Articles for category: self-experiment, reference


A small aircraft in a tailspin and trailing smoke.

Discussion forum misinformation

(Last updated in July 2022.) Some of us still remember when “regular” people were dressed, coached, prompted and edited before they were allowed to appear on any wide-reaching media — on TV or in newspapers or magazines.


19th-century-style apothecary shelves full of bottles.

Look up and report Rx drug side effects online

In the past few years several consumer-driven databases have sprung up that allow you to look up and report side effects to prescription drugs. The FDA’s method of collecting and reporting side effects is slow and inefficient and relies mostly on doctors’ reports of patient complaints. Apparently doctors tend to report only “medically serious” complaints ...


Workstations in a sunny library.

Reading guide

I use my other social media feeds to highlight news items focusing on the effects of nutrition, the environment and prescription drugs on our health. Here are some of the websites I get my info from. Don’t be put off by the Paleo sites if you’re not Paleo — they’re not too self-righteous about it, ...


Spotting planted product plugs on discussion forums

My last online research project on an alternative health product reminded me that even in the best-run, most closely moderated discussion group, you can find promo copy disguised as user experience. In this case, the manufacturer has been in business for 40 years, has very little competition, and is pretty much the expert on the ...


A history of adulterated botanical drugs

(Via New Hope 360.) The Fall 2011 issue of the American Botanical Council’s HerbalGram features “A Brief History of Adulteration of Herbs, Spices, and Botanical Drugs,” an article covering intentional and unintentional alterations going back to ancient Greece. In ancient Athens, such mischief included adding flavorings to wine to make it taste like an older ...