What's your favorite remedy for...

silversword(9A)May 27, 2009

Anything!! What do you use for common ailments (headache, stomach upset, fever, cold, flu, etc...)? What herbal remedies do you have on the shelf/easily accessible?

One thing I always have in my fridge is ACIDOPHILUS

This is a powder or liquid form of the normal, friendly bacteria that live in our intestines (called flora). Our intestinal flora helps regulate our digestion and stool patterns. Yeast also lives in our intestines. The yeast and the bacterial flora are constantly competing for space, and generally they keep each other in check. Sometimes, however, our bacterial flora can get depleted, such as when taking antibiotics. This allows the yeast to overgrow, which can then lead to a variety of problems. Taking acidophilus replenishes our bacterial flora and reduces overgrow of yeast.

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I seldom get "headache, stomach upset, fever, cold, flu, etc..." possibly because of my "pristine" way of life. LOL I don't regard a lot of what I do as "remedies" altho take several supplements and use essential oils regularly.

I take 1000mg of Vit C, Omega3 oil capsule, calcium/magnesium, nutritional yeast, and organic live culture yogurt either daiiy or frequently. A few other vitamins/supplements less frequently. I think these are necessary FOR ME for health. Might not be necessary for anyone else.

I use essential oils regularly as perfume/medicine. Lavender EO occasionally for infrequent headaches. Peppermint EO also for headache and have used it once as tea for a serious stomach upset. I use tea tree EO if I feel symptoms of a cold or flu virus and have never had them develop into a real illness. I use Benzoin, Geranium, Rose, Neroli, and Jasmine for their uplifting and "feel good" benefits. They help with chronic pain and I also use the last three for skin care. There are other essential oils I use as well but not regularly.

I use herbs such as garlic, chives, onion, sage, oregano, thyme, curcumin, and cinnamon as food, and green tea, mint, lemon balm, and others for tea.

My best "remedy" for stomach upset and headache is avoidance of junk foods which I believe cause problems for many.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 7:14PM
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Only ONE favourite? How about a Top 5?

My panacea for all ills is the old favourite - a cup of tea! Ordinary black tea.

For acute or every-day stress, there is nothing better than the smell of lavender. I burn the essential oil, and sprinkle lots of it around my home, and on my bed-sheets. I even use lavender soap.

For scalds and burns of all kinds, even itching, I use fresh aloe vera gel. Very effective, and I wouldn't like to be without plenty of it in my garden.

I take cranberry capsules every day, thoroughly endorsed and approved by my gynae-urologist, gastroenterologist, endocrinologist, oncologist and GP. It definitely helps to prevent infections of my plumbing system.

I also take Milk Thistle tablets every day. This has helped a lot in the treatment of the serious illness I suffer from (which affects the liver, amongst other things).

Heck, I can't limit myself to 5. I have to add one more.

Tea-tree oil - marvellous for fungal infections.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 4:26AM
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Hi Lucky,
I'm just trying to get a round-table-esque discussion going :) I take fish oil pretty regularly, and B and B-12. And I eat nutritional yeast.

Hi Daisy! I love aloe too. It really works for all types of skin issues. Some people eat it, but I really don't like the taste.

I take Milk Thistle on occasion too. And I love the smell of lavender. Tea tree oil is a must have. You mentioning it made me remember I don't know what happened to mine! I need to buy another :(

And a cuppa is often just the right remedy for many ailments, I agree :)

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 2:36PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

My favorite remedy for "..." is taking the time to think of something specific to say :P

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 4:27PM
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I tend to rely on prescription medications, and fall back on herbs if supplemental help is needed.

I like hot tea, too, and use most of the herbs I like in that form. I vary in which herbs I like best by the season. In winter I like the ordinary (but decaf)hot tea, or sometimes peppermint or sage tea if I am fighting an infection. In summertime, if I feel overheated, I like lemon balm tea. I also like to combine pineapple sage with the varegated pineapple mint. Sometimes I just make a tea with whatever I have growing, and throw in some rose petals. If I have American elderberry flowers available, I will use those in a tea if I feel bronchial; I will use horehound in tea if the condition is more bothersome (it is very bitter). Not all of the teas I drink are for medicinal purposes, but in general hot tea makes me feel better, and I like to vary the kind I drink. I always put whole milk in my teas.

I also like to eat spring greens, such as dandelion and radish, both of which I find delicious. I also eat a lot of onion greens in the springtime, some in sandwiches with other things, and sometimes as potato-onion soup, easily made by chopping up the spring onions , boiling, and adding powdered potatoes. Raw radishes and onions are supposed to have some germicidal properties, but I eat them because I like them.

If I were dying from viral pneumonia and didn't have access to a medically produced antiviral, I might try poke salat, or even a drop of pokeroot tincture.

As I continue to explore herbalism, I am beginning to find that many of the plants growing in my garden have medicinal properties. To my surprise, the ones seeded by the birds and self-sewn ones that I have been pulling out tend to be the ones I find most useful, so I have begun to do research before taking anything out...excep wild mustard, which always returns no matter what I do.

In general, I prefer to use herbs that grow in my own garden, or from a natural tea company I trust.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 9:41AM
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Eibren, just out of curiosity, can you tell me which herbs make a tea that is NOT medicinal in some way or another? In all my decades of learning about herbs, I've never found one yet - and if there is one, I'd like to learn about it.

When I was dying of pneumonia not so many years ago, I wouldn't have been able to eat a poke salat, or even take a drop of pokeroot tincture - even if I'd been capable of thinking to do it. I was having too much difficulty trying to breathe and stay conscious, and the pain was so excruciating that the morphine I was given hardly had any effect until other drugs kicked in. The assortment of antibiotics and other commercial drugs in large doses and a few days in intensive care ensured that I didn't leave the hospital in a box. That wasn't a time for herbs, I assure you!

And in case some of our more argumentative contributors enter into this: I am NOT anti-herb!! On the contrary, I think they definitely have a place, and it's probably hand-in-hand with conventional medicine. If I didn't believe in using herbs, I wouldn't have spent the last half-century learning about them, and I wouldn't have a herb-only garden. But with very serious, chronic or recurring conditions, I don't think herbs really 'cut it' - not on their own, anyway.

The 'tea' that I was referring to was the ordinary black or green tea, Camellia sinensis - the 'social tea'. That's the one usually given as the panacea for all ills - at least in England and other 'English' places. You don't have to take it literally as 'medicine' - the tea might help in a general crisis, but it usually goes hand-in-hand with lots of sympathy, kind words, reassurance and friendly attention - just as beneficial! You know - same effect as a sympathetic pat on the hand. I was trying to keep this thread as light-hearted as the OP intended.

Now back to 'favourite remedies'.

Sometimes remedies can be very simple indeed. Two that spring to mind are 'stop to smell the roses' - a remedy for stress; and 'stop to smell the mint' - a remedy for shock. Amazingly effective!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 6:28PM
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Well, tea, of course, if good for everything... it might not cure a sudden onset of gout or the flu, but it makes me feel better and able to think more clearly.
And tobacco. But that's not exactly a remedy, at least as far as my lungs go...
I use a homemade plantain salve (the herb, not the banana) for any skin problems, and I even used it for gout, with surprisingly good results.
Kava kava is great for anxiety, and motherwort (though it tastes horrid) puts me right to sleep.
And lemons, although I eat them whether I'm sick or not.
Eibren -- I'm glad to know that someone other than me eats raw radishes and onions. :P I've never met anyone else who does.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 4:41PM
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I drink tea, herbal including black. Cranberry juice for kidney stones and bladder infection.
Cottage cheese and sour cream for stomach imbalance. Prunes applejuice or raisons for bowels Brewers yeast for iron and B12.(anemia)
fluids, H2O, juices, chicken noodle soup for colds.
Aloe vera for burns. warm milk, honey,wine for raw nerves and cold temps.
prayer for good measure.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 1:51AM
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Yarrow for bleeding. It is a sacred herb among the North American Indians for this. It was used by the Romans, the Huns, the Mongols, pretty much everybody. It stops bleeding fast and well. Take a bit of the plant, chew it, and apply. You can hardly go far in the mountains here in Colorado without finding some, so it isn't endangered. it is handy and stops nosebleeds the best of anything, without leaving the clot that comes out later and starts a nosebleed all over again.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 9:17PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance

Raw Potato slices for infections. I read about that remedy a long time ago, and my son got an infected splinter in his foot. I sliced raw potato, wrapped his foot with the potato next to his swollen pussy infection, and he slept like that all night. Next morning, the potato was black, and his foot was pink and normal! Charcoal does the same thing, but that is not exactly a herb.......

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 11:15AM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

Not an herb but very natural. Sunshine. Does wonders for arthritis and you get a dose of free vitamin D.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 2:45AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance

Charcoal Tablets! My favorite!! Put them on an infected wound, and they draw out the infection, and purify. Infection gone!! Feel like you have food poisoning? Pop a pill or two and they absorb all the evil bacteria.

Only issue is, they absorb drugs too, so if you are taking prescription drugs, stay away from Charcoal. It is an old American Indian remedy, and I love it!!

I would not travel without it.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 11:50AM
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Good one desertdance. You are so right!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 12:19PM
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It figures that charcoal/activated charcoal would find favor among alt med enthusiasts - since it fits into the concept that we are constantly being bombarded with "toxins" (and activated charcoal does have application in medicine for counteracting ingestion of certain poisons).

Its benefits however are vastly overstated. Charcoal tablets will not help infected wounds or "absorb all the evil bacteria". It has also been falsely claimed that charcoal eliminates intestinal gas (it may reduce the odor of gas in some cases, but won't affect the volume of gas); similarly it is not a reliable agent against diarrhea.

Interestingly, overblown claims for charcoal supplements have been circulating for well over a century (the Journal of the American Medical Association takes on one supplement marketer in this article from 1915).

desertdance is correct that charcoal may interfere with the action of drugs. It can also cause nausea, vomiting, constipation and black stools, and is not recommended for preg_nant or nursing women. As such remedies go it's not typically harmful, but is not recommended for self-dosage.

So, in charcoal we have another instance of an old-time and largely obsolete remedy which has been embraced by alt_ernative medicine along with other outmoded, largely useless and potentially hazardous vestiges of the premodern medical era (i.e. colloidal silver).

Here is a link that might be useful: oral charcoal use

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 8:00PM
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Charcoal works great for food poisoning.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 2:38PM
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There are many different types of food poisoning, including those due to infectious organisms, plant and animal toxins and other sources. For the great majority of cases of food poisoning, taking charcoal is not indicated and will not help (exceptions include ingestion of heavy metals and shellfish toxin - rare causes of food poisoning that should not be self-medicated).

Here's a good overview of food poisoning and recommended treatment (includes discussion of the importance of replacing fluid and electrolytes, and the use of over-the-counter remedies).

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 5:17PM
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Yeast infections. The best and least messy is wash with borax nightly. Amounts vary with the severity of the infection, but a few tsp. in a quart of water is quite enough for most intents and purposes. It is cheap (4.00 worth at Wal-Mart gets you enough to stop yeast for about the next year plus you can do your laundry with it to get residual yeast out of your underware). The fastest is grapefruit seed extract, 8 drops in one glass of water. That is usually enough for mild infections, and you can feel it in just a matter of hours. Yeast gets immune to it fast, though. Thyme is also good for mild infections, a strong tea can be used for cradle cap as well as for vaginal infections.
The best all around to deal with yeast, though, is stop feeding them. Eat very little sugar added to your food. I don't get infections much at all now that I rarely drink pop. Pop was my big sugar fix for years. Do not replace the sugar you no longer ingest with artificial sweetners or other sugars. These have other problems.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 9:48PM
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Whether for treating actual outbreaks of Candida (thrush), or presumed cases of "Candida overgrowth" or "hypersensitivity", elimination diets are often promoted on the Internet and elsewhere.

Because these diets prohibit so many good and healthy foods, the dieter is likely to be miserable, and to no good purpose, since these diets have not been shown to work.

Candida infections typically occur in people with significant immunosuppression or after antibiotic therapy, and respond to proper medication (true invasive Candidiasis is a serious medical problem usually requiring hospital treatment). "Overgrowth" and "hypersensitivity" are meaningless terms for conditions that have not been shown to exist in the vast majority of people in whom they're diagnosed (typically by quacks).

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 9:45AM
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I am a gardener - charcoal is my savior. Red ants, spider bites, bee/wasp stings have all been comletely eliminated from itching and swelling. I had a ? bite on my leg that actually turned black, would not heal and tissue died. I think someone on this forum recommended charcoal. It had been several weeks - but after I applied the charcoal paste it healed. I looked up charcoal on the web and read that it is the first thing a person is given in the emergency room if they have ingested poison. DH was out in the vineyard, came in with a huge bit/sting on his leg yesterday...out came the charcoal - a few hours later....gone! Why don't our docs clue us in?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 1:08PM
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I've had plenty of insect bites/bee stings while gardening. Typically any pain or swelling goes away within a few hours without my doing anything (though ice and maybe an antihistamine as recommended for home use could help in some instances).

Charcoal (typically activated charcoal) has gotten popular in some alt med circles, probably because it fits in with the idea that we are deluged with "toxins" which activated charcoal will neutralize. And it can, in the case of some poisons taken internally (though not all, as in the case of corrosives/acids or poisons for which specific antidotes exist). And as mentioned in a previous post, charcoal is mostly not recommended in food poisoning.

Charcoal is not considered a useful part of first aid for bug bites or stings, since any venom is injected and absorbed too quickly for charcoal applied to the skin to absorb.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 9:20PM
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Eric, I do think you must be doing a study on alternative medicines as you know this is where so much of the disillusioned population is heading. I have, in the past, questioned your reason for perusing this forum, and I have just now come to the conclusion that you just love and cherish the information we supply! Do take notes....there may be a test in the future!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 12:28PM
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"I have, in the past, questioned your reason for perusing this forum"...because you've seen it as more gratifying to attack someone with differing views than than to address the topic at hand.

Same old.

I don't know about the "disillusioned population", but the well-informed population has moved towards evidence-based alternative medicine as opposed to relying on testimonials from people they don't know on the Internet.
By the way, how is it that you think charcoal healed the dead tissue that you say was present weeks after an apparent insect bite? Does it work on gangrene?

Here's more on what charcoal can and can't do.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 2:53PM
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I keep Aloe clippings in the freezer at all times. Any time there's a burn, microwave it for just a few seconds and rub it on the burn. Works like a charm.

Other than that, all varieties of tea and either lemon or honey.

And chicken noodle soup.

The two of those work like a charm :)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 10:10AM
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That's a good idea Mattiaswh. I never thought of keeping Aloe in the freezer. I do keep a bottle of the after-sun burn gel in the fridge for cool relief after going in the sun.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 2:41PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

Tressa, you made me laugh.
Where would one even purchase activated charcoal? Just curious.
My favorite- that's hard!
Aloe vera. It goes on everything.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 2:06PM
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Activated Charcoal

You can buy it at health food stores, walgreens, etc. Consult a physician before ingesting. I've found it very helpful when food poisoning is suspected.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 2:23PM
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This was addressed earlier in the thread. Charcoal is not recommended for most cases of food poisoning (see previous links).

As described here, common causes of food poisoning are typically treated with supportive care (like proper fluids to prevent dehydration and loss of electrolytes) or in some cases antibiotics. Use of activated charcoal is limited to uncommon things like paralytic shellfish poisoning or some types of heavy metal poisoning.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 12:44PM
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Well, that's why I said to consult a physician. Mine says it's fine, and actually recommended it to me. I've taken it a few times, it's worked great.

My advice? Don't take what anyone on the internet says for granted, gather information as you like and consult actual physicians, not people claiming to be doctors or herbalists without seeing you in person, knowing your history and proving their capability.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 8:37PM
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By the way, your link to the Mayo Clinic appears meant to suggest that they recommend using activated charcoal as a home remedy for food poisoning. That's not the case.

They mention a number of things you can do at home to relieve the effects of food poisoning (among them, staying hydrated and staying away from certain kinds of foods and alcohol until you're recovered). Their summary of professional treatment for severely symptomatic food poisoning includes fluid and electrolyte replacement and the use of antibiotics for certain kinds of bacterial food poisoning. Conspicuously absent in all of these recommendations is any mention of activated charcoal (which as mentioned before, is of possible use only in uncommon forms of food poisoning - and should only be taken under the direct supervision of a physician or poison control center).

So this is not a remedy you'd keep in your medicine chest to try if you think you've come down with food poisoning. Any doctor who'd suggest otherwise needs a refresher course.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 11:03PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

Silversword, see my post in thread "good bye..."
You'll understand I don't just "take anything."
Including what M.D.s try to push on me!
Thanks for keeping this forum alive!
My second favorite- garlic!!!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 1:28AM
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Eric, anyone who read my link would see right away that the Mayo clinic does not recommend charcoal except under advice by a physician. It says that on the very first page. I linked to that site because it is a reputable source that lists brand names of activated charcoal.

Your attempt to suggest that my link was anything more than informational is weak. I answered a question by a fellow forum member and stated my personal experience. Anyone who would take anyone's advice, including yours, without consulting someone who was qualified to give them personalized care would be foolhardy.

Novice, I love garlic! I think it's interesting that it's an antifungal and antibacterial as well. Perhaps someday more will be known about it and it could be used to treat milder illnesses and reduce the need for antibiotics... leaving those for more dangerous superbugs and reducing the risk for drug resistance.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 3:28AM
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I think these websites need your help Eric. You should probably post to all of them and let them know that their advice to use it for food poisoning is erroneous. I'd post more for your reference but it's a good start.






    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 3:42AM
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silversword, I checked out those links you provided. All provide erroneous information (in contradiction to accurate and reliable info provided by the Mayo Clinic). Two of your links go to supplement dealers' websites. Getting advice from them is like getting drug advice from a pharmaceutical company's site. Two articles are on general purpose sites, one written by an "ehow member", neither author apparently having any medical training. The other is an anonymous article on a cooking site.

This illustrates the hazards of getting medical advice from the Internet. There are a slew of websites and articles promoting all kinds of products and treatments, by people with various levels of experience and training (or none at all) and with potential axes to grind that are not in accord with readers' best interesta.

"Anyone who would take anyone's advice, including yours, without consulting someone who was qualified to give them personalized care would be foolhardy."

I absolutely agree, and have said so on numerous occasions here (I have not given personal advice, but linked to a couple of reliable sites, one of which you also chose to reference). People are best off when they see the advice of a qualified physician or other practitioner that they trust, or go to websites that are known for providing reliable information. Here are numerous sources from a thread I started awhile back on good herbalism websites.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 2:40PM
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Eric, that's why I said they needed you to go over there and tell them what you keep reiterating over here. I didn't say they were reputable sites, nor do I think they are.

We got it. You don't recommend charcoal and you think any reputable doctor would advise against it.

THIS is a good herbalism site. I enjoy chatting with most people here about what they do. I'd no more follow anyone's advice on another forum than this one, it's just for light discussion.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 8:27PM
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Sure, exchanging information here is fine. You might have noticed, though, that a number of other posters in the herbalism website thread I linked to enjoy finding useful information on other sites, and were happy to share their favorites.

I think you might have forgotten that we talked about activated charcoal and what it is and isn't good for back in June in this thread. So when you returned to the subject a couple of days ago, I mentioned again that it isn't a good home remedy for most food poisonings. No biggie, just light discussion. :)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 9:19PM
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Yep. You said charcoal isn't good for food poisoning, I said I had success with it.

Round and round we go. Difference is, I'm talking about personal experience and not trying to convince anyone of anything.

I'm glad others found use in something you posted. If you look at the thread, you'll see some were happy with your links, others were not.

Kind of like charcoal :)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 7:31PM
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" If you look at the thread, you'll see some were happy with your links, others were not."

Thanks for conceding that there are some folks who find value in my posts.

As far as your not trying to convince anyone of anything, it's odd then that you'd go to the trouble of digging up five websites to support your idea of activated charcoal being great for food poisoning, then admitting that those websites aren't reputable. What does that say about the reliability of your claim for charcoal?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 10:06PM
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ohmygosh Eric. You've missed my point twice, but I'll try again:

"I think these websites need your help Eric. You should probably post to all of them and let them know that their advice to use it for food poisoning is erroneous."

The reason I posted that is because if you truly are concerned with people using charcoal for food poisoning it would behove you to spread that knowledge as far and wide as you could, rather than beating the dead horse over here. No where in my post did I say that those websites were reputable. That was my point.

And I don't think I've ever said that you don't have some good information to share. :)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 11:05PM
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