How I Evaluate Holistic Health Information and Avoid Being Duped

Summary: Learn how to evaluate “holistic medical” information like a professional, and avoid scams, quacks, rip-offs and as-yet-unproven therapies.

Hardly a day goes by that I am not asked, “Dr. Myatt, have you heard of such-and-such a therapy / remedy / herb / whatever.”

With thousands if not hundreds of thousands of “cures” and “new treatments” being touted, how do I separate the grain from the chaff and still have time to sleep?

Here’s how:

  • If I’ve never heard of it, that’s a bad sign. My research team and I spend much of the day reading medical journals – both conventional and alternative – in addition to news, editorials and “new cure” puff (sales) pieces. All new breakthroughs or “just discovered” research appears someplace. If there are no references except those put out by the manufacturer, my “bogus meter” starts to buzz. Even conventional medicine and its many drug-company ploys have been known to set off my alarm.
  • I subscribe to the “conspiracy theory,” but I don’t go overboard. Yes, the government, the FDA and Big Pharma really do ignore worthy treatments and cures if they can’t figure out how to make a buck from them. There’s a lot of skullduggery that goes on to be sure. But when someone tells me that I’ve never heard of a remedy because the government is suppressing it, I know that’s bogus. Even with suppressed therapies, you’ll find references and information about the subject in medical journals and alternative sources. For example, “The Black Salve” (used for melanoma skin cancer) will never be FDA approved. In fact, it’s difficult to get hold of. But you will find plenty of references to it, many of them credible. Even “outlawed” remedies will still have plenty of references in the holistic medical literature.
  • The Cure has “Testimonials only.” Oh yeah, lots of people are saying “this works great!” Who are these people, and how do I even know that these are legitimate testimonials? Further, if a lot of people say a product or remedy works great, someone would be taking up the cause and doing legitimate research to see if this “remedy” is reproducible. For any remedy you can name, I can find several people who swear it works. But remember, even a clock that has stopped working tells the correct time twice a day. Testimonials are good, but they should not supplant reproducible studies on a drug, herb, magnet or other remedy.
  • The only people who have studied the remedy are the one(s) selling it. “Dr. So-and-so” is the developer of aura-strengthening magnets which cure all disease. He’s been researching this for twenty years and used it on 5,000 patients. It works, and you can buy it from him. And by the way, no one else has done independent research on this product. (Probably because the Government is suppressing it – right?)
  • I check references. (The scientific references in support of a product or therapy). No references? Not a good sign. One lab rat study, reported 357 times on the internet (making each of those look like separate references) doesn’t cut it. References that don’t really support the claims? (’cause they thought no one would bother to check references) I’m outta’ here…

Life is short. I’m sure that by not examining 100 unproven remedies a day I might be overlooking one or two promising therapies a month. But there are so many proven therapies for everything that ails humankind, how much time should I spend on the “as-yet-unprovens”? Besides, if the “new thing” in question is legit, I know I’ll see or hear about it again, and soon. You can’t keep a good cure down.

Until I have confidence that a new treatment, product or other medical cure is effective, I’ll stick with what works and is scientifically verifiable and clinically reproducible. There are more than enough reliable remedies in the entire holistic health armamentarium to cure or control almost every disease, and new and provable ones are added to that list every day.

And that’s “the rest of the story.”