Dr. Harriet Hall: National Geographic natural foods book ‘unscientific, and even dangerous’


The National Geographic store proclaims, “This authoritative guide to the foods, herbs, spices, essential oils, and other natural substances that alleviate common ailments will enhance your life—from treating illness to sharpening the mind, losing weight, cleaning the home, enhancing pregnancy, and reducing the effects of aging.” No, it won’t. Its information is biased, incomplete, unscientific, and sometimes even dangerous.

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The first part of the book covers treatment of common ailments. The second covers individual herbs, spices, and foods. Both parts are a mixture of half-truths, speculations, false information, superstitions, and myths. I’ll provide just a few examples.

Recommended “healthy solutions” for urinary tract infections include:

Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day
Eat cucumbers because they are full of water and can supply extra fluid to your system
Drink ginger tea
Avoid chocolate, citrus fruit, carbonated beverages, and caffeine
Apply a heat source over the bladder
Drink cranberry juice, three glasses a day
A half cup of blueberries
Baking soda
Parsley water


There is little or no scientific evidence for any of these. They have not been evaluated in controlled clinical studies; they are mainly “old wives’ tales.”

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Read full, original article: National Geographic Book Is a ‘Natural’ Disaster

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