Saturday, January 23, 2016

#1578: Michael Ellenburg

Several states currently license naturopaths, and as a result Alaska, for instance, currently enjoys a bale of state-licensed crazies, frauds and idiots with no qualifications or understanding of medicine but who nonetheless call themselves doctors and are free to prey on sick people. Michael Ellenburg, for instance, peddles the whole range, from traditional Chinese medicine to ozone therapy to homeopathy. I’m not sure he stands out from any of the others, but if he’s a typical specimen – and we have all reason to think he is – the situation in Alaska is pretty depressing. Here is Ellenburg on one of his quack remedies, Bryomixol:

Bryomixol is an herbal therapy that targets the patient’s immune system function. In patients who have cancer they need to get their immune system to start working properly. Anyone who has cancer does not have a proper functioning immune system, otherwise they would not have cancer. Chemotherapy and Radiation are directed against the tumor(s), they do nothing to support the immune system. Bryomixol can be used in cancer to treat the patient’s immune system; it is not a targeted cancer treatment. Bryomixol specifically effects Natural Killer cell function. NK cells are involved in seeking out and destroying tumor cells, bacteria, and viruses.

You don’t need to know much about cancer to see some errors in Ellenburg’s description, but his patients probably don’t. How this nonsense doesn’t count as fraud beats me. (And no, bryomixol has absolutely no beneficial effects on anything whatsoever.)

Diagnosis: Woo. 

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