Alaska is one of those states afflicted with licensed naturopaths, which basically means they’ve got a bunch of people with no qualifications and a skull full of stupid who get to call themselves doctors and make sick people worse. The premiere Alaskan quack is Michael Ellenburg, one of those guys who peddles everything from homeopathy to traditional Chinese medicine to ozone therapy to acupuncture — the usual cocktail of New Age sewage. Steeped as I currently am in cancer texts in preparation for the next term, I perked right up when I read about Bryomixol.
Bryomixol is an herbal therapy that targets the patient’s immune system function. In patients who have cancer they need to get their immune system to start working properly. Anyone who has cancer does not have a proper functioning immune system, otherwise they would not have cancer. Chemotherapy and Radiation are directed against the tumor(s), they do nothing to support the immune system. Bryomixol can be used in cancer to treat the patient’s immune system; it is not a targeted cancer treatment. Bryomixol specifically effects Natural Killer cell function. NK cells are involved in seeking out and destroying tumor cells, bacteria, and viruses.
Try listening to any of these quacks on the radio (sadly, turn to any of the more liberal networks in your area, and you’ll find them infested with magic medicine shows), and this is the refrain you hear most frequently: “enhance your immune system naturally”. I don’t even know what that means, and I’m a biologist…but it sounds good, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately for all those cancer patients who are going to hand over their money to Ellenburg, bryomixol is also homeopathic: it’s distilled water, nothing more. Ellenburg is a guy who skims profit off the pain and suffering of others, offering nothing in return but a glass of water.