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Deadly Nature: Quack Medicine Exposed For Peddling "Natural" As Medicinal

Posted by Jerry De Luca on Sunday, June 11, 2023

Alternative and complimentary medicine shamelessly promotes anything "natural", from plant or animal, as unquestioningly beneficial and curative. There are no scientific studies to back up their "natural cure", but because it is from nature, it works! The proven medications available to the consumer are the result of five to ten million dollars and at least five years of testing and research, before and if approved. Snake-oil quacks dupe consumers into believing their miracle products work by providing zero evidence, only that it is from nature. As we see from just a sampling of the examples below, much of nature can be deadly: 

"A basic concept in toxicology is that 'only the dose makes the poison'. Everyday harmless substances like water have the potential to be lethal when consumed in large enough concentrations. Measuring a lethal dosage is very difficult. 

"First, living things are complex: factors like size, diet, biochemistry, and genetics vary across species. This makes it difficult to qualify toxicity in a universal way. Second, individual factors like age or sex can also affect how deadly a substance is. This is why children have different doses for medications than adults. 

"Third, how a poison is taken into the body (orally, intravenously, dermally, etc.) can also impact its deadliness. As a result, there are many ways to measure and rank toxicity, depending on what substance or organism is under investigation. Median lethal dose (LD50) is one common way for measuring toxicity. LD50 is the dose of a substance that kills 50% of a test population of animals. It is commonly reported as mass of substance per unit of body weight (mg/kg or g/kg). In the graphic above, we curate LD50 data of some select biotoxins found in nature and present them on a scale of logarithmic LD50 values. What’s surprising is just how potent some toxins can be." Just a sampling of deadly natural toxins: 

1. Fungi and molds make poisons called mycotoxins 

Mycotoxins are a global problem. They affect crops from many countries, and can cause significant economic losses for farmers and food producers. 

2. Phytotoxins can defend plants…and attack cancer 

Plants use phytotoxins to defend themselves other organisms, like humans. Urushiol, for example, is the main toxic component in the leaves of poison ivy, poison oak, and sumac. But the Pacific yew tree produces Taxol that’s valuable in chemotherapy treatments. 

3. Fire salamander toxin is an ingredient in Slovenian whisky 

Though not widely available, some whisky makers in Slovenia use Samand Arine from the fire salamander to create a psychedelic alcohol. 

4. Ciguatoxins exist in the guts of reef fish 

Very unique species of bacteria living in the digestive tract of reef fishes make ciguatoxin. They transmit this poison to other organisms when the host fish is eaten. 

5. Pufferfish are deadly, but also delicious 

Pufferfish contain tetrodotoxin, a potent neurotoxin in their ovaries, liver, and skin called tetrodotoxin. Despite being a delicacy in many countries around the world, it has a lot of strict regulations because of its ability to kill people. In Japan, for example, only specially licensed chefs can prepare pufferfish for consumption. 

6. Batrachotoxin is lethal to the touch 

The skin of some poison dart frogs secretes a deadly substance called batrachotoxin. It is so potent that simply touching the poison can be fatal. Indigenous people of Central and South America used batrachotoxin to poison the tips of hunting weapons for centuries. 

7. Botox contains the deadliest biotoxin known 

Commercial Botox uses an extremely small amount of biotoxin from a microbe called Clostridium botulinum. It paralyzes the muscles, preventing contraction (i.e., wrinkling). It is the deadliest known biotoxin on Earth. One gram of botulinum toxin can kill up to one million people. 

Source                                                                                                                          Ranked: Biotoxins in Nature, by Lethal Dose https://www.visualcapitalist.com/visually-ranking-biotoxins-in-nature/ 


"An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but the same can't be said for apple seeds. The seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides, making them mildly poisonous. If you consume enough of the seeds, by chewing, mashing, or breaking them apart in some way, you could ingest a fatal dose. 

"But that's a lot of apples. Although the number of seeds varies from apple to apple, as does the exact amount of cyanide-releasing glycosides, the adult of average weight would need to finely chew and eat about 222 apple seeds, or about 26 apple cores, to receive a fatal dose. Much less would be harmful to children. According to one study, seeds of Golden Delicious apple varieties contain more cyanide-releasing glycosides than other types. But no matter the variety, whether you cut up apples for your children or eat them whole, be sure to remove the seeds to be on the safe side." 

18 Poisonous Plants and Flowers                             https://www.treehugger.com/plants-that-could-kill-you-4869362 

Further Reading 

Common Poisonous Plants and Plant Parts                                                            https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/landscape/poisonous-plants-resources/common-poisonous-plants-and-plant-parts/   

Poison Myths Busted: Are Herbal, Natural, and Organic Products Non-Toxic? https://blog.mdpoison.com/2019/03/poison-myths-busted-are-herbal-natural-and-organic-products-non-toxic/   

Should you try a “natural alternative” before medication? https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/should-you-try-a-natural-alternative-before-medication/    

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Photo: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/red-apple-aida-ianeva.html 


Jerry De Luca is a Christian freelance writer who loves perusing dozens of interesting and informative publications. When he finds any useful info he summarizes it, taking the main points, and creates a (hopefully) helpful blog post.


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