It’s the spookiest time of the year, so we thought it would be good to go over some of the scariest questions we have been getting asked this month based on some very dangerous advice being given out online. Conspiracy theories can be fun, like Lizard People ( including totally human Ted Cruz, the Zodiac Killer) or Hollow Earth (one of my personal favorites); however, they start getting into extremely dangerous territory when that advice can cause serious harm or even kill.
While we get thousands of questions each month, some stand out more than others. Let’s jump right into some spooktober questions.
Are MMS (miracle mineral solution), sodium hypochlorite, sodium chlorite, and chlorine dioxide products good to take?
Years ago, when I first looked into MMS, I was shocked that companies were actually selling this for human consumption. There seems to be an uptick in interest in these products.
Companies recommend that these compounds be mixed with citric acid, lemon, lime, or orange juice. The chemical reaction between citric acid and sodium chlorite forms a type of bleach. You should never ingest bleach, no matter what anyone says. Regardless of what companies claim, this stuff is bleach, plain and simple. It is incredibly dangerous and can cause a host of health issues. It often causes vomiting and diarrhea, which companies like to claim shows that it is working. This could not be further from the truth, it is your body getting sick. Sometimes people claim they see parasites coming out in their stools when that is actually part of their intestinal lining that is being expelled from the damage caused by ingesting bleach. It can cause acute liver failure, intestinal damage, stomach lining issues, lung problems, life-threatening low blood pressure caused by dehydration, and much more. Please do not drink bleach; it is never a good choice and is not a cure or treatment for any disease. Here are some good references as to why you should not drink these things: 1,2,3. Whatever your health issues, bleach is not the answer.
Is turpentine good to take?
Turpentine is getting a resurgence in recommendations from certain online websites for treating a variety of health issues. Turpentine was used in the past for a variety of health issues. However, its dangerous and harmful effects far outweighed its benefits. Often people will use things in desperate times or when nothing else is available, but it does not mean we should continue using those things.
Turpentine is very dangerous, whether the traditional kind or the clear gum spirits (no matter what companies or people may claim about purity, all turpentine is poisonous). There is no safe form of turpentine. It can cause a host of health problems, such as:
The mouth, throat, and food pipe may have a burning sensation or burns; this may affect the eyes, nose, and ears.
Severe burns, which can result in perforations along the gastrointestinal tract.
Swelling of the throat, which can lead to speaking, swallowing, and breathing difficulties.
Breathing difficulties due to substance inhalation that may be severe; coughing, and choking.
Vision abnormalities, including vision loss
Blood in vomit and/or stool
Burning sensation on the skin, including skin burns
Bluish discoloration of the skin on the lips and beneath fingernails
Pain in the abdomen/stomach
Urination difficulties; blood in the urine (hematuria)
A sudden drop in blood pressure (hypotension)
Weakness and collapse
Often people and promoters claim that they see parasites or worms coming out in their stools when they take turpentine. Unfortunately, these are actually parts of the intestinal lining being expelled because of the turpentine. This can cause permanent damage to your intestinal and stomach lining. Please do not ingest turpentine; it is poisonous. No matter what companies or websites claim, there is no safe way to ingest turpentine and no safe turpentine products on the market, no matter what claims of “purity” they advertise. Here are some good references on why you should not drink turpentine: 1, 2, 3. No matter what your health issues are, turpentine is never the answer.
It's truly frightening that people are being told to drink dangerous industrial solvents.
Is over-the-counter ivermectin from the feed or pet store good to take?
Ivermectin is a prescription medication that is used to treat certain internal and external parasitic infections, as well as certain skin conditions. It is also used in farm animals to treat certain internal and external parasites. If your doctor prescribes ivermectin for the treatment of one of those parasites, you should follow their instructions and take it as directed.
The dangers of ivermectin come from people buying the kind that is meant for farm animals and taking large dosages of it. Over-the-counter ivermectin that is sold for farm animals is much more concentrated and in a much higher dosage than what would be prescribed for people. It is very easy to overdose on it. Self-medicating with a powerful prescription drug, at dosages meant for a two thousand-pound horse, will never be a good idea.
A lot of people are getting very sick from overdosing on ivermectin. In some cases, it can cause the intestinal lining to be damaged, and in extreme cases, parts of the lining will actually come out in the feces. Many people think they are pooping out worms when it is actually their intestinal lining. In addition, ivermectin overdose can cause nausea, vomiting, confusion, hallucinations, tremors, and in extreme cases, coma or death.
While ivermectin has real benefits for certain conditions when used as prescribed by your doctor, no one should take medication that is meant for farm animals, as it can have serious and very dangerous complications and is very easy to overdose on. Here are some good references on why you should not take over-the-counter ivermectin: 1, 2, 3, 4. Please talk to your doctor before taking ivermectin in any form.
So many people are taking ivermectin from the feed store, creating shortages for horses and other farm animals.
Is it good to inhale or ingest hydrogen peroxide?
When most people think of hydrogen peroxide, they think of the bottle that they have in their medicine cabinet that comes out twice a year when they need to use an antiseptic. Unfortunately, some famous people have been promoting it for dangerous uses.
For years, the very bad advice about ingesting "food-grade" hydrogen peroxide has been going around despite that being a terrible idea. There is actually no such thing as "food-grade" hydrogen peroxide; it is just marketing. Hydrogen peroxide can have some very bad health effects, such as tissue damage and inflammation, but lately, some truly horrible information has been going around telling people to inhale or nebulize hydrogen peroxide. I was truly shocked when I saw this being recommended. It is so incredibly dangerous.
It can cause severe tissue and lung damage if this is done, as well as a lot of lung inflammation, which is definitely not a good idea in these times. If someone has a respiratory illness and they nebulize and inhale hydrogen peroxide, it can create an extremely dangerous situation. Please do not do this. Here are some good references as to why you should not nebulize hydrogen peroxide: 1, 2, 3. Whatever your health issue is, ingesting or inhaling hydrogen peroxide is not the answer.
Is it safe to ingest essential oils?
While we have gotten this question a lot over the years, lately, it has come up a lot more. You should never ingest essential oils. There is no such thing as “therapeutic-grade” essential oils. There is no regulation of the term. Any company can claim their essential oils are “therapeutic-grade.” There is no level of purity or testing that can make them safe to ingest. Any company claiming their oils are safe to be ingested is not one you should trust. Even small amounts of them can cause significant poisoning. Ingesting essential oils can cause serious damage, including burns, to the esophageal, stomach, and intestinal lining. There is no safe way to consume essential oils. There are no properly done clinical trials showing they are safe to ingest. Just do not do it. Here is a great explanation from the Australian Department of Health explaining the risks.
Essential oils do have many wonderful uses; just don't ingest them.
Is inserting garlic vaginally helpful for yeast infections?
Listen, I’m an herbalist. I love herbs and plants. I married an Italian woman; garlic is my jam. However, the vagina is no place for a clove of it. Please do not put garlic in there. Garlic can contaminated with a bacteria from the soil called clostridium botulism (the bacteria that causes botulism). It thrives in an anaerobic environment. The vagina is an anaerobic environment. You do not want a vaginal infection from this bacteria. In addition, it can sometimes get stuck or break apart in there, creating quite a nightmare. Please do not insert anything vaginally, from garlic to jade eggs, that is not meant to be there. Save the garlic for your pasta sauce.
An amazing plant and culinary superstar, but not made for vaginas.
Whenever I write articles about things that are popular on the internet at the time, I often get called a shill for big pharma or a sheep of the FDA. I do not have any stake in or own any stocks in pharmaceutical companies. I have never worked for a pharmaceutical company or government agency, nor have I ever taken money from them. While I understand people (and rightfully so) being suspicious of the FDA and pharmaceutical companies, please know that I have no connection to any of them and am not trying to cover up any cures or suppress any information.
I am just an herbalist who gets really worried and concerned when I see lots of people doing things that could hurt them and upset when I see people who know better giving out dangerous advice.
If you have questions about health information you are not sure of, you can submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will do our best to get you answers. No judgment, no making fun of you; just getting you the answers you are looking for. We will never use your name or other personal information, and it will never be made public that you asked for information or help. Everything is completely confidential, so feel free to send any questions you want. We may even feature them in our next blog with more questions like these (of course, without saying who sent it in).
Or, if you have been trying to get through to a friend about some dangerous information, you can ask us to add the question to our next spooky questions blog and then forward our answers to them, letting you off the hook. We don’t mind taking the heat for you.
If you would prefer to ask your questions over the phone, you can schedule a free fifteen-minute call to get your questions answered!
Firefighter Parker says Happy Halloween!