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Sh*t Naturopaths Say, part 7: Mismanaging erectile dysfunction, collagen diseases, and gynecology

Welcome once again to Sh*t Naturopaths Say, my periodic look at what naturopaths say behind closed doors (metaphorically speaking). At least, it’s a look at what they say when they are discussing patient management with their peers. It is a series to which I can add new entires from time to time, thanks to Naturopathic Chat (NatChat, for short), a discussion forum with hundreds of naturopaths as members that also includes someone who goes by the ‘nym Naturowhat and occasionally leaks the content of the forum to a Pastbin. Also, it never hurts to remind my readers of the quackery that is naturopathy given that there is a bill, HB 4531, currently being considered in the Michigan House of Representatives that, if passed, would give naturopaths a broad scope of practice almost equivalent to primary care physicians, like family practitioners or internists. (The only difference would be that naturopaths couldn’t prescribe controlled substances.) So, until this bill is defeated (assuming it’s defeated), I’m going to be writing about naturopathy more than I have in the past.

Before I delve into the latest installment, I fell obligated to emphasize yet again that the vast majority of naturopathy is quackery. Naturopathy, as regular readers know, is a medical “profession” that claims to use the “healing power of nature” to treat disease instead of evil pharmaceutical medicines and surgical steel. Originating in the 19th century German “natural living” movement, naturopathy is based on a vitalistic, prescientific worldview. True, naturopathy does purport to embrace diet, exercise, and lifestyle interventions as a means of disease treatment and prevention, but the problem is that such interventions are already part of science-based medicine and all naturopathy does is to infuse them with pseudoscience. In any event, if you have any doubt just how much naturopathy is quackery, consider this. The One Quackery To Rule Them All, homeopathy, is an integral part of naturopathic training, taking up big chunks of curriculum time in naturopathy schools and even being a part of the naturopathic licensing examination, the NPLEX. In other words, you can’t have naturopathy without homeopathy. Moreover, we have copious examples of the disaster that strikes whenever a naturopath tries to treat a real disease. As if their embrace of homeopathy weren’t enough, naturopaths are also, by and large as a profession, antivaccine to the core, the attempts of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) and other groups to argue otherwise notwithstanding.

When last we left our intrepid band of NatChat naturopaths, they were discussing how to treat a potentially deadly disease, bipolar disorder, a disease that can easily lead to suicide during a depressive phase, with homeopathy. We now pick up on a similar thread that demonstrates naturopaths’ embrace of the ultimate pseudoscience known as homeopathy, this time to treat erectile dysfunction. A naturopath named Melanie Whittaker asks:

Younger gentleman (early 30’s) with myasthenia gravis not willing to do Viagra. Asking for some herbal or specific nutritional support for difficulty keeping erections. Suggestions for something that will help? He is on a constitutional homeopathic which will help overall, but of course he is asking for something now to help. Just checking in for more ideas.

Myasthenia gravis (MG), for those unfamiliar with the disease, is an autoimmune neuromuscular disease in which circulating antibodies block nicotinic acetylcholine receptors at the postsynaptic neuromuscular junction; i.e., the receptors that transmit the message from the nerve to the muscle. As a result, the ability of motor neurons to stimulate the muscle to contract is impaired. The main symptom of the disease is painless weakness of specific muscles, rather than fatigue. The muscle weakness becomes progressively worse during periods of physical activity and improves with rest. About 2/3 of the time, the first muscle weakness noted is in the muscles around the eye. There can also be weakness of the muscles involved in swallowing and voice, and facial muscles can be affected. There are different variants of MG, but the usual treatment involves medication that increases the amount of acetylcholine and immunosuppressants. Thymectomy can also alleviate symptoms.

I did a bit of searching on erectile dysfunction (ED) and MG because I’m not an expert in myasthenia gravis. Given that MG is a disease that primarily affects the nicotinic receptors in the skeletal muscle, there is no a priori reason to expect that MG would cause ED. There is, however, a syndrome called Lambert Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS), which is related to MG in that it is caused by auto-antibodies to voltage-gated calcium channels at the presynaptic (nerve) side of the neuromuscular junction leading to a reduction in the amount of acetylcholine released from nerve terminals, that has ED as one of its symptoms. Whether or not the MG or LEMS was a direct cause of this man’s ED, I can say for sure that homeopathy won’t help him, nor is whatever homeopathic remedy he’s getting helping him.

So if homeopathy isn’t doing it for this man unwilling to take Viagra or another drug for ED, what is the suggestion? Fortunately it’s not more homeopathy. Unfortunately, it’s saffron, recommended by someone named Jacob Schor:

Daniel Landers reviewed an interesting article for NMJ recently on topical saffron salve.

Topical Saffron for Diabetic Erectile Dysfunction
Topical Saffron for Diabetic Erectile Dysfunction
ReferenceMohammadzadeh-Moghadam H, Nazari SM, Shamsa A, et. al. Effects of a topical saffron (Crocus sativus L) gel on erectile dysfunction in diabetics: A ra…
View on www.naturalmedicine…
Preview by Yahoo

and Heather H. wrote a longer review not too long before….. easy, cheap, not viagra…..

Saffron Improves Sexual Dysfunction
Saffron Improves Sexual Dysfunction
ReferenceKashani L, Raisi F, Saroukhani S, et al. Saffron for treatment of fluoxetine-induced sexual dysfunction in women: Randomized double-blind pla…
View on www.naturalmedicine…

The articles referenced appear to be this review article and this one, which has nothing to do with ED given that it’s a discussion of a trial in women. In any event, there are apparently a couple of small randomized controlled trials suggesting that saffron rubbed on one’s member can improve sexual function in men with ED due to type II diabetes. One of the reviews mentions that a much larger study failed to find an effect due to saffron. So basically, there’s conflicting evidence: A couple of small trials with positive results and a larger one with a negative result. When faced with such evidence, a science-based physician would likely conclude that saffron either doesn’t work or that there isn’t enough high quality evidence to conclude one way or another.

Not Melanie Whitaker:

WOW, thanks Jacob. I think I should try this on some of my patient population.

Although my M. G. patient does have neurological disease, who knows, maybe this will help even a little.

I was wondering about purity and potency of product for all these trials (like the one that had no results) and where I might get the purist form? or even get some gel-which sounds like I should make it? Saffron is so expensive that there is a lot of fake product out there.

Oh, wait. Saffron is expensive? In any case, one can’t help but wonder how much money is to be made selling saffron to men with ED. Also, one can’t help but point out that MG is not a neurological disease. The nerves function normally; it’s the receptors after the nerves that have a problem, and that problem is caused by autoantibodies to those receptors.

Next up, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS, to be distinguished from ED), this time from naturopath Pina LoGiudice:

Hello Friends!
Happy 4th of July weekend. I am looking for some assistance with Ehlers-Dalos Syndrome. I have never treated it before and could really use some amazing resources, information, pearls, words of wisdom.

Even if there is any ND that you know out there that has a large knowledge base on the subject or experience, I am happy to refer. The family is here in NY, but they are more than happy to do phone/skype visit.

Thanks for the help!

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is a collection of diseases of connective tissue caused by a defect in the production, structure, or processing of collagen, the major structural protein in the body. It’s a disease that’s been known for a very long time, its features having been described by Hippocrates. There are several types of EDS with signs and symptoms that can vary from patient to patient but often include hyper-flexible joints, unstable joints, fragile skin, easy bruising, and hyperelastic skin that can be stretched much farther than normal skin. There can be cardiovascular effects, such as valvular heart disease, arterial aneurysms and rupture due to weakened connective tissue in arteries, and GI symptoms, such as gastroesophageal reflux, hiatal hernia, and anal prolapse. Basically, it’s a disease that’s challenging to deal with because collagen is such a critical structural protein, with different collagens being found in basically every body structure, hence the wide variety of problems associated with EDS. Treatment of EDS is basically supportive and palliative. In other words, it’s directed at alleviating symptoms and preventing complications. EDS patients can have a normal lifespan, but if there is blood vessel involvement there is a high risk of arterial rupture and a much-shorted lifespan.

So what do naturopaths suggest for EDS? Anne Van Couvering suggests:

I have been working with a patient who is seeing some progress, but would love to tap in to a doc with more knowledge.

So far, bone broth, cell salts, proteoglycans (aloe, Lions Mane mushrooms) and hormone balancing have been somewhat helpful. Check for SIBO.

A curious note: a colleague in transgender medicine is noticing a larger percentage of her trans patients have ED

That’s all I know besides what’s in the literature (supremely unhelpful literature, IMHO)

Please keeps me in the loop if you do find someone who knows more!


Meanwhile, Phillip Cooper suggests:

Excellent article
Suggests very large co q10 doses among others, hopes this helps. BTW, excellent blog for fibro and CFS.

Remember how I like to quote Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry Callahan in Magnum Force, when he says, “A man’s got to know his limitations”? First, I quote it because it’s true. Second, I quote it because naturopaths don’t know their limitations. I’m sorry, but EDS is a disease of collagen or its associated proteins. bone broth, cell salts, and the like are incredibly unlikely to help.

But what is SIBO?

Glad you asked! SIBO stands for “small intestinal bacterial overgrowth” and is a favorite dubious diagnosis of naturopaths. That’s not to say SIBO isn’t a real condition. It can be. Basically, it’s a condition in which colonic bacteria somehow find themselves growing in the small intestine. The problem is that what real doctors call SIBO and what fake doctors (naturopaths) call SIBO are related only by coincidence, or so it would seem. Basically, if you go to a naturopath with almost any GI complaint you’ll either be diagnosed with SIBO or tested for SIBO. As Mark Crislip remarks, it’s yet another One True Cause of Disease, albeit GI disease, based on naturopaths taking preliminary associations and cementing them into dogma.

Finally, we have this case from Sara Norris:

I’ve been working with a 41 year female with persistent vaginitis and vulvodynia for the last 5+ years. Pt currently co-maged with a uno-gynecologist and is on ketokonazole qod, caprylic acid po, boric acid pv 2x a week, and vaginal and oral probiotics. Despite this onslaught of anti-candidal treatments her vulvodynia and vaginitis persist, and on 3 repeated DD vaginosis profiles I’ve seen a 4+ positive for enterococcus faecalis. (I’d love to get her off some of the anti-candida treatments, but she is resisted until current sx resolve)

I’ve thrown GSE 500 mg bid x 14 d and Cipro 500 mg bid x 5 d, at the enterococcus without any decrease. I see on the sensitivity testing that it will also respond to silver (mod. response), caprylic acid (mod. response), GSE (highly sensitive), ampicillin, and vancomycin.

I’m unable to find any protocols either natural or conventional for this bacteria, yet I read over and over again that this has multi-drug resistance.

Persistent vaginitis can be a difficult problem to manage, but there are treatment options that are still science-based, even after persistence or recurrence after initial treatment. That is, of course, not what Norris’ fellow naturopaths suggest, though. For instance, Kim Furtado suggests a mixture of somewhat sensible with ridiculous:

For this patient, I would suggest some more testing: circadian cortisol and Dhea ; cycling female hormone profile; vitamin D; thyroid panel.

In most persistent cases of vaginitis that I have treated, the key to resolution is treating the underlying environment, not the anti microbial. Very commonly there are severe luteal defects and progesterone balancing helps a lot. I like to use Thymus glandular for restoring immune function. And balancing stress response if adrenal hormones are not balanced. Stress response hinders immune response and maybe why she is not responding.

Also some practical matters, asking about relationship issues, digging a little deeper into her relationship with partner. I refer to Louise Hayes work and Christiane Northrup who write eloquently about vaginitis and vulvodynia and energetic root cause. I generally go so far as to discuss with the woman that the vaginitis or vulvodynia is a physical manifestation of that relationship dysfunction and foster that personal exploration for her to undertake. Also… Asking about sexual practice, anal sex in particular with vaginal penetration afterwards can be a factor with vaginitis. Worth asking about, maybe not relevant.

Yes, in the case of persistent vaginitis, considering the underlying environment can be important. However, thymus glandular is not going to “restore immune function” and get rid of the infection. This is basically voodoo, not unlike the use of bear bile or rhino horn in traditional Chinese medicine. Of course, the part about the “energetic root cause” is nothing more than pure naturopathic vitalism, particularly the part about the vaginitis or vulvodynia being a “physical manifestation” of the woman’s relationship with her partner.

If “engaging the energy” doesn’t work, Nan Dunne Byington wonders if this will:

I have just begun to work with a postmenopausal woman similarly infected. Prior to getting the DD vaginosis panel results that identified the bugs, metronidazole was ineffective but Wise Woman Healing Suppositories were and remain effectively soothing at 1 q 12 hrs. She shows positive for proteus as well, and zero lactobacilli.

Here’s the protocol we have started with:
1. In the evening prepare 1 cup warm water with 1 cap of grapefruit seed extract dissolved and use as a 10 minute retention douche; repeat for 5 nights
2. Take 1 capsule of grapefruit seed extract by mouth 4 times daily
3. Continue Healing suppositories 1 every 12 hrs vaginally for comfort as needed.
4. Thorne Undecylenic acid formula SF722 take one cap by mouth 3 times daily
5. Juglans nigra tincture 1 tsp (120 drops ) three times daily for 5 days, then 3/4 tsp (90 drops) three times daily for 5 days then 1/2 tsp (60) drops) until bottle is finished
6. Continue Enterogenic concentrate by mouth 2 x daily. After the 5 days of grapefruit seed extract douche, start inserting one cap HLC lactobacillis and bifidis vaginally at bedtime
7. She would like to consider vaginal estriol when things have normalized after this antimicrobial course.
8. She will be in touch if not clearly improved in 72 hrs

I’m not sure how effective adding a coco butter based suppository and a probiotic capsule at the same time is going to be, but we’ll find out. I am hoping the retention douche will be the ticket. I will let you know!

I didn’t know what Wise Woman Healing suppositories were; it turns out—surprise! surprise!—that they are homeopathic, calendula 6X based in cocoa butter and vitamin A, which are listed as the “inactive ingredients.” (One wonders why one would bother to put vitamin A into the suppository if it is “inactive.”) Be that as it may, the advice given is a mixture of vitalistic nonsense and herbal remedies galore.

To be honest, I have to conclude that this batch of NatChat leaks isn’t quite as bad as some previous ones. At least, for instance, the naturopaths seemed implicitly to realize that the “constitutional homeopathy” wasn’t working for the MG patient with ED. OTOH, there is also a case of a child with persistent constipation for which constitutional hydrotherapy was recommended. Basically, constitutional hydrotherapy involves the placement of hot and cold damp towels over the chest and abdomen and looks like this:

The bottom line is that naturopathy is at least 95% quackery, and I might be being too generous in my characterization. Naturopaths mix vitalism, herbalism, and a weak understanding of science. Licensing them as health care providers on par with family practice doctors would be a travesty and endanger patients in Michigan and every other state in which bills like HB 4531 are being considered.

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]

50 replies on “Sh*t Naturopaths Say, part 7: Mismanaging erectile dysfunction, collagen diseases, and gynecology”

I’m just mad about saffron
And Saffron’s mad about me
They call them quacky NDs

Quite rightly.

Yep, saffron is expensive. $18 for a 1 gram jar from Penzey’s Spices.*

OTOH, it’s less than a sildenafil or tadalafil citrate prescription.

James 2:24

*Usual disclaimers apply: I give the nice clerk money, she gives me dried chilis and cocoa powder.

Every time you write about this I cringe anew at the thought of “doctors” actually commiserating this way to get fake treatments for real health issues–or fake ones. Their ignorance leaps off the screen. It’s like trading diet tips at a slumber party and then calling yourself a dietician, setting up shop and charging a fee to pass on the advice gained.

Think there’s an error in the SIBO para “The problem is that what real doctors call SIBO and what real doctors call SIBO are related only by coincidence”.

Seems a terrible waste of saffron to me, it tastes way too good to use in an ointment that’s not going to help as well as being so expensive.

Lemme get this straight: “Naturopathy, as regular readers know, is a medical ‘profession’ that claims to use the ‘healing power of nature’ to treat disease instead of evil pharmaceutical medicines and surgical steel.”

It this is true, why in hell would they want privilege to prescribe those very same “evil” medications???

@ darwinslapdog

Their ignorance leaps off the screen.

But they have so much fun playing doctor!
Reading their quotes, jumping from one idea to the next, I was picturing them running all around an hospital ward, dropping in a bout of singing and dancing with the patients every now and then.

Well, except for the one blaming one patient’s vaginal infection on the boyfriend. The bits about checking for hygiene may be warranted, the part about questioning the relationship itself…

The part about “I have no idea that mixing these two products will do, let’s find out” is definitively cringe-worthy. And these people complain about mainstream drugs or vaccines not having been “sufficiently tested”.

@ Jazzlet

Seems a terrible waste of saffron to me

Maybe we should ask if the woman with the embarrassing infection is the partner of the guy with the saffron.

i don’t really want to laugh at some poor guy with a disease leading to ED consulting a naturopath and being told that turning his willy orange will help but it’s so ridiculous that I am a little bit anyway. Do they think the problem is that he can’t find it in the dark?

I’m particularly bothered by the suggestion that vulvodynia is a “physical manifestation of that relationship dysfunction.” This is the sort of thing that doctors used to say in the Victorian era, you know, when they could actually get away with just making up any shit that sounds plausible to them. Horribly patronizing and patriarchal.

Seems a terrible waste of saffron to me

In many men, simply rubbing, even without the topical saffron or any other substance, is sufficient. Admittedly, this may not be true of men with ED.

Ugh, this is disgusting. Hippies playing doctor and bilking patients for money. The saffron bit is particularly egregious.

@Cate, oh, good, I’m not the only one wondering about saffron’s ability to lend a lovely bright color to things.

This is the sort of thing that doctors used to say in the Victorian era, you know, when they could actually get away with just making up any shit that sounds plausible to them. Horribly patronizing and patriarchal.

Good point. One I should have made. Maybe I’ll go back tonight and add a line or two about that. 🙂

being told that turning his willy orange will help

Man goes to his doctor. “I have a problem, doctor. My penis is orange.” Doctor examines the penis. It is indeed orange. “Are you sexually active?” “No, I’m celibate.” “What do you do when you get home from work?” “Well, I like to relax, watch some p0rn, eat some Cheezies…”

I’ll get my coat.

I like the indications for “constitutional hydrotherapy.”

Any GI complaints
Any cold or flu or as a preventative measure during cold & flu season
Any body temperature consistently below 98.6F (37C)

So if you have a child with persistent vomiting and abdominal pain…hot and cold towels?
How do hot and cold towels prevent viral transmission?
Should hypothermia be treated with hot and cold towels?

Why are these people so recklessly stupid?

Ehler-Danlos sounds remarkably similar to Epidermolysis Bullosa, except more survivable. I do think that the naturopaths got it sort of right on the bone broth, in the way that a blind person throwing darts might hit somewhere in the neighborhood of the target. For someone with digestive problems, soup is a great source of nutrition. But, oh the waste of saffron.

@Delphine #15:

I went to see my doctor today, and unfortunately she gave me some difficult news. She said, “Mr Woods, I’m afraid you’re going to have to stop masturbating.”

“Oh no! Why is that, Doctor?”

“Because I’m trying to examine you!”

Note that they recommend Louise Hays and Christiane Northrup – looking into ‘relationship issues’ and the ‘energetic
root cause”./ Illness as a ‘physical manifestation’

@ PGP:

And is that bone broth or boner broth?

( someone had to say it, it might as well be me)

I like the idea of calling them Nineteenth Century Doctors because a lot of their treatments sound like something out of a Jane Austen novel. The village apothecary visits the patient with a new tincture to try because the first one didn’t work and the patient is still sick, until the patient eventually gets well.

calendula 6X

That’s a mere millionfold dilution. It actually contains some of the alleged active ingredient. Though by the up-is-down logic of homeopathy, which holds that dilution increases potency, that means it’s not very potent. This may be a case of being right for the wrong reason.

I have never treated EDS before and could really use some amazing resources, information, pearls, words of wisdom.

‘Amazing’: “So remarkable as to elicit disbelief” Roget’s II.
Among the first 150 synonyms listed for ‘amazing’ on Rhymezone:

awful, unbelievable, unreal, magical, weird, crazy, freaky, hinky, terrible, shocking, horrendous, strange, odd, insane, unthinkable, inconceivable, dreadful, alarming, wacky, bizarre, puzzling, bonkers, perplexing, screwy, troubling, nuts, hallucinatory, demented, lunatic, delusional, brain-dead

So Pina LoGiudice posted her query in the right forum, I guess.

How about a new parlor game of fill-in-the-blank. “Hi, web friends! I’ve never ________ before, and could really use some amazing resources, information, pearls of wisdom.” (Edited so request does not endanger innocent oysters.) No medical examples allowed…
let’s see… ‘defused a nuclear warhead’…
Bonus points for examples based on knowledge in the humanities…
‘written a defintive history of Merovingian military organization” ???

You guys are awesome! Thanks for the help! Hugs, Smooches, and Smileys to you all!

@YCCP #10

I’m particularly bothered by the suggestion that vulvodynia is a “physical manifestation of that relationship dysfunction.” This is the sort of thing that doctors used to say in the Victorian era, you know, when they could actually get away with just making up any shit that sounds plausible to them.

Like Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber
“You know, medicine is not an exact science, but we are learning all the time. Why, just fifty years ago, they thought a disease like your daughter’s was caused by demonic possession or witchcraft. But nowadays we know that Isabelle is suffering from an imbalance of bodily humors, perhaps caused by a toad or a small dwarf living in her stomach.”

“Hi, web friends! I’ve never ________ before, and could really use some amazing resources, information, pearls of wisdom.”

Oh, that’s almost too easy. I have never written a washing bill in Babylonic cuneiform before. Or hummed a fugue of which I’ve heard the music’s din afore.

But at least I have some knowledge of the job I’m paid to do. As opposed to the Major General, whose military knowledge “has only been brought down to the beginning of the [nineteenth] century.”

Saffron for erectile dysfunction. Further to what Cate K says above.. Let’s say it does work. Leaping at your Significant Other waving a bright orange erection is more likely to scare the crap out of them than induce an atmosphere conducive to coitus.

Quacks like turmeric as well. What would a bright yellow willy do for things?

Leaping at your Significant Other waving a bright orange erection is more likely to scare the crap out of them than induce an atmosphere conducive to coitus.

This is just so ableist.

Did anyone else notice that the patient with ED thinks it’s more important to treat the ED then the degenerative disease which will likely kill him? I think dude needs to reorder his priorities.

DW: I made the mistake of reading Christianne Northrup’s blog once. Yii indeed. She’s what happens when someone takes a person of no particular brain and puts the brain in a blender with Dworkin, Daly, a few hundred randomly selected new-agey publications and a handbook of how to write romance novels. It’s amusing, but at the same time reminds me of watching a sinkhole eat a house. I have the same reaction to her that I have to Sarah Palin, though thankfully she’s less well-known: I wish they’d drop off the face of the earth, along with anything they’ve ever published or recordings made of them, and quit making their entire sex look bad.

Couldn’t help but notice the naturopath who prescribed ciprofloxacin for Enterococcus faecalis in a vaginal swab.

This organism is part of the normal vaginal flora, and does not cause vaginitis, vaginismus or vulvodynia.

Ciprofloxacin is an essential antibiotic for treating serious infection. It is idiots like this who misuse it that are directly responsible for the emergence of antimicrobial resistance in the community.

Another reason (as if one were needed) that these clowns should not be allowed near a patient or a prescription pad.

Leaping at your Significant Other waving a bright orange erection is more likely to scare the crap out of them than induce an atmosphere conducive to coitus.

This is just so ableist.

“Why do you want to talk about solubility at a time like this?”


I probably shouldn’t mention that but that remind me of the several inguinal hernia test I underwent ages ago…


Hey, if saffron is too expensive, try some Zaatar spice mix. Perfect as a surprise dessert after your romantic dinner.

Garou: Let me guess:it’s hot? Like nearly-a-religious experience hot?

Welp. Googled it and it’s tamer than I expected. Sounds very tasty, even if it’s not that hot. Put it up there just in case anyone wants to know how to make it. Although I think it’d be better on rice or chicken then on someone’s bits.
(As far as hot goes, I currently have a ready-made curry sauce that I’m trying to get through, and eating it is almost a religious experience. Both because it’s *really good* and because the top of my head feels like it’s being unscrewed. Thais would probably consider it mild.)

I’m going to refrain from the obvious orange-hued presidential candidate joke.

Couldn’t help but notice the naturopath who prescribed ciprofloxacin for Enterococcus faecalis in a vaginal swab.

Yeah, I saw that, too. I don’t know enough path to know the normal vaginal flora, but my thought was, I thought these naturopaths were supposed to be all this “holistic” crap? Your solution to infection is throw the hardest antibiotic you can at it? How conventional of you….

(although, as noted, that’s not the right treatment considering the pathology)

@ PGP:

Zaatar is really good. Some of the Middle Eastern groceries around here sell it ready made. There’s also some spicier mixture you put on chicken- which I don’t know the name of but I can recognise the lettering on the package- which is fabulous.

Well, didja know that spicy stuff can prevent muscle cramps? It must be true since a Nobel Prize winner is marketing the stuff.

“Dr. Skiba said he has noticed a significant number of endurance athletes who are indulging in spicy drinks before races now. To try to take advantage of that, Dr. MacKinnon, working with biotech entrepreneur Christoph Westphal, launched the company Flex Pharma Inc., which went public in 2015.

Earlier this year, the company brought to market Hotshot, a mix of ginger, cinnamon and capsicum—spicy pepper plants—that comes in 1.7 ounce bottles. It is currently available in select stores in Boston, Los Angeles and Boulder, Colo., and can be ordered online.

Dr. Skiba said more testing of Hotshot and other similar products is needed and that the nature of testing the products, or any pungent tasting substance presents an inherent difficulty. Because the taste is so strong, it is very difficult to create a placebo, so subjects invariably know they have ingested something and that can affect whether they experience a cramp.”

Link available through Google search at (direct link not permitted by TPTB).

Also, busy scientists in Iran have discovered that a saffron supplement works better than NSAIDs in preventing muscle pain and weakness after a hard workout.

“Things fall apart
It’s scientific”

@ Dangerous Bacon:

I’ve heard similar (woo) at
Supposedly, spices will soon replace NSAIDs et al. No need for pain meds I’m told.

Also, red fruits like Tart Cherries.

Delphine: I was going to ask why Fugue State is in Albuquerque, but Google informs me it’s not a fake university, but a low-budget ‘avant garde’ zombie movie set in New Mexico. Darn. I was hoping I could get a mail-order degree…

And what’s with the saffron as the ‘natural’ treatment for ED. Don’t naturopaths listen to sports talk radio? There are MANY natural products backed by clinical studies: Zyrexin, Activator-RX, Uroprin, Vigor Rx, Dioxadren, Cockstar, Argionic, O Max, Extendacal, Libimax, Erectinol, Veromax, Paravol, Wildman-X, Xiadafil, Ziapro, Lightning Rod, Betterman, Yohimbe Fuel, Red Kat, EV Strike, ArginMax, Uprima, Aspire 36, EneRx, Vitrix, Vazopren, Extendor, Libido Fuel, Rx-Erect, Vitality MD, Vahard, Ropex, Avocet XL, Vaso-Prophin, Hot Plants, Sildenaflex, Avela, Colossal, Endowmax, Elexia, Climax, Stamenex, Horny Goat Weed, Stim-U-Sens, VirMax DS, Lexaryn, Viswiss, Max Arouse, All Night Lover, Orviax, Embrace, Orexis, Damiana, Maca Man, Maca Magic, Russian Stallion, Super Macho, Excalibur, Power V, Cobra, Viag Cycle, In Vigra, Viagro, Natural V, Horny Toad, Actra-RX, Boom, Nasutra, Extagen, Herbal Niagra, Donginator, BIG Stick, Vinarol, Vigor 25, Levitrol…

Do any of these contain saffron? No! Are they what porn stars use? Yes! Do porn stars use saffron? No! There is saffron in Vialipro, but Ron Jeremy gives that product the thumbs down.

Yup, naturopaths are clearly clueless and incompetent, and I’d hope the Michigan House calls Mr. Jeremy to testify to their ignorance on the subject of ED. [/parody]

Link available through Google search at (direct link not permitted by TPTB).

Does the WSJ usually sell advertorials?

DW: Thanks for the tip about ready-made zaatar. I’ll keep an eye out for it; I was going to get spring roll wrappers anyway, and the store where I’m likely to find them at the best price probably sells zaataar- I know they sell garum masala, and also halal frozen foods, so it’s a good bet.

HDB: Only for viagra and it’s clones. All those old traders need help with those young trophy wives.

Saffron is so expensive that it spawns counterfeits. I have heard from a reliable tourist that Indian Street Vendors sell coloured threads dyed to resemble Saffron.

By “threads” I mean cotton/polyester, hemp, or flax sewing thread.

Totally irrelevant, but zataar, like garam masala, is uniquely and variously blended in the regions where it’s commonly used. It’s typically not hot but instead is astringent and somewhat citrussy, but the sumac it usually contains may be irritating to skin. Egyptian dakur/dakor and harissa in north Africa also all have regional variations. These are traditionally used topically for other than culinary purposes because of their inflammatory/anti-inflammatory effects.

I would like to respectfully suggest a correction. Myasethenia gravis is considered a neurologic disease- and is treated by neurologists (like me). We see as our purview the diseases of muscles, neuromuscular junctions, nerves, roots, spinal cord, and brain (even when they are autoimmune in origin).

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