She put WHAT in her vagina?

Toxic.

I cannot begin to imagine the pain this woman is in:

Has anyone vaginally applied bloodroot salve for cervical precancerous cells? If so please share your story. I applied it on Sunday and I am in a lot of pain.

img_1566

Putting bloodroot salve in your vagina is like putting battery acid in your vagina.

Bloodroot kills cancer cells, but so does battery acid.

What is bloodroot?

Bloodroot is a plant containing the active ingredient sanguinairine, which is an escharotic. That means that it can produce an eschar. And escar is different from a scab. A scab is dried blood and serum located on top of the skin. An eschar, in contrast contains necrotic (dead) tissue. A cut will produce a scab. Ulcerated tissue will produce an eschar.

Why would anyone think that treating precancerous cells with bloodroot salve is a good idea?

Because bloodroot can kill cancer cells … but then so can battery acid.

According to Quackwatch [N.B. Do not scroll down unless you want to see some very unpleasant images]:

…Their use to treat cancer dates back hundreds of years, perhaps even to ancient times. Their use was fairly common during the 18th and 19th centuries. If a tumor is confined to the superficial layers of the skin, it would be possible to burn it off with a corrosive salve or paste. Unfortunately, products capable of accomplishing this can also burn the surrounding normal tissue and result in unnecessary scarring. For superficial cancers—for which the cure rate with standard treatment is nearly 100%—it makes much more sense to use standard methods that can destroy the cancer with little or no damage to the nearby tissues.

Yet naturopaths recommend it (despite the fact that it can destroy normal tissue) as the least invasive, most natural treatment for abnormal cells. Ironically, it is far more invasive and less natural than standard medical treatment, far less likely to be effective and far more likely to cause hideous side effects.

The active ingredient, sanguinairine, is a toxic quaternary ammonium salt. It’s natural in the same way that snake venom is natural … and snake venom is deadly.

Sanguinairine kills cells by destroying their ability to pump sodium and potassium in and out. It is equally deadly to normal cells as well as to abnormal cells.

The standard treatment for mild cases of abnormal cervical cells (cervical dysplasia) is cryotherapy: freezing the abnormal cells with a cold metal probe. Cryotherapy can be applied directly to a small portion of the cervix, killing the abnormal cells and sparing just about everything else.

How do gynecologists know precisely which tissue to freeze? It requires knowledge of the basic anatomy of the cervix.

The cervix is made of two types of cells. The inside of the cervix is lined with columnar cells and the outside of the cervix is covered with squamous cells. This illustration from Medscape shows the relationship. In the illustration we are looking at the cervix from the bottom up, as a gynecologist would see it during a speculum exam.

img_1567

The two different types of cells meet at the squamous-columnar junction and the immediately surrounding area is known as the transformation zone (TZ). Cervical dysplasia always occurs in the transformation zone, so that’s the only area that needs to be treated.

The treatment of mild cervical dysplasia is simple. A cold metal probe sized to encompass the TZ is applied to the cervix. That’s it. The treatment is natural, focused and highly effective.

What about moderate or severe cervical dysplasia?

In those cases, it is important to determine whether the abnormal cells extend into deeper layers and actually represent cervical cancer. Therefore it is necessary to cut out the tissue of the TZ and send it to the pathologist for detailed examination. The area can be precisely cut out with electrocautery, laser or with a scalpel.

Where does a corrosive substance like bloodroot fit into these treatment options. It doesn’t.

There is no way to put bloodroot into the vagina without burning everything in the vagina. Even if it were painted on to the cervix so as to limit the damage to the affected area, it would need to be very carefully washed off to make sure it didn’t burn surrounding tissues.

If you want to know just how corrosive bloodroot salve can be, you can scroll down the QuackWatch article and see a hideous picture. An Idaho naturopath diagnosed a bump on Ruth Conrad’s nose as skin cancer and recommend bloodroot salve. It is so toxic that her entire nose sloughed off.

Now imagine putting something that could do that into your vagina. The scarring is bound to be horrific and the possibilities for further damage truly frightening extending to the possibility of a fistula between the vagina and the bladder or rectum or both.

The central problem in treating cancer is not how to kill cancer cells. Battery acid, bleach, lye and other corrosive substances kill cancer cells. The central problem in cancer treatment is killing cancerous cells WITHOUT killing too many normal cells as well.

The best way to kill mildly abornomal (precancerous) cervical cells is to carefully freeze them off or cut them out, sparing the normal tissue around them. Bloodroot salve is indiscriminately destructive, causes massive damage, and leaves tremendous scarring. That’s why you should never, ever put it in your vagina.

  • Jen

    Anybody heard any updates on this poor woman? She doesn’t deserve this kind of suffering no matter how poor her decision making skills. I hope the damage turns out to be minimal and real medical professionals are able to treat her with kindness and help her make a full recovery.

    • Toni35

      I keep coming back looking to see if your question gets answered…. Anything?

      Anything?

  • Chi

    OT: Have you guys heard of the newest installment in the Brelfie game? Now it’s not enough to simple snap a pic of your beautiful prop (I mean child) suckling merrily away on your boob. Now you download the app Pics Art, get a picture of a tree, overlay it with your brelfie in said app, blend, add some pretty colours and voila, the newest pretension according to the website milk and love;

    “These pictures are a beautiful depiction of the life giving nature of breastfeeding. The nourishment, comfort and love you are giving your bub, every time you breastfeed them.”

    I think someone needs to do this with a bottle and watch all the breastfeeders explode in righteous anger at us inferior formula feeders appropriating their thing in our anti-breastfeeding agenda, or whatever.

    I am all for breastfeeding if that’s what the mother in question wishes to do and it’s going well for them. I am not anti-breastfeeding.

    I AM anti glorifying breastfeeding as more than what it is, which is food.

    • L&DLaura

      I just had a discussion with a friend about this. I posted a picture someone else had posted that had the overlay onto a bottle feeding baby. i did a lot of eye rolling.

    • Mel

      Do they want a pic of me attempting to sleep sitting up in a chair at the hospital while pumping for my preemie?

      Would they prefer a pic of the nurses setting up his syringe of fortified breast-milk to go through his OG tube for the next 90 minutes?

      How about the picture my mom snapped of me sitting with my hands in an isolette with the fabric cover all the way down because Spawn was having a cranky day and wanted a perfectly dark isolette, one of my hands on his feet and one of my hands on his head? I’d love to tell you that I adored staring blankly at the dinosaur-printed cover for two hours – but I was bored out of my mind and kept saying to myself “It’s worth being bored if Spawn feels a bit more cozy.”

      The first two are about food; the third is about comfort and love…..

      • Empress of the Iguana People

        How’s MicroMel doing? How’re you adults doing too?

      • Montserrat Blanco

        I do understand. When I look at those pictures now… it is hard to put words to my feelings.
        By the way, I am sure Spawn is a great looking baby. Do take pictures of him.
        I used to talk to my son while doing kangaroo care. It was pretty boring sometimes
        and it helped. He seemed to enjoy listening to my voice and it gave me something to do. I told him about travels I had made, I could be as boring as I wanted and he would listen without complaining.

        • Mel

          I’ve been giving him semi-child friendly Bible stories in the run-up to Christmas.

          When Spawn’s in a good mood – or more tolerant of stimulation – I’ve been reading him a novel by Cynthia Voigt that I liked as a pre-teen and is the basis for a nickname I’ve been calling him since birth. On days where he wants more quiet, I pull up a book and read it on my Kindle while he sleeps. Thankfully, we both get squirmy at about the two hour mark so that works out well. When my mom visits, she reads him “Charlotte’s Web” which was my favorite book as a kid and when Nico visits he reads him “Moby Dick” because he likes explaining how the humoral system of illness works.

          We’ve got a bunch of pictures especially because we have lots of interested friends, neighbors etc, who we don’t want in the NICU but we do like to keep updated. He’s wonderfully picturesque – especially the time I’m glaring at the top of his head as he clutches his OG tube with a pinkie finger during skin-to-skin; I had just wrangled his arm and hand free of his vent tube; we did not need him to extubate himself again.

          I’d never wish a micro-preemie birth on anyone – but we’ve been lucky so far. Spawn’s doing as well as can be expected. My OB managed to get him out at the optimal moment – he got a good dose of steroids, but didn’t seem to have been affected by the systemic problems I was developing from HELLP. His lungs are still his weakest area – they are always trying to find a better ventilator setting to help his lungs stay open – but he’s managed to stay at O2 levels in the 30% range. His PDA is still open, but the neonatologists are comfortable waiting to see if it closes since it doesn’t seem to be affecting his heart or lung effectiveness too much. He eats like a pro and -after a slow start – decided that he can poo….a lot. Most comforting for me is the fact he is feisty as hell.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            Sounds like a great choice of books! He managed to extubate himself too! Those little ones are really lively!!! Mine used to try to get out of his isolette as well… The PDA happened to my son too, it closed a couple of weeks after birth, about 30 corrected weeks. It is really good that he is managing with so little oxygen! He is doing great!!! Today is one less day at the NICU.

            Lots of hugs.

          • Mel

            Thanks! Geez, I can’t imagine what the nurses would say if Spawn tried to escape the isolette; as it is everyone refers to him as the “feisty” one since he really prefers to wave his arms and legs around.

      • Chant de la Mer

        Mel I’ve been gone for a few weeks and hadn’t heard your little one had arrived. Congratulations and I hope things are going as well as possible for all of you.

    • SporkParade

      They are doing that with bottle-fed babies. And the lactivists are throwing a snit. Also, people are doing this with pictures of people drinking alcohol, graphic depictions of sexual acts, and a whole bunch of other fun stuff. 🙂

      • Chi

        Excellent ^_^

      • Empress of the Iguana People

        that last bit is soo wrong, lol

  • Mariana

    A little OT. What are the chances of getting cervical cancer without having HPV?

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Quite low but no one is confident enough that the risk is effectively zero to recommend stopping pap smears. Also, it is not always evident whether someone is or is not a chronic carrier. So don’t stop getting gyn exams. Sorry.

      • Mattie

        I had my first pap smear earlier this year (I just turned 25, and am in the UK) and the nurse doing it told me because I have had the HPV vaccine and have never been sexually active I didn’t need the smear done, because getting cervical cancer not from HPV is really rare. I got the thing done anyway, cause I was already there and it seemed dumb to not bother. I don’t really think she should be telling people that though :/

        • Dr Kitty

          No, she should not, and you should complain.

          Given that her employing GP practice is being paid to get as close to 80% of 25-64 year old women screened as possible, they would probably like to hear about the “advice” she is giving out.

          HPV vaccine doesn’t cover every single oncogenes HPV strain and it will never be 100% effective at preventing HPV infection. Smears are still the best test we have.

          • Mattie

            Thank you, it was a while ago :/ should I still complain? I think that she said it because I’ve not had sex before (and as an asexual may not in future) but I was thinking that it’s better to be safe than sorry. I’m at a university medical practice so it does seem like questionably advice.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      mumble mumble HPV can be prevented with a vaccine mumble

      • Empress of the Iguana People

        i think she might have gotten the vaccine but is wondering if there’s a non-HPV cause

        • Mariana

          Yes, that’s exactly it (minus having had the vaccine)

      • Mariana

        I have not had the vaccine, but it’s very unlikely I have hpv. I get a Pap smear every year since 21 (when I started to have sex), and I’m 37 now. I was just wondering if I really have to take them every year (seeing I’ve had the same partner all this time).

  • BeatriceC

    I’ve been keeping myself busy trying to spend less time on the internet. I missed this when it started making the rounds. I’m glad. Sometimes I just want to bury my head in the sand and pretend that people can’t really be this stupid.

    On a mostly unrelated note, MrC might want me to go back to spending too much time on the internet. “Keeping myself busy” has turned into “let’s strip wallpaper and paint the house!” It desperately needed to be done, but he gets nervous around change.

    • shay simmons

      Everybody’s got an agenda!

  • TsuDhoNimh

    You need to wear gloves (nitrile or thick oiled leather) when harvesting for dye materials or dividing the plant in the garden – it’s that corrosive.

    Concentrated bloodroot juice is even worse.

  • Steph858

    If she underwent this ‘treatment’ on the advice of a Naturopath, I hope whoever that Naturopath is is soon being referred to as ‘The Defendant’. There are laws against Female Genital Mutilation which even criminalise those who encourage women to self-mutilate; could the Naturopath be prosecuted under those laws? I hope they can and are because prosecuting the Naturopath under standard ‘Selling Black Salve illegally’ laws doesn’t seem like it would represent the seriousness of the damage done; whilst putting a bit of Black Salve on one’s face will undoubtedly do some serious damage, it doesn’t really compare to the damage done by putting it inside one’s vagina.

  • MaineJen

    What…the hell…goes through these people’s minds.

  • Sue

    Profound cognitive dissonance – treating a condition that can only be diagnosed with medical technology and diagnostics with a pre-technological “remedy”.

  • CanDoc

    OH NO. 🙁 I treat a lot of cervical disease, and I can’t even begin to imagine what will happen to this woman’s vagina once the sloughing scarring settles. Worst case scenario is very, very bad. Best case scenario is good healing and no harm done.

    • Sue

      Lots of blood loss, I imagine, when the necrotic stuff sloughs off.

    • Dr Kitty

      I imagine that it’s going to be situation not unlike what would happen with vaginal brachytherapy (radiation therapy) for advanced cervical cancer, ironically enough.

      • CanDoc

        I was thinking the same thing – tons of adhesions.
        A steep price to pay for a foolish decision.

  • niteseer

    Wow. I had silver nitrate stick applied to my cervix for granulation tissue overgrowth after having a baby. It was applied while my cervix was directly visualized with a speculum, and it was a tiny amount of dry silver nitrate on an applicator stick. It went nowhere but on the granulation tissue. Even then, there was vaginal burning as my bodily fluids cleared the silver nitrate away. What did this woman do, put some salve on her finger and blindly shove it up to her cervix? The collateral damage must have been immense!

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Vaccinate. The HPV vaccine will virtually ensure that you never have to ask yourself the question of how you want to get rid of your cervical precancer or cancer.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      Yeah, thank God for that vaccine. Sometimes I’m bummed out that I was in the first round of people to get it–back when they were only giving it to teenage girls and young women with few or no past sexual partners. It only protected you against 4 strains then and I gather that it’s many more now. Classic early adopter problem…

      • Gæst

        Be glad you were young enough to get at least that version. I was too old by the time it was available.

        • Petticoat Philosopher

          Oh, I am definitely glad!

          I almost fainted in the doctor’s office and my arm felt like it was gonna fall off for 3 days. WORTH IT!

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        I’m bummed that no one will give it to me, just because I’m 48.

        • rh1985

          Is there a medical reason for the strict age limit, other than the assumption most but not all people are exposed by a certain age?

          • Young CC Prof

            It seems like infections in adolescence are more likely to lead to cancer than infections later in life. I’m not sure whether it’s just that cancer-causing agents are inherently more dangerous in younger people, or that teens are less able to clear the virus and more likely to become chronic carriers.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Two reasons that I know of are that it hasn’t been tested in people past a certain age (25?) and it’s not clear that it continues to work as people age and their immune systems get less vigorous. The other reason is that most people are colonized with HPV after a few sexual contacts so it’s pointless.
            Both arguments hold some weight with me, but not that much. The first is obviously soluble with a quick clinical trial and as for the second, it’s probably good to get protected against those you’re not colonized with even if you’ve already got one (especially given that we don’t know why some people get cancer with high risk HPV infections, others don’t.)

          • CanDoc

            No, the idea that “once you’ve been infected you’re immune” doesn’t hold water anymore. Specifically, women who have already had treatment for oncogenic (high risk) strains of HPV have a LOWER risk of recurrence of cervical dysplasia if they receive the HPV vaccine, regardless of age. The argument about age and vaccine efficacy is specious – we vaccinate at all ages against influenza, tetanus, hepatitis, etc.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I thought the point was more that you’re not immune, that is, if you’re infected already you’re screwed so never mind. (As you point out, that is a rather nonsensical argument, but I want to represent it fairly.)

          • Dr Kitty

            I think also the natural history of the disease- it usually takes several years for HPV to cause cancer, which is most often detected by a smear in the pre-cancerous phase.

            Most women who have advanced cervical cancer are 20-30years down the line from their initial HPV infection and have never attended for smear tests, missing out on early detection and treatment.

            Getting women over 45 to attend for smears is quite challenging- much more so the younger women, IME.
            People who have been happily married for 30-odd years and are post menopausal generally don’t feel at risk from cervical cancer, don’t want to have speculum examinations because of embarrassment or discomfort from perimenopausal vaginal changes and are hard to convince to come in.

        • CanDoc

          Interesting. In Canada it’s recommended for all reproductive aged women, to age 49.
          If there is any chance you will have any new exposure to HPV in your life (i.e. if you or your partner may get a new sexual partner), then regardless of your age there’s a reasonable indication for HPV vaccine. Although you may have to pay for it yourself if insurance doesn’t accept that as an “official” indication.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Huh. Another reason to move to Canada, as if I needed one. Frankly, right now the only thing holding me in the US is my partner’s desire to not move. And I’ve already told him that there are circumstances under which I will not stay if I have any way of leaving. Incidentally, do you know if Health Canada has any positions available for clinical reviewers in hematology/oncology? They aren’t advertising that I can tell, but maybe I’m not looking in the right place?

          • CCL (Crazy Cat Lady)

            This is really interesting. I was just reading a sign about the HPV vaccine for women up to 45 at my GP’s office this morning and made a note to ask her the next time I’m in. I’m pretty low risk but I’m really pleased to see that I can ask for the vaccine now (considering my advanced age of 36. ha.)

          • Gabrielle

            I’m 27, Canadian, and I can’t get the series unless I pay 170$ per shot, as in 510$ for all 3. I’m too old to have it covered by OHIP and it’s not covered by my insurance. It makes me so angry since I had a scare last year and had to have a colposcopy. I just can’t afford it, though.

      • Steph858

        I had to tell a little white lie to get mine (came out when I was 17, nearly 18). I’d heard they were only giving the vaccine to girls who where either under 15 or aged 15-18, but with the latter group only receiving the vaccine if they were not yet sexually active (the former group receiving the vaccine regardless of sexual activity, since really anyone aged 15 or under who is sexually active is more accurately described as a rape victim; the age of consent in the UK is 16, though I guess in certain circumstances where the age difference between the partners is small I’d be reluctant to call it rape, but that’s another discussion). I’d had one sexual partner at the time, with protection. I neglected to mention this when I went for my vaccine. I’m sure there are legitimate medical reasons behind the policy, but it’s a shame to think there might be other girls my age who wouldn’t/couldn’t lie and so missed out on the vaccine.

        Thankfully, all of this is moot now since all the girls who were in the 13-18 range when the vaccine came out will have grown out of that age range by now, and all the girls growing up now are vaccinated aged 13-14.

    • rh1985

      I chose not to get it because it was brand new, I was low risk, and I had aged out by the time it had been around a few years. My daughter will get it, it will be an old vaccine by the time she is old enough (she is currently a toddler). I ended up remaining single and using donor sperm, so I guess I’m not too upset I’m too old to get it now.

    • MI Dawn

      Not 100% effective, unfortunately. My daughter had the series (back in 2006) and still had HPV and needed treatment. Fortunately, just a little cryosurgery, but not something a 24 year old wants to deal with! (And yes, according to her MD, the strain of virus was one covered by the HPV series she had…..18, IIRC)

  • Empliau

    Now that we know one of what must be one of the top five things NOT to put in your vagina, if you are ever wondering about what to put there, specifically lube (thanks, menopause) Dr. Jen Gunter has a very useful guide. Lots of chemistry and physiology. Who knew it could be so complicated? Just anybody who A.) has ever studied professionally or B.) has the brains to listen to a professional. The words “the stupid, it burns,” have new meaning for me now.

    • Erin

      Based on my flatmate’s reaction, I’d add chili chocolate santas into that top 5 No no no list.

      (In her defense, she was very drunk at the time)

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        “This one time at Band Camp…”

        • Empress of the Iguana People

          That would be unwise. Between the keys on one end and the moveable cap on the other…

        • Spamamander, pro fun ruiner

          My son plays the flute and he doesn’t know why I crack up hysterically when he talks about band camp.

    • shay simmons

      if you are ever wondering about what to put there

      I can think of a few things, but I have a dirty mind.

      • BeatriceC

        MrC had exactly the same response, and for exactly the same reason.

    • AnnaPDE

      With baguette bread in the remaining 4 maybe. It absorbs moisture and sticks to the walls so you can’t get it out without help, preferably ED level help. The things you learn on German trash TV….
      And just while we’re on the kind of topic, a couple who were friends with a flatmate (all of them med students) once decided to find out how many cherry pips fit in a male urethra. They got to 8 before they discovered that getting them out was beyond their capabilities. Still, I can’t help but admire their level of scientific curiosity and dedication even in the totally stoned state in which the experiment happened…

      • Azuran

        Maybe he tripped on a lube tube that was left on the ground, it squirted on the cherry pits, and then he fell on them, penis first, while naked. 😉

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        Caution, gross story: When I was in medical school I saw an x-ray of a penis with a chicken bone (the drumstick) stuck in the urethra. The patient came to the hospital because it broke (the bone, not the urethra, although I expect it was hurting pretty bad too.)

  • Empliau

    My legs are crossed after reading this, and they may stay that way forever. Just OW.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    How does anyone even get their hands on this stuff? Does it have another commercial use that is safe and sane? Or is this one of those black market things that naturopaths illegally procure for their practice?

    • Sean Jungian

      Looks like it’s pretty easily available online. It isn’t a medicine so it isn’t regulated by the FDA, I’m sure.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        Trump’s pick for the head of the FDA wants to make all medications regulated like “supplements”. In other words, have no requirement at all on how effective they are and only require minimal evidence of safety (i.e. won’t kill you right off.)

        • Heidi

          Whaaaat? Help us!

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            My response exactly. If this goes through, use no new medications that haven’t been approved by Health Canada or the EMA.

        • Sean Jungian

          Yes I think I just read that over on Orac’s RI blog. Mind-boggling.

      • kfunk937

        It is easily available online. And it is regulated by the FDA and FTC, but they only have jurisdiction within the US. As examples within the Regulatory section at the Quackwatch link in the post highlight the history,

        Salves intended for the treatment of cancers cannot be legally marketed. The FDA has banned the importation of all “black salve” products, including [a partial list of brand names]
        ~snip~
        In May 2008, the FDA ordered Best on Earth Products of Las Vegas, Nevada, to stop marketing corrosive salves with claims that they are effective against cancer. The company’s Web site had stated:
        While historically, black salve and bloodroot salves have been used for melanoma, basal and squamous cell carcinomas. . . we at Best on Earth Products are not legally allowed to make such claims. Such claims made by companies would put these products into the category of “new drugs” based on the FDA definition. Again, we do not make such claims regarding our products

        The company responded by removing the illegal claims but continued to sell black salve products.The FDA warned that this type of “disclaimer” would not protect against prosecution because other parts of the site (including metatags), had made it clear that the products were intended to treat cancer
        ~snip~
        In September 2008, the Federal Trade Commission secured a consent agreement with Holly A. Bacon (d/b/a Cleansing Time Pro), who had marketed ” black salve” ointment and tablets with claims that both products were effective against all forms of cancer, as well as against hepatitis, HIV, SARS, and Avian Flu and other viruses. The agreement bans her from making unsubstantiated claims about any product

        From this we can see several ongoing issues. (1) Yes, it is illegal to import or sell escharotics as cancer treatments. But, unless specified otherwise, regulations for other medical claims default to the FTC, which seems to be limited to injunctions. So they could force the party to cease making the claim, usually resulting in a change their wording to the standard quack Miranda, or the party could fold up shop, reopening immediately under a new name. (2) It is not illegal to personally possess or use the products. One could argue that that is probably good on balance given how prohibitions work out, but it is unquestionably bad for patients.

        What can we do? Write about it, comment about it, talk about it, and warn the woos within our social circles. We can also report anything that violates the rules/laws to the FDA or FTC (as tedious and possibly fruitless as the exercise may seem). Technically, I suppose any direct knowledge of importation, if via USPS, may be reported to the Postmaster. It’s an uphill battle of whack-a-mole.

  • andy

    Though I suspect the use of bloodroot is higher in countries without free health care. If you have to fork out thousands of dollars for even a simple procedure, as in the US, then it seems obvious why people without the money would want to consider trying this, as horrific as it obviously is.

    • Gatita

      Except that the people doing it generally do have access to healthcare. It’s the privileged, not the poor, who seek out these treatments. This stuff has to be paid for out of pocket, while most poor folks have access to some kind of coverage. If you’re really poor you qualify for Medicaid coverage and most people qualify for some kind of subsidized healthcare (for the time being, until the Republicans kill Obamacare, sob).

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Undocumented immigrants tend to be the most left out in the cold and they do sometimes turn to “alternative” medicine. However, they tend to go to traditional healers in their own communities as opposed to turning to the bizarre sampler platter of “traditional,” pseudo-traditional, and pseudo-scientific interventions that is naturopathy. Which isn’t to say they are any safer or more effective but, yeah, pretty much anyone blogging or posting about naturopathic treatments is going to have means.

      • Sue

        That’s it.

        You need a medical diagnosis to know that you have “cervical pre-cancerous cells”.

        I doubt there are naturopaths doing Pap smears.

        The real problem in impoverished communities is lack of access to screening/diagnosis – not just prevention or treatment.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      It’s naturopathic procedures where you often have to shell out thousands of dollars. Unlike real medical treatments, they are almost never covered by insurance.

  • no longer drinking the koolaid

    I worked in a burn unit as a new nursing grad and have seen some really, really awful stuff. This is worse.

  • fiftyfifty1

    I’m especially down on Naturopaths recently. Just saw a kid who went from the 50th%ile for BMI down to falling off the charts due to a naturopath encouraging a parent’s orthorexia-by-proxy. All the sign of starvation: suppressed bone marrow, lack of puberty, hands and feet with acrocyanosis. Sick.

    • Gatita

      Does that get reported to the police (I hope)?

      • fiftyfifty1

        Only if they don’t accept help.

        • Petticoat Philosopher

          Did they?

          • fiftyfifty1

            I have never had an orthorexia by proxy family refuse care. Therapy can be a long process, and parents tend to remain somewhat orthorexic at the end, but they make enough changes that the kids end up getting what they need nutritionally. I have seen a case of anorexia by proxy where CPS had to get involved.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            Good to hear, though also depressing to find out that this is apparently something you see often enough for there to be a trend.

          • fiftyfifty1

            I work in the field, so I see more cases than if I was full time primary care.

    • AA

      Might be a good story for Britt Hermes’ naturopathic diaries website.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      That is utterly heartbreaking.

      And I second the suggestion about getting in touch with Britt Hermes about doing a post for her blog. I think she’s got a whole lot on her plate at any given time and guest posts are helpful to her and highly informative for the rest of us.

    • Sean Jungian

      Horrifying and heartbreaking.

  • Heidi

    It’s against medical advice to even squirt vinegar and water up there and people are putting THAT up there?! Lemon juice and/or baking soda would have been many times better than that. I mean, it would have done nothing for her precancerous cells, but I imagine the worst that would have likely happened is a minor infection that either anti-fungals or antibiotic could have cleared up.

    • KQ Not Signed In

      But they don’t use anti-fungals or antibiotics, they use garlic. Remember? Just throw that in there with lemon juice and vinegar. Hell, add avacado and make guacamole while you’re at it…

      It reminds me a bit of that episode of The Simpsons where Lisa got gum in her hair, and they kept piling more things on top. But with a vagina.

      • Heidi

        How about some yogurt and have a nice vaginal tzatziki!

        • KQ Not Signed In

          I just threw up a little.

          • Heidi

            I think I have some homeopathic drops for that. . .

        • shay simmons

          Oog.

  • StephanieJR

    OT: Bunny had a funny tummy today, so off to the vet’s we went. She’s recovering now, hopefully be better later, but since I noticed she wasn’t eating last night, I was up for the most of it, worried sick. Which made me think about how abusive anti-vaxxers must be to their children when they get VPD’s. I was almost crying about my rabbit, I cannot imagine the fear and worry any decent parent goes through when their child is ill, but there are people out there so callous and indifferent to their children’s suffering, it is truly sickening. It’s so easy to prevent your child getting ill from certain diseases, and so easy for them to die when you don’t. I literally cannot understand how they can do that to children. I just can’t.

    • Young CC Prof

      Most antivaxxers go through something of a change of heart if their kids actually contract a VPD, especially if the child is really ill. That’s because they are fundamentally loving parents who screwed up.

      There are a few who are so committed to their belief system as to deny the child treatment, though, and that’s really horrifying when it happens.

  • Gæst

    My lort, I just feel bad for this woman. Ow ow ow ow ow ow

    • Sean Jungian

      Me, too. That poor poor woman. I hope she gets treatment and recovers.

      • Heidi

        I hope, too, she wasn’t planning on children or more children. Well, I hope she got it sorted out and didn’t apply so much that she’s done a whole lot of damage, of course. But I imagine there’s a good possibility she’s done permanent damage to her cervix that could prevent her from carrying a baby. Ugh, I’m so angry that in some places naturopaths are being considered doctors and recommending treatments like this. I can see a reasonable person thinking their advice was reasonable if they are considered doctors.

        • Sean Jungian

          Naturopaths in some places are also lobbying to be recognized as primary care physicians. Chilling.

          • Heidi

            I have an aunt who is an RN and every time I post anything factual about naturopaths, for whatever reason she gets really offended and comes to their defense. It frustrates me sooo much. I know she’s an excellent nurse, and I know she’s seen the not so pleasant side of all things involved with medical care, but it’s like, naturopaths are not the answer! For whatever reason, she really thinks they are the key to “strengthening” people’s immune systems and overcoming antibiotic resistance strains. And she’s not against all or even most science-based medical care. But it kind of concerns me if someone like her, who is intelligent can think positively of naturopaths.

          • Petticoat Philosopher

            Yeah, I am always really confused by why anyone who is an actual medical professional would be taken in by naturopathy. I have an undergraduate degree in philosophy/public policy, a soon-to-be master’s degree in social work, and no science education beyond my required college science courses and I am scientifically literate enough to understand the basics of why their “science” makes no sense. Hell, I probably was before college just by, like, paying attention and doing my homework in biology class. You don’t really need advanced scientific knowledge to understand how pseudo-scientific most of their “treatments” are. I can’t fathom how they fool people with actual medical training.

          • Liz Leyden

            Naturopaths can be PCPs in Vermont. They can even take Medicaid.

          • Sean Jungian

            Isn’t that hair-raising? Ugh.

          • Madtowngirl

            Yup!!!!!! I just heard an advertisement for one of our local health insurance providers bragging about how they’ll cover some naturopathy. WTF????????

        • Amy M

          Assuming she was even able to reach her cervix…hopefully not.

  • daisy

    My va-jay-jay just slammed shut with thinking about this! Dude, how can people be this stupid?

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      Seriously, I don’t know if I’ll be able to uncross my legs after reading this.

      • Empliau

        I had the exact reaction but after – hadn’t read yours. Sorry. Or perhaps great minds think alike?

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Shit, I don’t have a va-jay-Jay, and I’m still crossing my legs

  • Cyndi

    I believe this is what is in “Black Salve” which is so popular in Australia, and thanks to alt med and people like MAM, becoming more popular here. Even more horrifying than the results of us this product is the fact that many people are self diagnosing cancer and using it on benign lesions. I wonder if these people have verified with an actual MD that they do indeed have cervical dysplasia, or if they’re using this stuff on the advice of a naturopath.

    I worked with someone years ago who had an untoward incident happen during a routine colposcopy when the GYN was accidentally handed undiluted acetic acid. That poor woman couldn’t work for a couple of weeks. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain one would have from applying an escharotic blindly into one’s vagina. OW.

    • MI Dawn

      Yes, that’s what is in Black Salve.

      • Cyndi

        I don’t even want to tell you how many people I know are making this stuff at home.

        • MI Dawn

          (shudders). I’ve had a vaginal tear when I gave birth. That hurt enough. But black salve? No.

  • Roadstergal

    Do you mean ‘lye’ rather than ‘lie’? Of course, given naturopaths, the latter is always correct…

    Thanks for the article, I always appreciate learning more about my ladybits.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    Destroying cancer cells without destroying healthy cells is the hard part.

    Bloodroot has been used for hundreds of years to treat cancer. It is so effective at doing so, that we have sought out (and discovered) lots and lots of alternatives that work better and more effectively. Which isn’t all that hard, of course, given the properties of bloodroot.

  • Azuran

    Just gonna put this here. Damn some people are just so stupid.
    http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/cells.png

    • Young CC Prof

      This one, unfortunately, never gets old.

  • Lemongrass

    Christ on a cracker, these people are insane.