Medicine Quackery

A new method of colon cleansing?

When I first saw this, I thought that it had to be a joke, but now I’m not so sure. I’m guessing you’ve all heard of ear candling, which can supposedly cure tinnitus, clean the ear canal of wax buildup, relieve vertigo, cure swimmer’s ear, and provide a variety of other supposed health benefits?

Well, an orifice is an orifice, so are you ready for….ButtCandles™? (I don’t think that I am.)

According to the web page:

ButtCandles™ are an exciting, and time honored, device for internal cleansing. We encourage you to peruse our site, read the referenced medical literature, and then make an informed decision as to whether you want to purchase our high-quality sanitary products. We stand behind all of our products and offer a 100% money back guarantee for all unused/unspoilt product.

From the FAQ:

Q: Is the ButtCandle™ really a candle?

A: Yes, but not necessarily what you might picture as your dining room table variety of candle. In length and diameter, it’s similiar to common candles. However, a hollow channel is cut from bottom to top which causes air to be drawn from the base to the top. In practice, this creates a vacuum at the base which, when inserted in the rectum, gently dislodges intestinal and rectal blockage.

Gee, sounds as though it will work for me, but I have a concern, and I’m guessing a lot of you could guess what it is:

Q: Should I be concerned about bodily gas?

A: The unique design and shape of the ButtCandle™ allows for any natural gas to either dissipate or burn w/o fear of personal discomfort or injury.

Imagine my relief.

I’m convinced that this page has to be a big joke. No, it isn’t the ludicrousness of the material on it that led me to conclude this. I’ve seen altie claims every bit as bizarre as the ButtCandle™. The real reason that I’m sure this is a big joke is because there is no link that I can find to a page that would allow you to actually purchase the ButtCandle™ online. No self-respecting altie would put up a web page offering 15% discounts for such a product and not actually include a link allowing the reader to buy the product.

If it isn’t a joke, this has to be the lamest altie entrepreneur I’ve ever seen.

{Hat tip to Curbstone Critic.}

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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