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Speaking up for snake oil

MagazineJanuary 1998 (Vol. 8 Issue 10)Speaking up for snake oil

I was surprised to see you using snake oil as an example of ineffective treatment (in your flier for WDDTY's Cancer Handbook)

I was surprised to see you using snake oil as an example of ineffective treatment (in your flier for WDDTY's Cancer Handbook). Granted, it may not be the most useful treatment for cancer, but in Central America, a long way from the sea, in a poor population on a corn diet (low in niacin), the omega-3 essential fatty acid in snake oil might well have had a spectacularly good effect on a wide range of symptoms. Instead of quoting it as an example of quackery, it would be more appropriate to use it as an example of the wisdom of much folk medicine. Dr Sybil Birtwhistle, Fulbourn, Cambridge.......


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