Angry Doctor

Friday, October 20, 2006

Thousands of years of practice...

... can still be bullshit.

Or rather cow dung.

Whenever angry doc reads or hears an argument advocating a health practice based on its antiquity and popularity, he is reminded of the practice of applying cow dung onto the umbilical stumps of newborn babies.

You wouldn't think of doing something like that, but many people do exactly that.

(see here, here, and here)

They might argue that 'millions of women in Africa can't be wrong!', 'they've been doing it for generations - don't you think they would have stopped if it was not working?', 'cow dung is all-natural, how can it be bad?', and 'you western medicine people don't understand the virtues of cow dung'.

Are you convinced by any of those arguments?

Should you be?

It's a big problem. Or rather it was - progress has been made in reducing neonatal tetanus deaths.

The fact is, that just because a practice is old, traditional, is observed by millions of people and has a spiritual aspect to it does not mean that the practice is good, or indeed harmless.

So next time someone tries the same old flawed arguments on you, tell them: cow dung.

Have a good weekend.



  • Hi,
    got this in another of those forward mails.
    lets see what angrydr says about this. is one of the many old folk superstitions or is it really proven?
    Drinking Cold water after meal =


    For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you.
    It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal.
    However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just
    consumed. It will slow down the digestion.

    Once this "sludge" reacted with the acid, it will break down and be
    absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line
    the intestine.

    Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best
    to drink hot soup or warm after a meal.
    cheers. have a happy deepavali!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 21, 2006 9:31 am  

  • Of course it's not true!

    Billions of people all over the world drink cold water everyday - they can't be all wrong!

    People have been drinking cold water since artificial refrigeration was invented 200 years ago - don't you think they would have found out it was bad if it really was?

    Besides, ice and cold water from mountain springs are all natural - how can they be bad for your stomach?

    Cold and warm water are needed to balance your body, depending on whether it is too hot or cold at that point in time, so this is just a malicious rumour spread by people who do not understand the virtues of ice and coldness.

    You must of course believe me, since a blog has more authority thatn an email.

    Better still, this rumour is refuted on TWO different websites!

    By Blogger angry doc, At October 21, 2006 10:28 am  

  • "You must of course believe me, since a blog has more authority than an email."

    was that you being sarcastic, angry doc? I can no longer tell, you haven't been sarcastic in so long.

    I thought it was very big of you to apologise to The A&E Charge Nurse though. and so we get another glimpse of the inner big-hearted angry doc :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 22, 2006 4:38 am  

  • You are supposed to decide that for yourself, AM...

    By Blogger angry doc, At October 22, 2006 12:21 pm  

  • A friend of mine told me about pills containing collagen. According to the sales pitch, collagen pills are good, because collagen helps keep the skin firm and supple.

    If only more people realised that you can get collagen from eating meat. And it all gets digested in the gut anyway...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 22, 2006 11:30 pm  

  • don't knock feng shui too hard-

    granted - the philosophy and explanation probably leave a lot to be desired, but a smart feng shui master can probably figure, put the windows where you'll get adequate wind, not where it faces the rubbish dump, or the direct afternoon sun. Little fountain here'll look nice - recommend it.

    I think the basis for feng shui is common sense more than anything, no some abstract mumbo-jumbo.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 17, 2006 1:15 pm  

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