Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It's "Natural"

I really hate it when people assume that just because something is "natural" that means it's safe. Or, when they ask me to recommend a "natural" alternative to their prescription because they don't want to take drugs - they prefer something "natural" and "safe".
Let's talk about natural...
Many drugs were originally derived from nature. That Lanoxin your doctor prescribed? Comes from the foxglove - a lovely flower that I happen to have growing among some wildflowers on the edge of my property. Aspirin was derived from tree bark. Penicillin, in case you forgot your history lessons, came from mold. Premarin - now's the time for the squeamish to look away - comes from horse urine. Gross, but a good source of estrogen if the horse happens to be pregnant. Morphine is derived from the opium poppy. Armour Thyroid come from pigs - if you doubt me, ask me if you can smell it sometime, it smells like dead pig (ugh). These are example of drugs derived from nature that can be helpful, if not good for those who need them.
I once was standing in line at a grocery store, and a lady in front of me was buying some herbal weight loss product. The cashier asked "Does this stuff really work?" and the customer responded "I don't know, but it's all natural, so it can't hurt to try it." Not being one who can just let a stupid (or maybe just naive) comment like that slip by, I said to the lady "Natural does NOT mean good for you! Tobacco is natural, marijuana is natural, cocaine is natural. You gonna run out and try those, too?" The lady didn't buy the diet junk....
So - next time you see "All Natural!" on a label, don't be fooled. And, if you want to know how natural your prescription drugs are, just ask me...

(now that I've typed the word natural so many times, it's starting to look funny - have I spelled it right???)

7 comments:

MrHunnybun said...

Interesting post-I hate stupid comments like those too.

Also, I get fed up with the, "does it have any chemicals in it?" comment

Last week I had someone looking for "Natural Vitamin C tablets with no chemicals in" Vitamin C is Vitamin C whether you extract it from an orange, or make it in a complicated synthesis reaction. If you are that bothered, go and buy some fruit instead!

inquisitivesensitive said...

Yeah, I have never bought into all that "all natural" crap. :) Have you heard of the cleansing flush out diet consisting of lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and water? It's supposed to detox you. Such a load of crud. If people just ate healthy in the first place they wouldn't feel the need to detox at all.

Love your blog! :) Halarious stuff!

~Heather

The Pharmacy Psychic said...

Oh yes, I fight this battle with my own bother. She "hates taking drugs" but has bottles and bottles of herbs and vitamins.

The most potent poisons in the world to humans are natural. Cyanide, botulism toxin, dart frog poison...

Sheila said...

WOW. That is crazy what some of those things are made of!

Shalom said...

@SOSP: Armour Thyroid indeed stinks vehemently, but it's only the third worst. Runner-up is Theregran Hematinic, the ones with dessicated stomach and liver, although since they started putting that in unit-dose blisters from the factory I don't have to smell it anymore. The absolute king of stink, though, is Cleocin Pediatric Granules: if you've ever driven past the Fresh Kills garbage dump in Staten Island before they closed it, you'll recognise this smell. I can't imagine how anyone can take that, just reconstituting it makes me nauseous.

@HunnyBun: The stupidest sentence I ever read was in a newspaper article regarding some arrests of suspected terrorists in Australia a couple of years ago: "Substances believed to be chemicals had been seized in Sydney by officers wearing protective clothing, police said."

That translates to "stuff that they think is stuff", as far as I can tell... and I've had that exact argument about the Vitamin C several times myself.

@InqSen: Every so often I get someone wandering into the store looking for something to "clean me out". When I was young and naive I used to think they were looking for a laxative, but what they really mean by this is that they've been toking all weekend and just found out that they have to take a drug test, so they need something to either get the drugs out of their system or fool the test. Sorry, that ain't happening... goldenseal does exactly zip for this purpose, but it doesn't stop people from buying it. Should they ask, I shall tell them so, but they believe what they want to believe.

@PPsychic: Freudian slip much?

(captcha: "bynzdip" ?)

sickofstupidpeople said...

Shalom,
Oh yeah - Cleocin does smell nasty. I try to only dispense it to people with gastric tubes, preferring to have parents open capsules up for kiddos who can't swallow them - if, of course, it's the right dose...

ShnayGoesTheUnicorn said...

I hear that "It's natural!" Excuse all the time, I live in a marijuana-friendly state and every time a friend asks why I don't smoke, followed by a "It's all natural!" or "It's just a plant!" I seriously have to list off all the plants and natural things that will kill you flat in two seconds. Usually in response I get a confused stare or a "But it's different!" Ugh.