Is It So Tough to Use the Right Words If You’re a Professional Writer?

Okay, I’m not a professional writer. I’m not a researcher either, although I do have a liberal arts degree and internet access, so I wonder what the hell those professional writers are thinking when they type words and pick up a paycheck for that. Sure, I know the Daily Beast is garbage and I shouldn’t even be reading it, let alone complaining about it. Still, M. L. Nestel is getting a paycheck for employing words without knowing their meanings.

It was a story about a twenty-one year old man who is currently missing. His parents report that he experienced an extreme change in his personality, which they ascribe to supplements he was taking. I won’t go into other parts of the story, but I just wanted to deal with Nestel’s apparent misunderstanding of the word “homeopathic.” One of the supplements the young man was taking is described by Nestel as “a kind of homeopathic Viagra.”

I have to say, I never thought I’d find myself searching the internet for “Penis Enlargement Pill – BIG JIM & THE TWINS- MALE ENHANCEMENT.” Forgive me if I don’t provide a link. You can sully your own internet search history. However, you will be glad to know that it does not have a five star rating on Amazon, and it is reassuring regarding humanity that it is not highly ranked in the Health & Personal Care category. Toilet paper is the top seller. Much of humanity, it seems, is practical.

If I ever go missing, the police, or my mother, will have tons of fun with my browsing history because I’m the curious sort. I look at all sorts of things I would never admit to. Hell, I’m telling you about how I looked up Big Jim and the Twins, so let your imagination go regarding what I’m not telling you about. But I have an excuse. You see, I wanted to know if it was homeopathic. Big Jim and the Twins Male Enhancement Formula has a description that is surprisingly, ahem, small.

Big Jim & The Twins is a potent male enhancement formula fortified with powerful ingredients designed to promote sexual health including Tongkat Ali, Maca, L-Arginine, Ginseng Blend, Proprietary Blend: Saraparilla, Pumpkin Seed Powder, Muira Puama Powder, Oat Straw, Nettle, Cayenne Pepper, Astragalus, Catuaba Bark Powder, Licorice, Tribulus Terrestris, Orchis, Oyster Extract, and Boron.

One thing this does not say is that it is homeopathic.

Homeopathy is a pseudoscience created by Samuel Hahnemann in the late eighteenth century. Happily for us, medicine has advanced somewhat in the past couple of centuries. Unfortunately, the news appears to have not yet reached the suburbs. Hahnemann believed that illnesses could be cured by substances that caused the same symptoms as the illness. So an illness that had fever as a symptom could be cured by a substance that causes a fever when ingested. However, the substance must be taken only in the smallest amount. Therefore homeopathic remedies are extreme dilutions in water of the substances indicated on the label, usually containing not a single molecule of the named remedy. (Do you know who liked homeopathy? Nazis!) Needless to say, homeopathy “is not effective for any condition.”

Several of the herbs listed as part of the supplement are used in folk medicine and those uses include male sexual performance. I did a quick run through of the list on the internet and, while I can’t claim my research was thorough, so I may have missed something, there doesn’t seem to be much evidence that most of them work for male sexual performance. Worse yet, there have been concerns recently that supplements to do not contain the herbs on the label.

Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia) has been shown to have an effect on testosterone levels in lab animals. Unfortunately, many products that claim to contain Tongkat Ali are fraudulent. The government of Malaysia, where the herb is native, has banned many fake products.

It is also important to remember if an herbal product is potent enough to have the intended effect, it can have side effects as well. Speaking for myself, I would not take an herbal supplement without consulting a physician.

But whatever it is and whatever it does, it is not homeopathy.

An amusing detail: On the Amazon website, the bottle of Big Jim and the Twins in the picture is empty. Symbolic?

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