Stand Back, I’m Going To Try Science!

Modern medicine is a marvelous thing. I, along with millions of other people, rely on it in order to have an acceptable quality of life. But, as great as it is, modern medicine hasn’t been around forever (hence, the “modern”), and before people were popping pills for whatever ailed them, they were relying on other things to get the job done.

Granted, it didn’t always work that well, and sometimes it was just plain stupid, and I, for one, am glad that they stopped bleeding patients with leeches — for the most part, anyway.

Regardless, natural and homeopathic remedies do exist and I think that people do themselves a disservice by disregarding them outright. The same, of course, can be said of modern medical practices, too. Unfortunately for homeopathic remedies, they tend to be touted by fruitloops. You know that guy, the one who runs around in his Chacos and hemp jewelry, smelling of herbal tea and patchouli, going on about how if you’re not going to exclusively eat an organic raw vegan diet you should at least think about increasing your flax seed intake. Nobody likes that guy. But, you know, I’m not exactly comfortable with just medicating my children every time some little problem comes up, so I started looking around.

On the advice of a friend — a reasonable, well-educated friend not prone being suckered or, you know, lying to me — suggested I look into hazelwood and amber for myself and for the boys. The idea is that hazelwood neutralizes excess acid in the body which, therefore, relieves the symptoms of various ailments such as ulcers, acid reflux, heartburn, teething, skin problems (psoriasis, eczema, acne), arthritis and arthrosis, constipation, migraines, and dental cavities. Yeah, I know. It sounds like complete bullshit. But this friend bought a hazelwood necklace for her husband, and it apparently really helped his eczema, so maybe it’s not that ludicrous. Amber is a little better, from a skeptic’s standpoint. Amber contains high concentrations of a naturally occurring chemical called succinic acid which is, among other things, an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, and has been used as “teething jewelry” in Europe for centuries. Great. So, I’m supposed to just put this jewelry on me and/or my children, and in a few days we’ll magically feel better?

Now, we all know that everything on the Internet is 100% true and not exaggerated in any way. Even so, I decided to run a little experiment. I bought some jewelry with both hazelwood and amber for me and the boys to see if this stuff actually works. If it does, awesome. If not, well, it’s pretty cute jewelry, so I won’t feel completely taken advantage of.

Like any good scientist, I must document my observations.

Mark and Michael are both teething and having a miserable time of it. They drool copiously and constantly. They’re fussy and in pain and constantly chewing on their hands. Their appetites are poor. They have trouble sleeping. Add in the reflux they were already dealing with. All in all, they are enormous pains in my butt.

I am exhausted. Thanks to the boys waking during the night again, I’m not getting as much sleep as I used to, and what sleep I do get is fairly poor quality, and a recent blood test has revealed significant anemia with no currently apparent cause. I have psoriasis that is constantly threatening war with my skin. For a wonder, my Crohn’s Disease is under control, but lately I’ve been dealing with constant and brutal joint pain and headaches. Other recent blood tests indicate significant inflammation with, again, no currently apparent cause. Lupus is suspected.

The jewelry arrived this afternoon, and we all put them on between 5:30 and 6:30 this evening. According to the Internet, this stuff can take up to a week or two to take full effect. I’ll do my very best to keep you apprised as time passes and the symptoms alleviate (or don’t, as the case may be).

Michael sporting his new necklace


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