Thursday, April 26, 2012

Naturopaths Terrify Me. NDs Do Not Practice Scientific Medicine

I was facially disfigured by an incompetent MD who practiced unscientific medicine back in the 1950s. My MD was a good caring human being who was so ignorant that he used snake oil. 

He was so naive that he believed the fraudulent ads from drug companies in an era when they were as unregulated as the “dietary supplement” companies, often owned by drug companies, are today. 

Naturopaths, NDs, use snake oil now. They use silver, the “natural remedy” that disfigured me. MDs stopped using silver internally over 50 years ago, but what really terrifies me is that NDs, unlike those who practice evidence-based medicine, use, promote and sell “dietary supplements” aka “natural remedies” before they are ever studied scientifically to determine if they are safe and beneficial. One or more of these untested “remedies” could be totally useless and as lethal as cigarettes but by the time that is discovered it will be too late to save many from premature deaths. That is why naturopaths terrify me. 

Patients Beware! NDs are not MDs. No matter what they claim, naturopaths do not practice scientific or evidence-based medicine. No scientist would routinely use, promote or sell untested products or make claims about the safety and efficacy of untested products. Anyone who does that, as NDs routinely do, either doesn’t know diddle about science or is lying when he claims that he practices scientific medicine. 

The NDs of today, including those who have graduated from “naturopathic medical schools”, are as ignorant and dangerous as the MD who disfigured me over 50 years ago. But with today’s NDs it is not a problem of incompetent individual practitioners. It is a problem with the entire profession. Naturopathy is a belief-based system of medicine, not an evidence-based or scientific one and the State of Vermont is giving NDs the same privileges that MDs have. This is terrifying. This is dangerous. It is also highly deceptive.

dangerous doctors, naturopaths, incompetent doctors, vermont naturopaths, naturopathic schools, state of vermont, unscientific medicine


  1. LOL, please enlighten us with all the premature deaths you mention. How about the greater than 100,000 iatrogenic (MD caused) deaths in the US alone. You spout nothing but stupidity and ignorange. And by the way in acredited Naturopathic Medical school silver is never mentioned as a tx. LOL what dribble

  2. LOL, you don't have the guts to identify yourself! That speaks volumes, Mr Anonymous Naturopath. You are an ND, aren't you? If not how would you know what is mentioned in ND "schools"?

    Regarding premature deaths, I guess they didn't tell you in your ND schools that you don't smoke a pack of cigarettes or drink a glass of wine and die the next day. It usually takes years and even decades of exposure for many substances to kill people or cause debilitating diseases. If they taught you pharmacology and toxicology like you all claim in your schools, you would know that. But then if you don't know anything about pharmacology or toxicology how do you know that what they label with those names really isn't what the school claims it is?

    And what about reading comprehension and spelling? Do they test you on those things in your "schools"? I didn't say the premature deaths have happened. I predicted that they will happen just like I predicted the new cases of argyria that have happened before they occurred.

    I don't have to tell anyone about the deaths caused by approved drugs. The CDC, scientists and medical journals do that and alt med fans and practitioners pick them up and shout them from the rooftops hoping that people will erroneously conclude that because their stuff is dangerous that the alts' stuff is safe.

    What alts like you, an ND I assume, don't mention is the ages of the people killed by approved drugs. How many 90 year olds? Neither do they mention the condition that those who were killed or injured were in. How many were terminally ill? Neither do they admit that mistakes do happen and that those who practice scientific medicine are constantly looking for and reporting them while alts do their best to sweep them under the rug. But the strangest thing of all is that in spite of screaming at the top of their lungs about how bad approved drugs are, NDs are lobbying furiously for the privileged to prescribe and use them. Duh!

    You also never mention all the people whose lives are saved and improved by approved drugs. Automobiles kill and injury many. Know anyone who wants to return to the horse and buggy? I don't because people know that they injured and killed people too and were terribly inefficient as well. In other words with everything in life, especially drugs and therapies, one has to weigh the benefits against the risks. That doesn't guarantee you will never be injured or killed, it just greatly increases the odds in your favor which is all we can hope for in life.

    And guess what all you anonymous NDs, to weigh benefits against risks, you have to rigorously and scientifically test your drugs and therapies before you use them, something scientists learned decades ago which you guys haven't figured out yet.

  3. Can you tell me how to independently verify that accredited NDs "schools" don't mention silver? And if they don't, why not? They should be telling students that that very popular "alt remedy" is dangerous snake oil. But if accredited ND "schools" really don't mention silver, how did it get into the VT Naturopathic Formulary? Are you going to blame that one on MDs too? And how did it get into your textbook as a treatment for opportunistic infections in people with HIV? Those big, bad MDs again?And how is it that graduates of your "schools" use silver if they aren't taught about it in your schools? Are they taught to use whatever "works" for them or whatever they believe may work for them and not to limit themselves to the things they've learned about in school?

    Do you ever, ever admit that you've made a mistake? I seriously doubt it. I've certainly never seen you do that. And I can tell you that that is one of the main reasons why I hold you in such low esteem.

    I expect your marketing/lobbying machine is working hard right now to try to find ways to spin the things I write that they realize are bad for your businesses. I bet they are trying to limit the damage it is causing right now! You are engaged in marketing not in investigating and learning how to provide good health care to people.

  4. Since I pointed out the fact that if what Anonymous wrote is correct that ND schools are not teaching toxicology to students, including the toxicology of silver, I wonder if NDs are now going to include a class called "toxicology" in their promotional material in an effort to convince the public that they have the equivalent education of an MD in scientific subjects like pharmacology, immunology, etc. I wonder if they will now claim that silver is mentioned in their "accredited" schools in their toxicology courses without telling me how to independently verify that it is or how to independently verify that it was before I pointed out that it should be.

    I wouldn't be surprised if they now claim that they learn toxicology in their "accredited" schools, even the toxicology of silver. It is called marketing, not medicine. In marketing when you hear about something that makes your business look bad, you deny it, even if it is true, and/or spin it in an effort to limit the damage. In medicine, at least the scientific kind, you admit your error and correct it, and you don't expect anyone to believe claims that can't be independently verified.

  5. Hi Rosemary, I'm really sorry to hear about the treatment you received from your Medical Doctor over 50 years ago. I can't even begin to imagine what effects it has had on your life.

    After having completed my undergraduate in Biological Sciences and a 4 year accredited program of Naturopathic Medicine (just in the process of writing my board exams to become licensed) I would like to share with you some of my experiences. In my 4 years, colloidal silver has never been taught as a treatment option. And although we don't have a specific class on toxicology, I have learned in my pharmacology, botanical medicine, and pathology classes the required toxicology components.

    What I have taken away from my education is not the knowledge of specific diseases and treatments (which believe me was definitely there). But more importantly the ability to assess and make accurate diagnosis and treatment options based on studies, historical and cultural use, and clinical experience. In Western Medicine and other systems of medicine (including Naturopathic medicine which incorporates a few of them) it is always a educated guess. This is the art aspect of medicine. It is horrible, and words can not describe the negative possible outcomes but that is why medical professions have a board and that when errors in judgment occur that proper actions are taken to ensure they don't happen again.

    I continually remind myself that part of the oath that I took on graduation is first do no harm.

    I enjoyed finding your blog and wish you all the best and you continue to share your experience with people.

  6. Anthony, thank you so very much for taking the time to comment. Communicating is the only way that people can ever understand each other.

    Please do not feel sorry for me. I am an elderly woman who decided long ago that I wasn’t going to let people who don’t like the way that I look prevent me from living the life I wanted to lead. Feel sorry for all the people who have gotten argyria recently from silver supplements, especially for the children and teenagers. That never, never should have happened in this day and age but it did because they believed that it was an alt. med remedy, a natural antibiotic, a cure-all.

    While silver, not just colloidal, may never have been taught as a treatment option while you were in school (the previous 4 years I presume), that does not mean that it never was and brings us to the question of why then silver was ever included in the Vermont NDs’ state sanctioned formulary and why those NDs were so reluctant to remove it after I pointed out the problem.

    I personally find it very hard to believe that it never was taught as a treatment option for several reasons some of which I covered here: (Note especially # 7.) But in addition to what I wrote there I know that there are NDs who graduated from your schools who sell the stuff and some who use it IV. I am not going to reveal my sources right now because based on my experiences with NDs I don’t trust you. (I don’t mean this personally, Anthony. With one exception I am referring to the dozens of NDs I’ve dealt with over the past several years.)

    I realize now that I made a mistake when I found out that NDs in VT included silver in their formulary and emailed their governing agency to tell them of the illegality and danger of that. I believe I should have investigated first to have seen if I could have obtained evidence showing that specific NDs licensed in VT were using it. I was very naive then. I thought handing them the evidence about the uselessness and danger of using silver internally and the illegality of using it as a drug would result in their investigating, realizing I was correct and removing it from their formulary. Heck. I even thought they’d thank me. Instead they ignored me and told the legislators that NDs don’t use the stuff. As their rep said, “Never have. Never will.” False, false, false. NDs graduated from your schools have and still do use silver internally. She should have known that and I will always wonder if she and the other deniers did.

    I suspect that Paul Karason is the reason you weren’t taught to use silver as a treatment option when you were at ND school. His story flew all over the media and I suspect that some of your teachers realized how bad it would look if they presented it as a treatment option.

  7. I’m sorry, Anthony, but based on what you wrote and what I know about naturopathy I don’t think you were taught the difference between the science of medicine and the practice of medicine. The practice of medicine is an art. The science is not.

    In the science of medicine scientists like pharmacologists, toxicologists, biochemists, etc. use the tools of science and the scientific method to objectively study the way the body functions and the causes of disease and to evaluate the safety and efficacy of drugs and therapies. Usually after years of lab work, they do blinded studies in humans on promising drugs to see if they offer benefits to a person with a specific disease, the amount that offers those benefits to the average person and the amount that is toxic to the average person. While that doesn’t mean that drugs generally found to be safe and effective will always benefit and never harm those who take them, it does greatly increase the odds in each particular patient’s favor, and it eliminates things with no chance of helping along with those that have a great chance of harming like silver.

    In the practice of medicine doctors use the knowledge that they have obtained from the science in a rational effort to help individual patients. That doesn’t mean that they will always get it right or even that it will be easy and clear, but it does mean that they will not waste patients’ time and money on things like homeopathy, that NDs routinely use, which run contrary to everything known about chemistry and pharmacology and which are not supported by a body of solid reproducible studies in humans showing efficacy. It also eliminates dangerous snake oil like silver which won’t help anyone if taken internally but which may seriously harm them. And it eliminates lethal botanicals like aristolochic acid,

    These are concepts hard for people other than scientists and those trained as medical doctors to understand. I am trying to put together a few blogs covering them.

    Meanwhile, can you, Anthony, tell me what NDs learn about nutrition or recommend a source which will tell me that? I hear them speak about nutrition all the time and their understanding of the need for good nutrition, but I’ve yet to hear anyone explain exactly what they mean by that.

  8. Hi Rosemary,

    I couldn’t agree with you more, communication is the key to understanding.

    I read over your April 2012 blog post paying special attention to point number 7. I definitely know the Textbook of Natural Medicine and the two ND’s. Although it wasn’t used as a main text in any of our classes I’m sure it has been referred to at times. It’s good to see that since its publication more recent work as of 2002 show silver products to not hold any merit and was given a “Fail” in terms of effectiveness and safety.

    In regards to ND’s who have graduated from my school who use silver products, although I don’t know of any personally like previously mentioned, anything is possible. I take no offence to you not trusting me, this is after all an online blog, and I have chosen not to give my full name. And with your past experience with the VT governing body, I can understand not wanting to provide more detail. But also, in the discussion we’re having I don’t think it’s needed to have good conversation.

    It’s horrible when situations like what you described with the VT governing body happen. No professional body MD, ND, any profession or trade should be able to act in the way you described. Being part of a self-governing body is a privilege, not a right.

    Regarding the art versus science of medicine, this is where I find things become interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever tried to articulate this is text so I’ll try my best. I personally would like to see more research come from clinicians. Too often the body of knowledge comes from researches that are very removed from clinical practice. And when it comes down to practice things don’t always pan out the way the research would have you believe. Your point in your April 2012 post about the studies being done in test tubes couldn’t be truer. I remember my 2rd year nutrition teacher (a practicing ND) say, “when a mouse or test tube walks into your office then I’d be happy to see those other studies, until then I only want to see the human trials!” That class was structured so that we had a lecture component and an in-class small group component where we were responsible to find current research on whichever specific nutritional component and condition. It was a great class because it taught us how to filter through so much information and find the relevant pieces to help in making clinical decisions.

  9. ... continued

    Now to Homeopathy. That’s definitely a “lively” discussion even within the profession. I’ve had supervisors who would never use it and say it makes the profession look badly, and others who primarily use it and have amazing results. A close friend of mine who graduated with me is going on to do further studies in Homeopathy because in terms of results he found that modality to be his forte. My background was in biological science and my Natupathic education continued to develop my science based logic, so it can be challenging for me to let my biases down. I hope you can imagine the type of conversations I have with my friends in conventional Medical school and Pharmacology when it comes to homeopathy. The way I think about homeopathy is that just because it isn’t currently understood and that it doesn’t fit with the scientific paradigm doesn’t mean it can’t be true. There are a lot of pharmaceuticals in use who’s mechanism of action are still being worked out. Part of me wants to argue (and please understand that I’m still a very new grad, and my education will never end), that if it is a very complicated system of placebo imagine in which situations that could benefit. The body does have a very strong ability to heal itself, and if this taps into that ability, shouldn’t that be explored further. In saying that, I see some concern with that argument if people are using homeopathy to treat life threatening conditions without being aware of other options and the time frame in which to use them. That is a HUGE red flag.

    I’m sure that we could probably discuss homeopathy a lot more in depth but it would probably be more interesting to have that dialogue with a seasoned homeopath or ND who primarily uses it in practice.

    Continuing with Nutrition to answer your question some good textbooks include the Principles and Practices of Naturopathic Clinical Nutrition (which is one of my favourites), I believe the revised edition will be coming out this year so I’d hold off on acquiring a copy if you were considering that. Another good one is Alan Gaby's Nutritional Medicine . Regarding your other comment, I don’t think there is any one source that health care providers including ND’s go to define “good nutrition”. Each person is an individual in there body’s requirements and ability. The science looking into gene expression in fields like nutrigenomics and even more recently proteomics is just starting to be explored. I’m excited to see if and where the overlaps will be with “unscientific” systems of medicine such as traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda (which is not taught as part of the program).

    Thanks for taking the time to reply to my original comment. I’ll keep an eye out for any reply to this one to see if we can continue our communication. In the meantime I’m also going to be more aware of silver products and ask around to see what other colleagues thoughts are on it. Maybe read some of the published studies on its toxic effects so I can share it with others if it comes up.

  10. Anthony, are you saying that The Textbook of Natural Medicine was used in your classes but not as the main text? If so, what was the main text you used?

    The book by Murray in 2002 is for consumers, not NDs. It is a review of the lit on supplements, one of many. Regarding silver, why did it take him so long to discover the facts? MDs have known them for over 50 years and the information has been readily available in the medical literature for decades. 

    Do you understand why I find it terrifying that it took so long for a prominent ND like Murray to discover this and why I find it just as terrifying that years after he did that the information hadn’t reached the NDs licensed in VT?

    The VT ND governing body acted unprofessionally and disrespectfully in their dealings with me and Arline, but far worse than that is their total failure to address an issue affecting the safety of human beings. Even if it were true, and it most certainly is not, that no ND who had graduated from an accredited ND school had ever used silver internally, recommended that it be used that way or sold it as a supplement, the very fact that licensed NDs included it in a state sanctioned formulary would lead an unknowing public to assume that since the responsible NDs were licensed to practice medicine by the state and had included it in their state sanctioned formulary that it offered benefits and was safe. WHY IN THE NAME OF GOD IS IT SO DIFFICULT FOR NDS TO UNDERSTAND THIS??? It is so very basic.

    Why is it so difficult for them to say, “She’s right. We are so sorry.” “We,” meaning the profession, “have been endangering people.” Why don’t your professional organizations issue official public notices warning people not to use silver internally pointing out that it was included in error in the VT state formulary? The FDA, public health agencies and even businesses routinely issue such consumer alerts.

    And the problem is not just with your governing bodies. I have contacted dozens of NDs. None has responded. My blog has been posted since 2010. You, Anthony, are the first to open a discussion with me on the issues that I’m raising.

    One ND did tell me that if I want professionals to talk to me, I have to be polite. What pampered, unrealistic world does she live in? Is she a princess who lives in a castle? She certainly isn’t a person who has been facially disfigured by silver or someone seriously injured by an incompetent physician. When you see someone about to step out in the street in front of a speeding car, you scream, “Stop!” at the top of your lungs. You don’t politely say, “Excuse m, Sir. Don’t step into the street right now. You will be hit by a car.” When you see a crime committed, and I know that making drug claims for silver is a crime that puts humans at physical risk, you don’t nicely discuss the issue over tea. Endangering human beings is far worse than offending them by being rude. Take it from me. People have been rude to me for over 50 years because they don’t like the way that I look.

    Can’t NDs understand these failures make me believe that they don’t care about the health of human beings, that all they care about is marketing their profession and lobbying for the same legal rights that MDs have?

  11. Anthony, it is interesting that you state that your ND nutrition professor said that she only wanted to see human trials. It is interesting that you brought this up in a discussion on the relation between the art and science of medicine. I believe, and please correct me if I’m wrong, that NDs routinely state that good nutrition is essential to human health, that they learn about good nutrition in their schools and that MDs do not and that they use “clinical nutrition” to teach patients how to live healthy lives instead of giving them drugs like MDs do. (Actually, they state that there are times when drugs are needed and that they, NDs, do use them then, but that most of the time they use good nutrition instead because that is all that is needed.)

    Human nutrition is not a “hard science” to the degree that pharmacology and toxicology are because, unlike with animals, you cannot cage people and control all the variables - exactly what and how much they eat, when they eat, when and how much they exercise, etc. That being the case even with the human trials you teacher says she wants, it is very difficult to draw accurate conclusions which is, I would guess, one of the reasons that MDs don’t spend a lot of time getting into the specifics of nutrition with each of their each patient although I assume and hope that they cover the basics and that in cases that they feel that it is warranted that they refer patients to registered dietitians, health care professionals whose field of study is human nutrition.

    As far as I know, what scientific experts agree upon regarding nutrition for the average person, the basics based on all the reliable studies presently available, is that people should eat diets rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Protein should be from lean meat, fish and nuts, and they should limit the amount of fat, sugar, salt and alcohol they consume while maintaining a good weight appropriate to their height.

    Registered dietitians as well as other nutrition scientists and MDs also know how to treat and prevent deficiency diseases with food. They know the essential nutrients required to sustain life and the amounts required. This can be readily seen by their ability to formulate intravenous solutions that keep people alive for years.

    I believe that NDs routinely criticize MDs for not knowing about the relationship of nutrition and health and state that MDs preach science whereas NDs know that nutrition is an art not a science.

    I think this shows that NDs do not know what science is. While many aspects of human nutrition are definitely evidence-based and supported by science, things such as essential nutrients and keeping people alive on an IV, most of those affecting average people are not and cannot be for the reasons stated above about the problems with human nutrition trials. MDs understand that and realize that aside from what I said the experts agree on hat that is all that we know with a reasonable degree of certainty when it comes to the average healthy person and nutrition.

    NDs on the other hand do not understand or appreciate science or that it evaluates drugs and therapies using objective rather than subjective evidence. This is exactly why they are certain that based on their personal observations of patients that they know far more about nutrition and its effect on human health than is supported by evidence. They don’t realize the unreliability of personal observations when effects aren’t immediate and dramatic. Again, this is what terrifies me - the certitude that NDs have of knowing something is true when in reality they don’t have solid evidence to support the belief and when in fact it is nothing more than their opinion.

  12. Ah, there it is! People who primarily use homeopathy and “have amazing results”. That is their belief. It is not an established fact that the perceived improvement is a result of the treatment. It is a conclusion based on subjective personal experiences, those of the homeopath and his patient. That is not a reliable way to evaluate a therapy and scientists know that. (I hope to post a blog explaining this problem which is so difficult for non-scientists and people who haven’t gone to medical school and studied scientific medicine to understand.)

    I have no problem whatsoever with your friend going to homeopathy school to study the subject. I have a very big problem with NDs who routinely study it in their schools as a treatment modality claiming that they learn and practice evidence-based rather than belief-based medicine because they don’t.

    I have no intention of discussing homeopathy in depth with anyone. I am not saying that it doesn’t work. I am saying that if you want me to believe that it does refer me to a large body of solid studies in humans that have and can be consistently replicated by reputable scientists showing that specific homeopathic remedies do what you claim that they do. It is that simple. However, since as you state and as I’ve heard elsewhere there are now even NDs saying that homeopathy shouldn’t be used because it makes the profession look bad, I would guess that there are now even NDs who know that no such body of evidence exists.

    The fact that naturopaths include homeopathy as treatment modality as a field of study in there accredited naturopathic schools tells me beyond a shadow of a doubt that naturopaths do not believe in or understand science, that they do not practice evidence-based or scientific medicine. What I don’t understand is why they continually insist otherwise.

    Is it because they truly don’t know what evidence-based medicine is, know but don’t believe in it, realize that admitting that they don’t believe in scientific medicine is bad for business and will prevent them from being licensed as physicians and getting patients?

    If people, even some scientists, can readily admit that they believe in God even though there is no objective evidence showing that he exists, no way to prove it scientifically, why can’t NDs admit that they believe in unscientific medicine, medicine that uses remedies and therapies that are not supported by evidence as well as some that have been disproven by scientific evidence? Why can’t they just be honest with themselves and everyone else?

    Quite frankly I don’t care whether or not individuals not licensed by states as physicians practice belief-based systems of medicine. What drives me up the wall is their doing so while claiming that they practice evidence-based or scientific when it isn’t true.

  13. Rosemary, I just read the ND formulary in VT. see the web site:

    Silver is mentioned in #11. Mentions silver nitrate that is used topically. As you can see it not specified specifically for PO,IV or IM. We all know the it is used topically, who would put silver nitrate in an IV. No mention of Tin here.

    11. Minerals – (PO/Topical/IM/IV) for example:
    calcium compounds, calcium folinate, fluoride compounds, iodine
    (including potassium iodine, niacinmide hydroiodide), iron compounds,
    magnesium compound, potassium compounds, silver nitrate, trace mineral
    compounds (chromium, selenium, molybdenum, banadium, boron)

    As you can see #15 again mentions silver including it's colloidal form but only topically. No PO or IV here.

    15. Topical Medicines
    a. Debridement/escharotic agents - Urea Cream 40%
    b. Miscellaneous topical agents - Cantharidin, Capsaicin, DMSO, Selenium
    Sulfide 2.5%, Retin A, Hydrocortisone 1%, mineral salts such as
    copper sulfate to be used for iontophoresis
    c. Topical antibiotics - Silver sulfadiazine cream, colloidal silver
    d. Scabicides and Pediculosides - Lindane, Permethrin or whichever agent
    is the current recommended treatment for these infections.

    So I wonder where you are getting the silver internal info from. As with Anthony it is not taught in the schools. We get 55 hours of pharmacology including toxicology. Now patient do come in taking the stuff from supplement stores. I am an ND and all of our IV vitamins and minerals are bought from pharamacies, with the rx on it, no silver there either in an IV form. We do IV's, IM's and send pt's to NP's for IV's, all are vitamin and mineral (calcium and Manganese, Magnesium) based in sterile water and calculated for osmolality, I have never used or seen a formulation with silver or tin. Could you please provide some hard facts on your information because I can't find it anywhere. Can't use either my first name or last (too well known in the community) sorry.

    1. Anonymous, this is the VT ND sanctioned formulary that was in effect from 2009 till 2012. Physician Formulary 20091211.pdf
      I just clicked on the link and it was active. If you can't open it, please let me know. Silver is included for IV use on p. 5.

  14. Also read the memorandum dated May 2012. To your great relief silver, tin and other metals have been removed from the ND Formulary. I hope you feel better now. See address below for memorandum.

    1. Thank you Anonymous, for showing me the memorandum. Do I feel better? Not at all.

      First, I'm annoyed that the OPR never bothered to tell me. But far worse than that I don't believe that the NDs responsible for including those things in the formulary will stop using them; I fear that NDs are using other things that are more dangerous than silver; I think VT NDs have been illegally and dangerously compounding drugs or buying substances they've used as drugs from people who are not in compliance with federal drug laws like the New England Compounding Pharmacy responsible for the recent tragedy. Furthermore, the VT ND formulary will soon be obsolete. Under a bill just passed into law, Bill H.524, NDs will soon have all the same prescription privileges that MDs have. That terrifies me because as I told the legislators I am certain that NDs lack the skills and education to prescribe drugs.,

      I am also totally disgusted to see the huge amount of effort it took on my part and the part of my friend Arline to get silver removed from the ND formulary even though it had been illegally included and never should have been there. I first alerted the state regulating office about it in 2010. It was there since 2009 and not removed till May 2012.

      I am 70. Arline is older than I am. She flew in from NV to go the Sander's 2010 conference with me to speak with the NDs about silver. Do you realize the physical and monetary expenses she incurred? Do you realize the physical and monetary expenses I incurred investigating and trying to communicate with the NDs, their state regulators and the legislators? Isn't that obvious from the material on my blog? Can't you see the huge physical and material costs and the time it took just to get silver, a heavy metal toxin, dangerous, illegal snake oil removed from a formulary it never should have been included in? Can't you understand why knowing the huge effort required to do that makes me shudder at the thought that people as ignorant as NDs with degrees from accredited ND schools have successfully lobbied to become the legal equivalents of MDs when regardless of what they believe they do not have equivalent educations or skills?

      The problems encountered trying to deal with the state compound the problem. First, you have incompetents legally permitted to act as physicians. Second, it requires huge effort, time and material resources to uncover and legally stop specific illegal and dangerous practices they engage in. How much longer can NDs continue to delude themselves? Theirs is a belief-based system of medicine, not an evidence-based or scientific one. They have every right to practice their religions which is Naturopathy, but the government has no business giving them the legal right to practice medicine. Doing so deceives and endangers the public. But since when have politicians been concerned about things like that?

    2. Rosemary, have you ever actually visited a Naturopathic Medical School like Bastyr University? If you have not, or have not actually visited an ND then where does you ignorant inflammatory opinions come from. Have they ever injured you? From what I have read an MD caused you pain not an ND. Why so angry and bitter at ND's? Are you an MD, nurse, ANP or any type of scientist or healthcare professional? Have you ever spent a year in dissection lab, medical biochemistry and physiology like MD's, ND's and DO's? Guess what? In the state of Washington ND's are categorized as primary care physicians along with MD's and DO's. Please I ask you to educate yourself into current century, not the past. ND's do study evidence based medicine but are not bound by it because logic like whole foods, good sleep, proper digestion, exercise, emotion health and clean air drive our approach to health and do not need double blind studies to verify. And yes, ND's do learn toxicology in both plants and pharmaceuticals. Take a look at one of the schools website, their curriculum and descripton of classes. I will keep posting on your blog to counter anything you say that is not true. As always in health, an ND of over 23 years.

    3. Anonymous, no I have never visited an ND school. I thought it was abundantly clear that the conclusions I have drawn about the education offered in those schools are based on: the illegal inclusion of silver in the VT ND formulary by 241 graduates of those schools,; the descriptions of their practices on their official websites; the descriptions of their practices as presented to state legislators; the list of the courses they take and the descriptions of them given on their sites; the opinions expressed by MDs and medical school educators who have reviewed their textbook and course of study.

      No they have never injured me because I won’t go to them for treatment. Have they caused other people to develop argyria either directly or indirectly by promoting, using and selling silver, a dangerous heavy metal toxin and snake oil, as an “natural remedy”? I certainly believe that they have. I believe they are one of the major causes of the recent colloidal silver fad and the many cases of argyria that have resulted from it. Are they using and promoting things more toxic than silver? I suspect so. The state of Vermont made them remove cobalt, tin and nickel from their formulary along with silver. Then there are the botanicals worshipped, used, promoted and sold by the Naturopathic religion,, one or more of which could turn out to be totally useless and as lethal as cigarettes.


      If you had read and comprehended my material you would know very well that I realize that NDs are licensed to practice as primary care physicians in many states including my own which is Vermont. You would also know that I am certain they lack the qualifications to be granted such privileges and that they have gotten them through their marketing/lobbying efforts.

      You have revealed your total ignorance by stating that NDs “study evidence-based medicine but aren’t bound by it…” Evidence-based medicine is not something you can pick and choose from like a restaurant where you decide to offer customers some Italian, some French and some American cuisine. It is a system based on objective evidence rather than subjective evidence.

      “Whole foods, good sleep, proper digestion, exercise, emotion health and clean air drive our approach to health and do not need double blind studies to verify.” Here we go again. An ND trying to tell us that those things are exclusive to their profession when in fact there have been other health care professions, like nutrition and psychology, dedicated to them since the time when NDs called themselves “drugless healers”.

      Scientists know well about the difficulty of doing good scientific studies on human nutrition as well as good psychological studies, although that may change soon as brain imaging improves. However, they also know the need and value of double-blind studies when it comes to evaluating both natural and synthetic drugs which is something that NDs haven’t figured out yet in spite of all the courses they take with labels lifted from scientific disciplines.

  15. If you learned real toxicology, you’d know that no one should ingest silver and that you can’t learn about the toxicology of plants that haven’t been well studied in humans. That concept is just so basic yet none of you get it, something that demonstrates your total ignorance of the science of toxicology. Your belief-based system of medicine is stuck in the 19th century.

    Once more if you had checked my blog I think you would have seen that I have looked at your websites and the course descriptions. Yet no matter what you call them or how you describe them, your inclusion of remedies and therapies not supported by solid evidence of safety and efficacy show me that you are not learning the things you think you are. You are not learning scientific medicine or practicing evidence-based medicine. You are deluded if you believe that you are.

    I have also found a lot of utter nonsense included in your course of studies like homeopathy which contradicts all that is presently known about chemistry and which is not supported by evidence of efficacy. I have also noticed how difficult it is to find course descriptions and how impossible it is to find the textbooks you use in your schools. Care to give me a list of them?

    I do hope you continue to post here. However, I’d have lots more respect for you if you identified yourself.

    1. Rosemary, first, most folks don't want to identify themselves because they don't want their patients or other strangers following them on the internet. As a blogger, you really must understand the risk you take in putting all of your personal information out there. If you don't, then perhaps you need to learn to be a little more cautious.
      Here is a link to research being done at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, just so you know that the treatments prescribed by NDs actually do go through a process of scientific testing and their findings are peer reviewed.
      "If you learned real toxicology, you’d know that no one should ingest silver and that you can’t learn about the toxicology of plants that haven’t been well studied in humans. That concept is just so basic yet none of you get it, something that demonstrates your total ignorance of the science of toxicology"- actually from what I'm reading from every ND who has posted comments on this blog, all of them have questioned the efficacy of silver. I'm really surprised that you were not able to understand that from their comments. Makes me wonder whether you even read what they posted... whether you are even willing to consider that you might be wrong on this one.

      And besides, you have to admit that there are a lot of cases where conventional medicine does more harm than good. For example, here is a peer reviewed article from a reputable source on deaths caused by Tylenol overdose.
      Look, even aspects of conventional medicine most folks regard as harmless or commonplace are not all that safe after all.

      The real problem is not with naturopathic doctors but with your own stubborn ignorance. You cannot learn something new, you cannot admit that you're wrong. In fact, there is a huge difference between an ND- who has a doctorate from an accredited university in naturopathic medicine- and a "naturopath" or "doctor of naturopathic medicine" who can literally go online and sign a form that they can claim qualifies them to see patients. Most NDs and MDs agree that seeing an unregulated "naturopath" is irresponsible. Maybe you didn't realize there is difference between NDs and DNMs? NDs and Herbalists? NDs and Homeopaths? NDs and quacks?

  16. Excuse me, but why do you have to put “all your personal information out there” in order to address academic questions? All kinds of professionals write columns, including blogs, for mainstream media publications under their own bylines, their names, which include brief bios so that people can verify that they are who they say they are. Why is stating publicly things like NDs encourage people to eat lots of fruits and vegetables and to take supplements X,, Y or Z daily detrimental to your reputations? Why is listing the names of the textbooks you use in your schools something that could harm you personally if you posted it?

  17. The fact that NDs are starting to do research doesn’t negate the fact that presently and for many decades previously they have been routinely using remedies and therapies before they were ever adequately tested and worst still, as is the case with silver, after they were well tested and shown to be dangerous, useless snake oil.

  18. Regarding what NDs commenting here have said, first, how do you know that anonymous posters are NDs? Second, have you heard any of them scream along with me that their VT colleagues are endangering their patients by using dangerous, useless snake oil and obviously are not qualified to practice medicine? If so, please show me where.

    All I hear are people trying to coverup the fact that VT NDs have made a huge mistake. Several, including you, try to minimize it by pointing out all the people injured and killed by those who practice evidence-based medicine as if saying that rattle snakes have killed people makes it okay that cobras have too. Third, even if all the anonymous people who have posted here are NDs, they make up a very small % of the NDs I have tried to speak with personally, not anonymously, the ones who refuse to question the SAFETY of taking silver internally.

  19. I just love it when alts report on scientists reporting on their own mistakes and shortcomings, something scientists do routinely but something I’ve never found a licensed ND doing. You and the others continue to refuse to scream about the serious problem with your dear VT colleagues, the 241 state licensed NDS who included dangerous, useless snake oil in their state formulary, as well as the other licensed NDs outside VT who sell and promote the stuff. How can people who refuse to acknowledge their mistakes, LICENSED NDs, ever correct them???

  20. I most certainly do know that there are many who call themselves naturopaths who have not gone to “accredited 4-year naturopathic schools”. I think going to them is far less irresponsible than going to those who are licensed. When you go to the unlicensed ones, you at least know that their views are their own and not necessarily generally accepted by anyone else or supported by objective evidence. When most people go to NDs sanctioned by states with licenses, they assume that they have the same educations, skills, respect for and grounding in science that MDs have when nothing could be further from the truth.

    You can call me names till the cows come home. All that will do is reinforce my belief that you have no objective evidence to show that my allegations about your profession are false and for that reason resort to calling me names in an attempt to distract others, and perhaps yourself too, from noticing it, from facing reality.

  21. Name one case were your "villainous" VT ND's have used silver and caused harm to their patients. Just one case Rosemary, please enlighten your readers. My only experience with the dreaded silver is when a patient comes in and tells me they have bought colloidal silver at their local health food store and wants to know what I think. I switch them them to a high quality herbal, antioxidants, grapeseed extract but not silver.

    All you have is an old VT statute that has been removed. Nothing else. Stay tuned I will enlighten you to all of our text books. Your longtime ND. Well educated and licensed since 1989.

  22. Your anger and ignorance are showing, Anonymous ND. I hope that is because people who have read my blog have started questioning you about your medical beliefs, practices and education or lack thereof. If so, judging by your anger and comment here, I suspect that you have been unable to present a shred of objective evidence indicating that anything I’ve said here is incorrect.

    If I had documentation of a case in which a VT licensed ND had harmed someone using silver and the person gave me permission to speak of it publicly, I’m sure you know I would have done so. However, If you had learned evidence-based medicine in the ND school you went to, you would know that just because I do not know of such a person does not mean that no such person exists.

    If you knew anything about silver and argyria, you would know that most people who get argyria refuse to speak publicly. One woman waited 6 years to contact me. She was totally ashamed of herself and embarrassed because of the horrible things she had said about me online when she was taking and promoting silver. When she turned gray, she suddenly realized that I was the one presenting the facts and her buddies were the ones who were either totally ignorant or lying outright to get people to buy silver supplements.

    If you had any common sense or real medical education, you would know that even if no one has yet been hurt by silver sold, recommended or administered by a VT licensed ND, if that in fact is the case, it doesn’t mean that no one ever will be, and it doesn’t mean that the NDs were right when they included silver, dangerous, illegal snake oil and a natural toxin, along with other noxious substances in their state sanctioned formulary.

  23. Anonymous ND, if you cared about NDs’ patients instead of your turf, you would be horrified at the danger VT NDs had exposed people to, both their patients and the general public, the ones who assume that because they are licensed and include silver in their state sanctioned formulary that the stuff must be safe and effective.

    Why is it so hard for NDs to realize that I and most others are horrified by two things. First, the inclusion of silver and other noxious substances in their VT state formulary, and second, the way NDs who learn of it try, like you are doing here, to minimize it and dismiss our concerns instead of joining our chorus and screaming that the NDs made a very big mistake that they should have corrected as soon as it was pointed out to them? Why don't you understand that we think you should be apologizing for the horrible conduct exhibited by you, if you are licensed in VT, or by your colleagues who are?

    An old VT statute? Do you get any education at all in your magical institutions of higher learning? The VT Naturopathic Formulary wasn’t a statute and it isn’t old. It was in effect and included silver from 2009 - 2012.

  24. Now let me get this right, when people tell you that they are taking the “dreaded silver”, do you ask them why? Does it ever occur to you that they may be taking a “remedy” to prevent a disease they aren’t at risk of getting or to cure a disease that either they don’t have or that will resolve on its own? Or do you simply tell them to switch to other "remedies"?

    And how do you know which supplements are “high quality”? How do you define “high quality”? Do you have references to a large body of evidence consistently showing that anti-oxidants and grapeseed extract safely and effectively work for whatever illness your clients are self-medicating themselves for?

    I think it is ironic that people who preach about the body’s natural healing ability continuously try to medicate themselves and others for things most of the rest of us ignore and recover from naturally.

    How long will it take for you to tell me which textbooks you use and why, unlike most other professionals, is it so difficult to get this simple, basic info from NDs?

  25. Hi Rosemary,

    I by chance stumbled upon your site. I am neither a ND or in any health care profession however after reading the post between yourself and Anonymous ND, it is clearly apparent, from someone that has no vested interest, that you have serious emotional problems and clouded judgment issues.

    Many of us have gone through life trials that leave physical and emotional scars however it is the true show of someones character, when they are able move on and forgive. Your anger is so miss guided and directed toward people that have done you no personal harm.

    I can understand that you are only trying to warn people of the dangers of colloidal silver and I commend you for that, however there is no need to personal attack a body of professionals that are also only trying to help people.

    From what I can see from you previous post you have no qualifications in helping other people that have been harmed from colloidal silver prescribed from ND's. Why not try enjoying the remainder of your life and let them deal with their own personal demons.

    No need to reply to this comment as I will not be visiting this page again.

    I hope you find some sort of peace in your life as all your anger could only be hurting yourself and the people that surround you.

    All the best,

  26. Dear Anonymous, somehow I don’t believe you when you say that you won’t be visiting my site again. Neither would I be the least surprised to discover that you do have a vested interest. However, my response isn’t for you. It is for anyone else who may be reading.

    First, I don’t take seriously comments from unidentified people. Second, other than spam I don’t remove comments. I don’t care what people think of me. I want them to look at the facts that people present and to draw their own conclusions. If they think that I am wrong, I want them to present the evidence showing that that is the case. You haven’t done that although you have called me names. That leads me to believe that you are unable to present facts showing that I am wrong and are resorting to name calling to distract readers from noticing that.

    I have no idea what the first sentence of your third from the last paragraph means.

    While your sensitivities may be offended by what you consider my “personal attack“ on “a body of professionals that are also only trying to help people”, what truly upsets me is the fact that you and the members, or is it the other members, of that deluded profession are totally unable to understand that they harm people by presenting their beliefs about health as though they were facts based on solid, objective evidence, when they are the exact opposite. They are religious or philosophical beliefs which NDs continue to believe in even when there is overwhelming evidence, as there is with silver, showing that they are absolutely wrong.

    Get it yet? There are degrees of bad, degrees of pain. Being rude doesn’t come close to harming or endangering someone’s health or life because you either don’t understand or refuse to believe that your beliefs are not reality based.

  27. Wow, Rosemary. Your ignorance is astounding. Your hate is clear. The experience that justifies it is not.

    Be respectful to your self and remove this ridiculous and clearly unsubstantiated hate speech from the web.

    It is unbecoming.

  28. Wow, Anonymous, snakes fly. Birds crawl. I’m ignorant and hateful. You say it. It must be true. No evidence required. That is the totally naive attitude of most NDs who pay to study at accredited naturopathic schools.

    Are you one of them or are you one of the few who knows that there is no evidence supporting the safety and efficacy of most of the snake oil NDs routinely use and sell but who recognizes a great scam when you see it? A way to make a lot of money quickly? Which is it Anonymous?

    Now if you have evidence showing that what I say is false, present it. Because. unlike naive NDs, that is what it will take to convince me and most rational people that your claims about your goods and services and your allegations about me are true.

    Insults just aren’t going to intimidate me, certainly not when you are endangering innocent people and plunging evidence-based medicine back into the pre-scientific era of our ancestors.

    All I hope is that you have been reduced to trying to intimidate me with your name calling and personal attack by the fact that you know many have read my material and realize that, unlike naturopathy, it is supported by solid evidence and that you have been unable to present a shred showing that I am wrong and NDs are right.

  29. Thought you would be interested in the LA Times article today by Monte Morin titled "Scientists seek to fight infections with silver. Age-old curative gets new attention as study shows success in mice." Very interesting combining silver with antibiotics to fight resistant bacterial strains. I will try to find the study. Yours truly anonymous ND.

  30. Thank you so much, Anonymous ND, for taking the time to bring this to my attention. I have just posted a blog on it.

  31. As another poster said, you've cited an obsolete VT medical statute. Even in Western medicine, there are drugs that continue to be used (albeit occasionally) when safer alternatives are available. Why does Walmart Pharmacy continue to dispense thioridazine? It causes potentially fatal QT prolongation, retinitis pigmentosa, and other terrible things. Same goes for thiothixene (Navane) - it can cause tardive dyskinesia, which in some cases is irreversible. I know because I am a victim of it.

    Do I blame the quack that gave it to me when other options were clearly available? Sure I do. I trusted his opinion and did not look at his age as a liability - in fact, I thought it was an asset (more experience = more knowledge). Unfortunately this was not the case. I was poor and had bad insurance so that's all I could afford - in retrospect, if I wasn't so prideful, I would have gone on Medicaid and gotten Seroquel for free. But it happened, and I just have to move on.

    Just because Navane is still in the forumlary does not mean it should have been given to me. Same goes for the silver - yes it was listed in the ND drug list, and should not have been there, but that does not obligate an ND to use it. Why were these drugs ever allowed to be manufactured in the first place? As you can see, it's a failure on multiple levels - the lawmakers, the FDA, the generic durg manufacturers, and so on. Everyone has accountability here.

    I am genuinely sorry about your misfortune. I too was an unwitting guinea pig in an ill-conceived pharmacologic experiment. The world is a dangerous place and, unfortunately, not everyone is looking out for people's best interests.

  32. I think you've missed several points. Licensed naturopaths with degrees from their 4-year accredited schools included silver in their VT sanctioned formulary in 2009. even though in 1999 the FDA had stated in the Federal Register that it was illegal to use it as a drug. Yet NDs listed it as such and even permitted its IV use.

    Whatever silver substance NDs use is not manufactured as a legal drug. I believe that is true of several other minerals that they included in their formulary. When I asked the state attorney who regulates them where they got those substances from, he refused to tell me. Do you think he would have done that if their sources had been legal?

    The MD who prescribed a silver drug for me did so over 50 years ago. He was one of the last MDs to learn that taking silver internally is dangerous and useless. Yet NDs today haven't been taught that at their accredited schools, and there most definitely are some using, selling, and promoting it, even using it IV.

    When I pointed out their error to the NDs, they ignored me. I am quite certain that the only reason that silver and other noxious substances were removed from their formulary, which you call “an obsolete VT medical statute”, is because of the fuss I made to the state regulators and three legislative committees. If left to the NDs, all those things would still be there.

  33. I have no idea why Walmart’s continues to dispense thioridazine. Nor do I know if there are better alternatives. I’d have to investigate the subject to know that. I’m sorry that it has harmed you. Did you sue your doctor? If you are correct about his being negligent, I certainly hope you did.

    I know quite well that many well trained MDs make mistakes and that some are quacks. I also know that drugs are sometimes more harmful than helpful.

    However, before drugs are approved, they are studied in large numbers of people to see if they offer benefits, the amount that offers those benefits, and the amount that is harmful to the average person taking it. Based on those findings, we can make informed decisions about taking them, weigh the odds of whether or not the benefits of taking them will outweigh the risks. That doesn’t mean we will never be harmed. It just means that we will greatly increase our odds in our favor.

    The naturopathic profession, unlike medical doctors, habitually uses unstudied “dietary supplements” or “natural remedies” as well as dangerous snake oil like silver already known to be at best useless and at worst dangerous. This is entirely different than the situation with MDs where you have some members of the profession, rather than the profession itself, using harmful substances.

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