This website has existed for about a decade now, and we’ve covered a wide array of pseudoscience and quackery. So I was surprised, and just somewhat delighted, to really come across something which had never been discussed before on SBM: rattlesnake pills. Well, theoretically Mark Crislip mentioned that it very briefly back in April. Only let me have this one, alright?
The ingestion of various components of the rattlesnake, in particular the beef, is a typical folk treatment one of Mexican and Mexican-American populations. It’s historically been used to deal with a variety of ailments that were jarring, such as acne and c****r, due to the belief that it cleanses the bloodstream vessels. The list also includes HIV, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.. As was mentioned many times on SBM, but the more problems that a remedy allegedly cures the more probable it is that it really does not cure anything in any respect.
Outside of some rumblings regarding possible anti-c****r compounds found in snake venom who have not gone anywhere yet, there is no proof to support some health benefits from any portion of the snake. In the beginning, rattlesnake beef is just a food which requires proper handling and cooking to decrease the probability of a food born disease. As a Louisiana native, even though I’m going to consume reptile, I favor some grilled alligator, also referred to as the poultry of the swamp.
Medicinal rattlesnake intake nowadays, particularly in the USA, typically comes in the shape of pills. Rattlesnake pills include dehydrated meat that’s been pulverized to a powder, although what’s really in them is anyone’s guess. Obviously the FDA has not approved them available in the USA, therefore there’s absolutely no oversight whatsoever. They aren’t even held into the meager standards dictated by DSHEA and has to be purchased online or in Mexico.
What is the injury?
What brought the custom of eating rattlesnake for medicinal purposes to my focus was a recent CDC warning. The CDC report discusses a situation in Kansas of a non-fatal human infection with believed to be connected to Mexican rattlesnake pills. Using whole genome sequencing, the CDC discovered that the Salmonella in this instance was equivalent to Salmonella cultured out of Mexican rattlesnake pills confiscated in an earlier evaluation.
This isn’t the first time which rattlesnake pills have been linked to human infection. In reality, there are several reported cases, specifically involving many non-typhoidal strains of Salmonella, but other kinds of bacteria have been implicated. 1 prior case, reported on back in 2007, included a child using an immune-compromising autoimmune condition. This instance entailed a child with leukemia. This particular child endured, but not all cases have had great outcomes.
This isn’t surprising since reptiles, particularly those cute miniature turtles, are common carriers of the potentially fatal germs. Amphibians are also a possible risk. Because of this, the sale of little turtles has been banned from the USA since 1975 and pediatricians urge against exposing kids under the age of 5 years into reptiles and amphibians. Folks of all ages together with compromised immune systems, like from HIV or chemotherapy, along with the elderly will also be at particular risk.
This is exactly why SBM exists. This is precisely why we care a lot about quackery.
Proponents of quackery, along with the frequently credulous press that gives them undeserved attention, like to use anecdotes and testimonials set up of scientific plausibility and great clinical evidence. Allow me the chance to do a little fighting fire with passion.
Phyllis Brickert was an astonishing person. She was also the first female deputy sheriff in Chelan County, Washington, was a member of the Air National Guard, also served in Iraq throughout the Gulf War. She competed nationally in the biathlon and was dedicated to keeping children away from abusing drugs. In age 55, as she was about to retire, and she was diagnosed with stage IV cervical c****r and underwent evidence-based treatment with radiation and chemotherapy.
Though in the beginning the treatment seemed to be functioning, the c****r returned and Brickert took palliative care over more aggressive attempts at curative treatment. She had decided to concentrate on the characteristic of her remaining couple of months. A buddy told Brickert to a Mexican c****r treatment comprising ingesting the blood of a rattlesnake and eating sun dried parts of rattlesnake meat, and although initially very skeptical she decided that she had little to lose. She traveled to a remote Mexican village along with underwent considerable relief from her pain after only a couple of hours of the treatment.
She quit taking her pain drugs and began undergoing energy recovery sessions using Master Ting-Jue Zhou in Los Angeles. Three months later she returned to her home where imaging revealed that her tumor was gone. In accordance with Brickert, her oncologist, naturally quite pleased with the outcome, said to continue doing whatever it was she was doing since it was functioning.
Unfortunately that wasn’t the end of Brickert’s story. It was just the way her story was told by a Los Angeles new channel in April of 2009. From July of 2009 she was d**d, having succumbed to the cervical c****r which wasn’t cured by rattlesnake blood or meat. It is incredibly unlikely that this folk treatment did anything other than just to give her false hope, to expose her to risk of a fatal disease, and to further limit the quantity of quality time she’d left to spend with family and friends.
Her story also provided a credulous community news channel with a feel good narrative that has been observed by tens of thousands of individuals, and advertising to get a proponent of so-called integrative medicine who thinks that crops make venom. These people, some of which might be desperately looking for their particular cure for a terminal disease, probably won’t take the excess step that I did. And understanding the ultimate outcome provides important context that isn’t going to be discussed by c****r quackery proponents like the 1 featured from the movie.
Rattlesnake ingested in any form isn’t a cure for c****r or another ailment. And it isn’t risk free. The link between rattlesnake-based products and Salmonella is well-established, and it is even more dangerous once the person consuming them includes a weakened immune system.