Magical cures and how they start trending

The world of pseudo-medicine has its own popular trends and now magnesium may be the new "it" substance. 

Tijana Cvjeticanin
Tijana Cvjeticanin Istinomjer, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Source: Istinomjer
Magical cures and how they start trending - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

While magnesium is a mineral that has an important role in human health, it's neither a "cure" nor a pain killer. It's certainly nothing that should be presented with a headline such as this one:

"A powder more powerful than sodium bicarbonate: Kills all pain in 2 minutes, can heal the whole body! (RECIPE)" 

But that's exactly what the online tabloids did, once again misleading their readers about what is and isn't medicine. Doubly so -- as sodium bicarbonate itself has no "powers" to be "topped" by magnesium as the headline suggests.  

To a person who knows their chemistry and biology, comparing these two substances' effects on human health makes no sense. To the audience already persuaded that baking soda cures cancer, however, this seems like an article worth reading. That's probably why it has already multiplied in numerous "natural medicine" websites.

This is how the trends in fake medicine get started: something -- anything, really -- is proclaimed a new miracle drug, the word spreads, someone makes a "recipe" or a "formula" and it eventually turns into a marketable product.

And it's at that point where the full impact of stories like this one is felt. The best case scenario is that you just waste some money on "snake oil". The worst - you endanger the health, or even the life, of yourself or your family. 

What's the "recipe" this time?

  • The article claims that boiled water mixed with magnesium chloride will increase the magnesium level in the body, thus healing any pain you may have.  
  • The source of this recipe is supposedly Norman Shealy, presented as an "American expert in hollistic medicine".
  • Shealy is a neurosurgeon, but also someone who would speak about "soul medicine" at a thing called "Interacting with other realms: A prophets' conference in Palm Springs, Spring Equinox"
  • His supposed thesis that magnesium can be applied on the skin to relieve pain has been presented as a fact and recommended for a home-made recipe.
  • Transdermal magnesium, as it's called, is already packed and sold as "a better way to consume magnesium" because "it bypasses the digestive system where nutrients are lost".
  • As in many "miracle drugs", initial research that has been done - with inconclusive findings -- is being presented as a scientific confirmation of its proclaimed effect. 
  • However, it's real effects, if there are any, have yet to be fully tested and confirmed
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