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Dangerous territory... giving medical advice


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#1 RoseRed

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 01:18 PM

In recent years, I've seen a lot of people coming online looking for help with medical issues.  Of course, we want to help those that are suffering - that's a no brainer - but check yourself before you wreck yourself... 

 

The Herbal Resurgence movement has been huge.   They educate, they share information, they provide resources so people can research these things for themselves.  What they don't do is practice medicine without a license.

 

Paul Bergner (runs an herbal school on the west coast) wrote the preface to an amazing article that discusses this.  Google is your friend.

 

 


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#2 Kalinia

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Posted 02 July 2016 - 01:37 AM

Great post. So many people, myself included are very sensitive to medicines/herbs and it is incredibly wise for people to research/consult with a professional before ingesting anything or using it on the body.
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#3 Belle

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 03:55 PM

I have issues with this subject.  The essential oil craze is so dangerous. People buy a book and bottles of oils and suddenly they are an expert and have no problem prescribing for others when they just 'read a book'..

 

My past career was in health care and it was forbidden for anybody but a licensed practitioner to prescribe or advise regarding drugs or OTC products or even herbs. 

 

What you gather on your own by searching the internet or reading the back of the box is fine. I think that it is ok to make suggestions but with a disclaimer. 


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#4 bewitchingredhead

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 11:43 PM

@RR- That reminds me of an article/blog post I came across recently. 

 

http://www.aquariand...be-a-plantwitch


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#5 PapaGheny

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 06:18 PM

I found this to be a wonderful article Rose Red. I particularly enjoyed the writer's thoughts on how many of the grounds in these cases can be looked at as a first amendment issue over criminal justice. As well as current social expectations of language. Something that I have spent many a late night pondering or in deep conversation over.

I can't say I agreed with all the opinions or perspectives that the article took(It was a bit long and they covered a lot of ground). But, even those I didn't agree with where worth a thought or two.

 

All and all good advice and a great article. Thank you for pointing it out.


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#6 ScyldisBlackbriar

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 01:04 AM

As a professional herbalist, I completely agree with the sentiment expressed here. Helping others responsibly is key, and outside of a professional consultation, I find it more helpful to give "advice" from a place of personal experience. Tell your story of what condition, etc. you had and how an herb (or whatever) helped you... Disclaimers are good.

HOWEVER....

I think its ridiculous that EVERYTHING needs a disclaimer on it. I am not a fan of all the bubble wrapping. Individuals should take some personal responsibility instead of following some random person on the internet's advice without question. Take ALL advice online or from random people with a grain of salt. Or a bowl of it. As a witch this is an especially big pet peeve of mine. Life is dangerous, don't be an idiot. Stop seeking others to blame for your failure to use common sense. Low skill level? Work with gentle, nourishing, food-like herbs. Do not fuck with things beyond your skill level, period. That applies to magick, spirit work, medicine, everything. The information is out there. If you don't want to do the research, seek a medical professional.

Now, people who tout themselves as professionals and intentionally mislead people for personal profit/gain... that's another story.


Edited by ScyldisBlackbriar, 06 July 2016 - 01:07 AM.

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#7 ScyldisBlackbriar

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 01:12 AM

@RR- That reminds me of an article/blog post I came across recently. 

 

http://www.aquariand...be-a-plantwitch

This is a great article. I alternate between being grateful that the interest in plant medicine is growing, and incredibly agitated by all the "hashtag plantwitch" hipsters on instagram.


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#8 Duchess

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 02:43 AM

I agree with you ScyldisBlackbriar. No matter what someone suggestions on the Internet, you are responsible for the consequences of acting on them. This is a good reminder, the internet can be an amazing place to find new ideas. I hope that when most people ask for medical advise on the internet, it's not with the intention of downing suggestions immediately, but gathering ideas to discuss with qualified health provider. 


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#9 Oroboros

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 04:50 PM

200% agree Duchess. Due diligence is key. All ideas and advice given by fellow lay people are our own to test and prove before trying.
I've seen some good advice given on here. That doesn't mean I'm going to go toss down a suggested remedy without researching the idea myself. There is a big difference between ideas and playing doctor.
That said anyone claiming to be an herbalist or making claims of special knowledge, etc... who isn't is being not just irresponsible, but fraudulent.

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#10 Belle

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 07:24 PM

I personally am not an herbalist type witch but I do have experience with drugs. I worked for many years in pharmacy and in that setting only a qualified pharmacist could make a recommendation. A clerk or technician could not even suggest an OTC or herbal remedy because of the professional setting. It was illegal to do so. 

 

It isn't illegal for a friend to recommend something that worked for them. 

 

I went to an essential oil party recently and it is a big fad. It is set up as a pyramid type sales system. The lady was new, it was her first party and she had the book and some kind of testing device. She knew nothing about the oils but she put herself into the position of being the 'expert' because she had a book. Essential oils can be very potent. 

 

I knew someone well who was into the essential oils and he thought more was better and he fucked himself up so badly. He developed an allergic reaction due to overuse and he developed a rash. His solution was to use more oils and then it got worse and infected with staph and his cure was to use more oils. His leg was swollen up to enormous proportions and festering but his cure was to use more oils. He couldn't walk and was incredibly sick but his cure was to use more oils. He refused to go to the doctor because he hated doctors and thought that he knew best..Eventually he had to go to the doctor but that was after weeks or months of agony and disability. They gave him antibiotics and that took care of the problem. He was self medicating with essential oils and he had the book and was a distributor so he was an expert.  The rash never went away completely for years, or ever as far as I know. 

 

He wasn't stupid as a rule, but he was strongly misguided. 

 

Which is why I don't understand the essential oil pyramid schemes. I don't see how that is ok. It's not ok. 

 

'


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#11 ScyldisBlackbriar

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 07:56 PM

I personally am not an herbalist type witch but I do have experience with drugs. I worked for many years in pharmacy and in that setting only a qualified pharmacist could make a recommendation. A clerk or technician could not even suggest an OTC or herbal remedy because of the professional setting. It was illegal to do so. 

 

It isn't illegal for a friend to recommend something that worked for them. 

 

I went to an essential oil party recently and it is a big fad. It is set up as a pyramid type sales system. The lady was new, it was her first party and she had the book and some kind of testing device. She knew nothing about the oils but she put herself into the position of being the 'expert' because she had a book. Essential oils can be very potent. 

 

I knew someone well who was into the essential oils and he thought more was better and he fucked himself up so badly. He developed an allergic reaction due to overuse and he developed a rash. His solution was to use more oils and then it got worse and infected with staph and his cure was to use more oils. His leg was swollen up to enormous proportions and festering but his cure was to use more oils. He couldn't walk and was incredibly sick but his cure was to use more oils. He refused to go to the doctor because he hated doctors and thought that he knew best..Eventually he had to go to the doctor but that was after weeks or months of agony and disability. They gave him antibiotics and that took care of the problem. He was self medicating with essential oils and he had the book and was a distributor so he was an expert.  The rash never went away completely for years, or ever as far as I know. 

 

He wasn't stupid as a rule, but he was strongly misguided. 

 

Which is why I don't understand the essential oil pyramid schemes. I don't see how that is ok. It's not ok. 

 

'

Ugh... don't even get me started on the essential oils craze. Just because something is "natural" doesn't mean its safe... and a big mistake here is thinking that essential oils are even really "natural" to begin with. They are isolated parts- the volatile oils- of a plant, reduced to a drug-like form. They don't interact with our bodies the way whole plant medicine does.

This is sort of what I was talking about when I said that folks should use what is appropriate for their skill level, and unfortunately, essential oils are not represented in a responsible way. They require more caution than most folks think.


Edited by ScyldisBlackbriar, 06 July 2016 - 07:57 PM.

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#12 Oroboros

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 08:07 PM


My father refused to take medicine for his atrial fibrillation and his high blood pressure. He was determined to treat it naturally. Even after it was evident the natural approach was not working- he persisted to refuse standard medicine.
Eventually, predictably, he had a stroke. That was his own damn fault. He wa a grown, intelligent, man. He had been advised of the risks by doctors and myself. No matter what anyone told him- he felt he knew best. That outcome lies on him. Refusal of a stubborn adult to seek medical attention is no one's responsibility but their own.- in my opinion.

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#13 Mountain Witch

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 08:10 PM

In re: essential oils: this article popped up in my news feed a couple of months ago. Note the "advised by [essential oil company] representative" http://about-essenti...ntial-oils.html

 

I use a couple of examples similar to those in the article when I lecture. (Aromatherapy United is a good resource for EO information.) You wouldn't believe the number of people who thought essential oils were "safe" until I point this shit out. I even had one lady tell me, "but [essential oil company] representative said..."

 

Then there are the savvy ones whose eyes get about the size of saucers & want to know how dumb people are.


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#14 Oroboros

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 08:22 PM

@MW:
I agree.
Any human in a position of trust- claiming to have special knowledge- abusing that should be shot.

Also, I suppose I overestimate the intelligence of some people. How sad to assume a company selling a product can be trusted to give unbiased medical advice. You can't trust a pharmaceutical company to not claim their drug is the best cure unbiasedly either. This is why Primary care docs and other professionals with out a stake in which cure you choose should be consulted.

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#15 Belle

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 09:45 PM

The other thing I hate about the essential oil sales system for the companies that I am familiar with is the pyramid type of sales that are like Amway. The distributor gets special pricing

and they charge full torque to their 'clients' who usually consist of family, friends and acquaintances. Those are the people they target. Basically they are pressuring or bothering their acquaintances to buy the overpriced product. Using 'parties' as sales platforms is nothing new but there is always an unspoken obligation to make a purchase, and then there is the sales pressure to become a distributor yourself and work under them so they can share in your profits. The whole scheme is about using and abusing personal contacts. I hate that and I don't respect people who do that in a blatant way.  I never felt that way about Tupperware parties because that wasn't so sleazy. 

 

@Mountain Witch...that was a good link...There were no warnings given at the essential oil party I attended. I found it to be appalling. 

 

Proper herbalism that many witches practice is a completely different matter. I respect that, and I know that it is a serious practice that requires much labor, skill and education.


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#16 Aurelian

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 01:14 AM

In re: essential oils: this article popped up in my news feed a couple of months ago. Note the "advised by [essential oil company] representative" http://about-essenti...ntial-oils.html

 

I use a couple of examples similar to those in the article when I lecture. (Aromatherapy United is a good resource for EO information.) You wouldn't believe the number of people who thought essential oils were "safe" until I point this shit out. I even had one lady tell me, "but [essential oil company] representative said..."

 

Then there are the savvy ones whose eyes get about the size of saucers & want to know how dumb people are.


Jaysus.  Let's just apply pure aromatics to mucus membranes.  For safety reasons maybe we should dilute them in DMSO?  Or an alkylating agent?

How about clary sage oil dissolved into a vesicant and used as eyedrops for seasonal allergies?  I'm sure it would sell well.

God people are stupid.


Edited by Aurelian, 07 July 2016 - 01:15 AM.

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#17 Oroboros

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 02:06 AM

Right?!
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...From ev’ry depth of good and ill , The mystery which binds me still...— Poe