurvy and cooked, heated or preserved food was completely ineffective at preventing or alleviating scurvy. The reaction might not continue to completion but if insignificant amounts of the ingredient are left they will not help because, not all of a nutrient is absorbed when in the gut and you need a certain concentration to begin absorption.

3) But if you want to accept an anecdote as evidence that anecdote has to carry some resemblance to reality. So far the strikes against this anecdote are:
a) Not rickets because rickets is a disease of childhood, the symptoms in adults do not permit it being called rickets;
b) Adults in the wilds do not get vitamin D deficiency unless north of the arctic circle in winter, additionally (being Catholic) they would be eating fish at least once a week;
c) Vitamin D is not soluble in water and is not denatured by heat or contact with metals;
d) If another deficiency was meant then the likely alternatives are Scurvy (vitamin C) and Rabbit Starvation (vitamin E) - note that Rabbit Starvation does cause bloating similar to rickets;
e) I considered scurvy unlikely because of the instability of vitamin C in heated water and its stability in contact with metals, if vitamin C was required then just pounding the bark in water would mobilise sufficient vitamin C to help a scurvy victim;
f) I considered Rabbit Starvation much more probable as it was a common sickness of explorers early in the occupation of the Americas but that a caveat applied to that as well, specifically that native Americans knew the cure was fat not bark.


4) As noted in my point (2) the Royal Navy would disagree with you on that.

5) Pasteurised orange juice has to have vitamin C added because the vitamin C originally in the product is denatured by the heat; the advertising tells you that orange juice naturally contains vitamin C but doesn't mention that it does not have vitamin C after Pasteurisation.

6) Yes and I have responded at length - in this case in the same format. Would you care to comment about my rabbit starvation theory - which seem to be closer to reality

7) H2O Man is about and will comment when he feels it necessary. All I have said that the story, as told to him by his friend, does not hold water

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Response to intaglio (Reply #67)

Tue Jan 7, 2014, 07:29 PM

68. OP = Original Poster. If you read my post that would have been clear to you.

I did not write "what is the OP", but "where" is the OP. I am quite well aware that OP can refer to the post or the poster (the person writing the post).

You understood the meaning of OP in the 7th point quite clearly as Original Poster, but not in the title. Ok.

We are speculating until the Original Poster (OP) (H2OMan) responds to clarify things. Without his assistance it becomes rather pointless since we have both made our points.



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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #68)

Tue Jan 7, 2014, 07:39 PM

69. And I told you where it was

Now would you care to actually comment on the substance of my last post?

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 07:22 PM

24. you've also described the scientific method at work....

Hypothesis: if the active ingredient in the tea was altered by heating in a steel pot, then boiling in a ceramic pot will produce active tea.

Data collection: compare the efficacy of tea boiled in metal pots and in ceramic pots. Now here's where you didn't provide enough information about how much confidence we might have in your friend's result, such as how many times he repeated the experiment, and what the outcomes were each time. But if the result was unambiguous, then it's consistent with his hypothesis regardless, i.e. it fails to falsify it, so the only question is how likely this result is to be repeated in future.

You've even completed the process by publishing the results, on DU!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 07:44 PM

28. To Clay Pots and All the wonderful Plants on The Earth, H2O..

Know you garden!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 09:48 PM

32. I totally agree.



I tell this story, not to advocate "woo" over "science," but rather, to suggest that having an open mind is generally a good thing.



Thanks for the thread, H2O Man.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Jan 5, 2014, 11:22 PM

35. Thank you

I rarely discuss the amount of experimentation we've gone through in trying to help my son with his autism. Many things didn't pan out but off the top of my head, two things we tried made a big difference. One was a gluten/casein free diet (that one is actually finally being looked at, sort of, by the medical establishment), the other was very small injections of B12, not homeopathic doses but much smaller than what one would take for a B12 deficiency.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 08:23 AM

38. Having an open mind has not a DAMN THING to do with whether something is 'woo'.

Is it reproducible in controlled circumstances? Yes or no? If no, probably woo.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #38)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 09:21 AM

41. +10000000

 

If it fails to stand up to scrutiny under the scientific method, then it's bunk as far as I'm concerned.

It's not xenophobic or ethnocentrist to not trust "medicine" that hasn't been validated.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 08:53 AM

39. As I said else where.....

 


Woo is just science without all the funny symbols and numbers. Think of it as the world represented in water colors and not oils.

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Response to BrainDrain (Reply #39)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 09:23 AM

42. No, just the opposite.

 

Woo is all the funny symbols and numbers without the science.

Hence why it's called pseudoscience.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 09:35 AM

43. Rec'd

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 09:40 AM

44. Some woo turns out to be good medicine.

Other woo just remains woo. Do we get warts from toads? Does the baby of a pregnant woman who was frightened by a horse look like a horse? Does masturbation make you go blind?

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 09:49 AM

45. indeed. I find the current "woo" war, frustrating. why does everything have

 

to be either/or?

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 10:04 AM

46. rec.

 

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 11:14 AM

47. Thank you, H2O Man!

When it comes to our children, 30 years is yesterday.

"Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier." -- Dorthea Brande

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 11:23 AM

48. There's nothing about that story that was unscientific. Various variables were considered and

 

controlled for until the answer was found.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 12:46 PM

49. Drug companies scour the world for local remedies,

the number of drugs based on these is enormous. The woo is only when the drugs have proven worthless or dangerous in testing and purveyors of woo ignore the science.
While historically the "rickets" cure is interesting, it has little to do with what is and isn't woo. Something that can be proven to work is not woo. The bark certainly wasn't unethically tested on someone with rickets, so obviously the doctor already knew that he was looking for vitamin D and he knew how to find it. This had nothing to do with woo of any kind.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 01:18 PM

52. Best OP title ever.

 

I think of early studies of the pre Colombian cultures in Mexico, and how for years our experts read the information about a 'magic mushroom' as being some sort of magical delusion they'd speak of how these people 'believed a mushroom brought them visions'.
This went on until the 50's when a few researchers suddenly decided the thing might have been actual, went to look for it, ate the mushroom and had visions.

But then I think of many things, frequently.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 01:18 PM

53. no one is against discovery

 

the reason some things are called woo is that there is nothing but anecdotal evidence to support the claim

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 02:04 PM

55. I think you meant scurvy... not rickets...

 

...since every detail of your story matches those historical accounts except for the name of the condition.

And the explanation for how said tea treated that condition has been well known for a very very long time (It addressed the vitamin deficiency that caused it).


And whether this was talking about scurvy or rickets, seeing as the cause of those conditions (both are due to vitamin deficiencies) and their treatments (administer said vitamins) has been well understood for a VERY long time I'm having trouble believing your doctor friend was having any kind of trouble figuring out how a treatment worked on it. Are you sure your re-telling of this anecdote isn't just little bit off in the details?


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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 02:18 PM

56. What the hell is this 'woo' shit?

Where did this silly bit of Internet terminology come from?
A 12 year old?

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

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