Credit CDC PHIL
Early in the 20th century electrical shock devices were used by doctors, and sold to the public, as supposed `cures’ for a variety of ailments both real and imaginary. By the 1950s, when everything modern was `atomic’, people paid money to sit in uranium mines to soak up radon gas to `cure cancer’ or TB, or whatever might ail them.
Throughout history there have always been claims for mineral springs, medical devices, special foods, talismans, or supplements that they can cure a variety of ills.
Some, like making tea from willow bark (it contains salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin), are actually based on science – although dosing and possible side effects are problematic with this approach.
But most are pure bunkum - and either have no therapeutic value - or in some cases, can actually be dangerous. As long as there are desperate people looking for relief from illness, there will always be a ready market for all sorts of quack medicine and devices.
The FDA is the US agency in charge of regulating the drug industry, and today they have issued letters to three suppliers who are selling items they claim can either cure, or prevent, Ebola infection. Among the usual suspects in today’s roundup are `nano silver and a variety essential oils’, all with claims of curing everything from Ebola to PMS.
Here is the announcement, with embedded links to the letters sent to these distributors. These letters are both detailed and specific regarding the claims being made.
September 24, 2014 – FDA has issued Warning Letters to three firms marketing products that claim to prevent, treat or cure infection by the Ebola virus: Natural Solutions Foundation, Young Living, and dōTERRA International LLC. There are currently no FDA-approved vaccines or prescription or over-the-counter drugs to prevent or treat Ebola. Individuals and companies promoting these unapproved and fraudulent products must take immediate action to correct or remove these claims or face potential FDA action.
Experimental Ebola vaccines and treatments are in the early stages of product development, have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness, and the supply is very limited. There are no FDA-approved treatments for Ebola available for purchase on the Internet. A claim that a product prevents, treats, or cures a disease requires prior approval by FDA.