Don’t Let These “Miracle Cures” Ruin Your Trip October 28, 2016 By Josh Martinez Leave a Comment We all know what to look for with a phony advertisement. Whether it’s a pop-up guaranteeing dangerously fast weight loss or an email with a scheme to make millions quick, the signs are obvious. But, what about a fake cure? Most fake cures seem obvious. There’s no way violin music or charcoal powder can remedy a disease. But, when diseases like Zika and Ebola spread, it’s harder to ignore a possible lifesaver. Just because the ailment is different does not mean the authenticity is any better. Here are five dangerous fake cures to stay away from while planning your trip: Colloidal Silver There have been arguments over silver as an antibacterial for centuries. While the metal can keep water purified or treat burns, many in the medical community argue against any benefits. Some claim that silver can prevent Ebola and some worried travelers listen. It’s not just Ebola either. The same people brag that silver particles can effectively fight Zika, tuberculosis and HIV. It sounds too good to be true for a reason. There are currently no legitimate studies to back up the claims of this miracle cure. In fact, the silver is often administered in a way that can cause irreversible damage. The silver particles, or colloidal silver, are often sold suspended in liquid and used as a spray or drank. Ingesting great amounts of the silver causes a buildup in the body’s tissues over time. This leads to Argyria, where parts of the skin will permanently turn blue or gray. Unsurprisingly, the FDA ruled multiple times that colloidal silver is a health hazard that cannot be sold over the counter. Drinking silver particles won’t keep you from getting Zika, but there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of catching the virus. Vitamin C Injections This vitamin dose is not from an orange or a pill, but through an injection. The theory is that because vitamin C is an antioxidant. So, injecting incredible amounts into your body can take down any disease. Like many of these miracle cures, there is little scientific proof. The vitamin C theory grew after the story of a doctor using injections of the vitamin on patients with polio. None of the patients developed paralysis, so vitamin C is was the cure, right? Not necessarily, since various attempts to replicate these results have failed. Massive doses of vitamin C weren’t able to cure diseases. But, they did give patients nausea, headaches, kidney stones and many other issues. Thanks to Dr. Jonas Salk we now do have a polio vaccine, along with many other vaccines that will work much better than Vitamin C injections. Essiac Tea Want a good start to avoid a bogus cure? Don’t trust something that gets its title from the creator’s last name spelled backwards. Such is the case with Essiac Tea, a drink that boasts it can cure cancer for roughly $30. Created by Rene Caisse, story goes that the Canadian nurse used sheep sorrel root to create a tea, giving it to her cancer-ridden aunt. The aunt survived for decades, encouraging Caisse to continue giving the tea to other relatives with cancer. With continued success, the nurse spread the word of her cure, even setting up a clinic for patients with no hope of surviving their diagnoses. In the decades since, the tea has been tested on cancer patients in hospitals around the world. The unanimous consensus is that the tea has no anti-cancer properties. Essiac Tea was unable to cure any cancer, but some patients did report flu-like symptoms and other adverse effects. A few studies even added the product to cancer cells in tubes, only to see the cells grow. You might not be able to cure cancer with Essiac Tea, but the HPV Vaccine can help prevent contracting cervical cancer. Essential Oils Essential oils can be helpful for aromatherapy purposes. In treating stress and its symptoms, the oils can help relieve many issues. But, just because lavender oil can ease a headache, doesn’t mean it can treat a viral infection. That’s just what some companies making these oils claim. They say anything from hepatitis to Zika and even multiple sclerosis can be solved with a mix of essential oils. This prompted the FDA to act fast and issue warnings to the companies making such overconfident claims. There is no science to back up these remedies and they aren’t approved by the FDA. It might be wise to just continue using clove or lemongrass oil for stress relief. Maybe try standard vaccinations for a much more reliable way to stay healthy. Bracelets This one feels odd and a bit outdated to point out but no bracelets prevent Zika or relieve motion sickness. For decades metal bracelets have been pushed as keys to pain relief and wellness. The idea stems from millennia-old beliefs that magnets could prevent disease and affliction. Since the resurgence of these bracelets in the 1970s, they’ve been repeatedly been proven false. The spread of mosquito-borne viruses caused these bracelets to regain popularity. This time they aren’t working as magnets, but as a bug repellent. The purpose for the accessory might be different, but the result is the same. Insect repellents wristbands don’t work and you shouldn’t waste your money on them. Instead of wearing a fake repellent on your wrist, try an insect repellent spray or a mosquito net for overnight stays. Are you traveling to another country and want to know what vaccines will keep you healthy? Passport Health can help! Call us at 480-345-6800 or book an appointment online! Do you have any questions about bogus cures? Did we miss any fake remedies? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter or in the comments.