Swine flu and snake oil

I was introduced to snake oil salesmen at a young age. My mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when I was in kindergarten, and while she has mostly followed the advice of her neurologists, she’s also looked into “alternate” therapies, ranging from the relatively harmless (massages, oils, etc.) to more invasive methods (chelation, all sorts of expensive but worthless supplements). Some of these I’ve been able to talk her out of (and I personally think her current doctor–NOT a neurologist–is a total quack), but others she’s taken because, hey, “what’s the harm?” It’s frustrating to see money and hope wasted on bogus treatments.

Of course, it’s not only chronic conditions that appeal to these salesmen; they’re all over infectious disease as well, peddling unproven treatments to “boost the immune system” and discouraging the use of conventional treatments. It appears that swine flu is their newest target (h/t Orac), as chiropractic is said to have “miraculous” results and colon cleanses, likewise, “work miracles”. The authors both suggest that their fave treatment, therefore, should also be used to treat/prevent swine flu. After all, claims Kim Evans (author of Cleaning Up! and the creator of The Cleaning Up! Cleanse, a powerful body cleanse):

And it’s my understanding that many people who took regular enemas instead of vaccines during the 1918 pandemic made it out on the other side as well.

Ah, someone has been studying up on their Whale.to 1918 flu pandemic revisionist epidemiology. Fantastic.

Seriously, HuffPost? This is what you want to promote? What’s next–lizard men?