Science-Based Medicine:
Rebuttal to their "hit piece"
on Black Salve

A Critique on "Double-Speak" in
Conventional Science Journals
Why "Science-Based Medicine" isn't Fact-Based

Nov 10, 2019 -- Four days ago, the publication, Science-Based Medicine put out an article on "Black Salve," dated Nov. 6. As we would expect from this conventional publication, the article was anything but science-based. Since I take an interest in escharotic medicine, a successful modality whose roots I trace all the way back to Paracelsus, the founder of modern medicine, nearly 500 years ago, I am moved to do a rebuttal, because not only is the article unusually vitriolic, but statements are made that are not only breathtakingly and provably false, but clearly intended to mislead the public.
This is the sixth time in 11 years that I've had to write a rebuttal to a publication or online article that devoted itself to denigrating Black Salve and/or escharotic medicine in general. If medical propaganda is not questioned by those who know better, such effrontery only serves to make a laughing stock of real science. My previous rebuttals, for those who are interested include:
  1. Quackwatch -- I put out this rebuttal in 2009. Stephen Barrett, M.D. is an attack dog for the Medical Industrial Complex. He was discredited years ago by Tim Bolen, who found so many factual misstatements in Barrett's work that he devoted an entire website to breaking it down, I talk about this in an article I penned in April, 2009.
  2. -- If Black Salve is so bad, why do the apologists in conventional medicine feel the need to steal pictures of success cases -- I'm talking people who are HAPPY with the result of their outcomes, and try to make them look like horrific failures. This happened in 2014, so, of course, I wrote a rebuttal article, using the same pictures that this Australian publication used to try and scare the public.
  3. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine -- In 2017, I did a rebuttal of a "review article", entitled, "A Review of Black Salve: Cancer Specificity, Cure, and Cosmesis." It was so riddled with statements that are absolutely not evidence-based, that I felt I had to address the deliberate misrepresentations.
  4. Dr. Oz. -- I was asked in April, 2017 to come on the Dr. Oz show. I know for a fact that Dr. Oz and his producers know that Black Salve works because in a conversation I had with his producer, she mentioned information about Black Salve that came out in an interview I did with Mike Adams on Alex Jones' show ( Against the advice of friends and family, I appeared on Dr. Oz' show -- and the ambush journalism that resulted was filled with so much "fake news" and more stolen pictures from successful cases, that I responded in kind with a rebuttal.
  5. Buzzfeed -- I just put this out nine days ago. Obviously this is a concerted effort, when you look at the timing, because this Science-Based Medicine article (below) came out just days afterwards and contains many of the same talking points. Here is my rebuttal to the Buzzfeed article.
  6. Science-Based Medicine -- And that brings us to the present date, so let's get started. As in the case with my Buzzfeed rebuttal, text from the article is in black, and my comments are in DARK RED:

Here the short version -- black salve is a fake cancer cure that is dangerous pseudoscience. It is one of those treatments that is so bad it pushes the limits of credulity, and in this case it is directly harmful in the extreme.
This is the DNA -- as it were -- of everything that will follow. That Black Salve is dangerous, fake, and harmful. No credcnce is given to the many thousands of people who have come online to tell their success stories in using Black Salve. No. We can't let any facts get in the way of the profit objectives of Big Medicine. Even on, with what little time I've had to devote to it, I've still managed to post hundreds of pictorials and testimonials, a fraction of the comments I've gotten over the 30 years I've worked with escharotics.
Countless medical practitioners have told me over the years that they use Black Salve personally, but they would never use it in their practice, for fear of losing their medical license -- or worse. Would medical doctors be using Black Salve privately if it were dangerous, fake or harmful? The medical researcher, Dr. Russell Jordan, who was my mentor in escharotic medicine, was the founder of not one, but two, pharmaceutical companies. He was a professor at the University of Michigan's school of medicine for years. I discuss this in Chapter 1 of Meditopia.
We now know the full extent of Big Medicine's need to suppress the truth with its most recent actions -- using its influence to kill Facebook pages and groups that deal in "anti-vax, anti-GMO, anti-cancer" subject matter. I talked about this in a YouTube last July, which, remarkably, hasn't been removed by YouTube. (When they do remove it --- and you can bet your ass that they will -- you'll be able to see the same video on Brighteon. Mike Adams at created Brighteon specifically to address the massive censorship that is taking place at Facebook, YouTube, Google, and the other tech giants who are now the leading mouthpieces globally for Big Medicine, Big Pharma propaganda.)
Two weeks ago, Amazon banned my book, Black Salve, as I explained in my Buzzfeed rebuttal. I provided even more detail in a mailer I sent out to our customers. Would this kind of behavior be necessary if Science-Based Medicine, or their overlords in the orthodox medical community truly held the moral or factual high ground? Of course not.

As I have discussed before (May, 2018), black salve is sold as a "natural" herbal-based cancer treatment. It is an escharotic topical treatment, which means that it is corrosive to skin and other tissue, resulting in the formation of a thick scab, or "eschar." The main ingredient is Sanguinaria canadensis, which contains a number of phytochemicals and the alkaloid poison, sanguinarine. [emphasis added]

Sanguinarine [13-methyl (1,3) benzodioxolo(5,6-c)-1,3-dioxolo (4,5) phenanthridinium]
is a toxin that kills animal cells through its action on the Na+-K+-ATPase
transmembrane protein."

Damn! That sounds just awful! What's more awful is that it isn't true. It pulls small pieces of truth to create disinformation. Here's one example of many that will show the reader just how ridiculously out of touch with reality Science-Based Medicine really is --- which by now the reader should know should be more appropriately titled "Propaganda-Based Medicine." Around 1990, Colgate Palmolive paid $88 million to buy Vipont Pharmaceutical out of Fort Collins, Colorado. My mentor, Dr. Russell Jordan, was a principal in that company, as was the inventor, Dr. Peter A. Ladanyi, with whom I talked several times in the 1990's. The foundation of the company was a dentifrice called Viadent, which was very effective in getting rid of gingitivis. To protect it's intellectual property, the company filed a flurry of U.S. patents to this Sanguinaria-based product including No. 4,145,821 (1979) and No. 4,335,110 (1980). I discuss this in Chapter 1 of Meditopia).
What was the main active ingredient?
You got it. Sanguinarine.
It worked so well, it put other toothpaste products to shame. Colgate-Palmolive didn't buy the company because they wanted to own a superior dentifrice. They bought the company to effectively take the product off the market. After a series of completely fraudulently rigged studies came out (which may or may not have had Colgate's participation) stating that Viadent caused leukoplakia -- (here is a LATER 2001 study that explains their approach), Colgate-Palmolive reformulated the product in such a way as to neuter its effective properties. Dr. Russell Jordan told me this himself. They did this despite the fact that the Viadent / leukoplakia connection had been completely discredited. If there WAS a real connection, Colgate-Palmolive would never have purchased Vipont Pharmaceutical in the first place.
(As an aside, I and many of my associates bought the original Viadent formula from our local drugstores and used it for years. It worked incredibly well, and here it is 20 years later and I have never met a person who got leukoplakia or precancerous lesions as these fraudulent studies report. Ultimately, I improved upon the original Viadent toothpaste formulation -- for my personal use if nothing else -- and did so without the use of bloodroot or any of its alkaloids. The result is something I make available to customers now under the brand name, Alpha Omega III Herbal Toothpaste.)

Let's step back for a moment and fully appreciate just how ridiculous and unscientific Science-Based Medicine's position really is . . . You gotta love this.
Major revelation: Toothpaste is something you put in your mouth.
Major revelation: There is always some residual product that is swallowed when using a dentifrice.
Major revelation: All toothpaste products will penetrate, in varying degrees, the mucous membranes of the mouth. All natural products that are administered sublingually rely on this simple fact.
What Science-Based Medicine would have you believe is that a a company that ranks 155 on the Fortune 500 like Colgate-Palmolive would pay $88 million for a company like Vipont Pharmaceutical and not know that it's most active ingredient was toxic even in tiny amounts. (Keep in mind, too, that some people brush three times a day, so I'm wondering where all the dead bodies are. Somebody find them for me. Please!) They would have you believe that no due dililgence was performed, that Colgate-Palmolive is not at all risk averse, that the technical team which would have had to carefully examine all aspects of the formula during due diligence is completely incompetent.
What unadulterated nonsense.
I will grant you that bloodroot -- Sanguinaria canadensis -- which has over 60 bioactive alkaloids of which Science-Based Medicine focuses on one, is quite toxic when too much is taken. Even in small amounts bloodroot is an emetic and considerable care should be taken in its use. But this is true of many medicinal herbs. As Paracelsus so famously said, "Every medicine is a poison, and every poison is a medicine. It depends on the dosage."
If you read Science-Based Medicine's article, you get no sense of the long, noble history of bloodroot's ethnobotanical use. Jonathan L. Hartwell's book, Plants Used Against Cancer (1982) contains numerous references -- most of them taken from the 1800's -- of bloodroot's traditional use in successfully treating cancer. Despite the fact that bloodroot's primary geographic distribution is in the Appalachian mountains of the U.S., it was even used in the 1800's as far away as Russia to treat cancer. Despite it's enormous popularity, Science-Based Medicine wants us to believe that the world is over-populated with so many dolts, that the general population is just dying to kill themselves with a toxic herbal.
Now back to the main article's text:
You will notice that it kills "animal cells". The fact that it can be derived from a plant is irrelevant. It is a powerful caustic substance that eats through all tissue. But of course, there are always layers of complexity that can be cherry picked through motivated reasoning to pain [sic] an alternate reality. There are studies that show that sanguinairine, in specific concentrations, may have more toxicity to some type of cancer cells than to healthy cells. This is often the case, because cancer cells are highly metabolic. At the same time, some forms of cancer are relative [sic] resistant to its effect. None of this means you can safely slather it on your skin and it will leave healthy tissue untouched while eating away all cancer cells. As one review notes:

However, in vitro studies of sanguinarine suggest it causes indiscriminate
destruction of healthy and cancerous tissue at doses higher
than 5┬ÁM, limiting its practical utility."

"Indiscriminate destruction" is not a feature rational people value in medicine.

It's true.
"Indiscriminate destruction" is not a feature that rational people value in medicine.
It is the reason that rational, informed people avoid chemotherapy --- something which is clearly indicated as a big positive by Science-Based Medicine, despite the fact that chemotherapy fails 97% of the time. It is the reason that 75% of physicians surveyed indicated that they won't take chemotherapy themselves. It is the reason why doctors are instructed to carefully handle chemotherapy products with gloves, despite the highly protective plastic containers in which they already come. Still confused? Allow Jim Howenstine, M.D. to explain it to you.
Also indiscriminate is cherry picking facts that have no meaning or relevance in the real world. I have known hundreds of people who have taken bloodroot products over my 30 years of working with it. I've never known a single adverse case, other than excessive nausea, and in one case, vomiting -- all due to taking more than the suggested dosage. I'm not saying that over my NEXT 30 years, I won't see a truly adverse case, it just hasn't happened yet. Speaking professionally, I've used very little bloodroot in any of my primary salves -- primarily Cansema® or variations of it, but this isn't because I fear toxicity for those I make products for. It's because chaparral (Larrea mexicata, tridentata, or divarcata) works every bit as well, and there are fewer supply issues. I've made one internal product involving very diluted bloodroot, and it is only because the demand for this product is so great from end users -- who report very favorable results.
This is the fundamental difference between real life and fake news, fake world, fake medicine that so-called "prestigious" medical journals attempt to pass off as reality. Even editors of major medical journals have had to throw in the towel and confess that as many as 50% of medical studies --- you know . . . the kind that publications like Science-Based Medicine love to quote and salivate over, are fake and fraudulent -- and not accidentally. They are fake and fraudulent by design.
In May, 2017, I penned an article after reading Jefferey Jaxen's impressive assessment, entitled, " Retractions and Errors Driving Loss of Faith in the Peer Review Process." The lead-off sets the tone, and I'm going to repeat it here, though it appears in my original article: "Establishment medical professionals are quick to hold up peer-reviewed studies as the gold standard, argument-ending proof in an attempt to shut down valid discussions around 'alternative' health and healing. Major medical and science journals have long-been considered the sacred cows from which information gets disseminated down through the roots of mainstream medicine with unquestioning adherence mirroring religious dogma. What if this peer-reviewed research was flawed? What if major medical journals acted as gatekeepers long-crafting a health paradigm that favored only limited and dangerous pharmaceutical interventions?" [emphasis added]
I then go into the 107 research papers that Tumor Biology was forced to retract because of the fakery of it all. Read my article.
Research papers are, first and foremost, funded by pharmaceutical companies and other entities within the Medical Industrial Complex, whose interest is in furthering their corporate agendas and selling more of their high margin products. Medical journals are not the domain of natural product producers with their low margin wares -- who could never hope to compete with the clout possessed by these much larger entities and their legions of lobbyists, stakeholders, and disinfo agents, of which Science-Based Medicine is only one.

Still those selling and promoting black salve claim the opposite of what the evidence shows. It is a dangerous distortion of reality. Black salves containing sanguinairine eat through any tissue, leaving behind horrific wounds and scars. There are many case reports of morbidity and even mortality from using black salve. Also, ironically, sanguinairine is potentially carcinogenic -- which means it may produce cancerous cells.

Reviews of cases and research seem to employ ironic understatement when summarizing the clinical effects of using caustic paste to self-treat lesions and cancer. For example:

. . . case study reports of excessive scarring, deformity, and treatment failure . . . or . . . suboptimal therapeutic and cosmetic outcomes associated with its use.

Yes, I consider causing a massive wound that later becomes infected, a disfiguring scar, and failing to actually remove the cancer, to be "suboptimal".

Two points of contention here. First of all, the author of this article, Steven Novella, is so ignorant of the nature of Black Salve that he and the authors he cites, do not apparently know that bloodroot is a "potential" ingredient in Black Salve. It is one of many that have the hydroquinones and other botanical components necessary to make an effective Black Salve. Secondly, it my personal experience and the experience of thousands of people that I know that Black Salve -- properly made -- does not lead to infection, a disfiguring scar, or a failure to remove the cancer.
Here . . . let's do this . . . I understand this is an exercise in something anecdotal, but follow me anyway. Here is a copy of Appendix F from my book Black Salve. It's primarily a pictorial of my use of Black Salve over a 30 year period to treat both cancers and diagnosed actinic keratosis. Are there any signs of infection? No, it never happened. Are there any disfiguring scars? No, it never happened. In fact, the outcome is better than most people report with surgical removal. Was there any failure to remove the cancer or the keratosis? No.
Why were there many tens of thousands of members on the Facebook Black Salve groups before they were taken down last week? Because the experience of the vast majority of users was the same as mine. Black Salve has not attracted so much attention and widespread use because it's toxic, or it leads to infection, or disfiguring scars, or because it fails to work. Quite the opposite.
Science-Based Medicine is gaslighting the public with information that is clearly unscientific.
Welcome to medical double-speak.

It is also important to understand the psychology at work, especially from the perspective of someone trying to promote science-based medicine. People who consider using black salve for known cancer or a suspicious lesion are faced with two broad choices. On the one hand, you can have an expert evaluate your disease, and if necessary precisely excise the lesion, examining the borders microscopically to make sure they are clean, and therefore any potential cancer is removed. The treatment is evidence-based and designed to produce the optimal chance of a cure with the minimum scarring necessary.

It is absolutely NOT science-based or evidence-based.
Surgical intervention is preferred for two reasons: one, it's highly profitable. Secondly, it insures metastasis, thereby sowing the seeds for future business when there is a recurrence. Conscientious physicians have known this for the past 2,000 years.

Or -- you can treat yourself with a black paste you purchased online, applying it to your skin until you leave a nasty hole in your body. You may have no idea if the lesion was cancer to begin with, you have no idea if you removed it all, and the scarring is far more than was necessary to remove the lesion. But, this treatment is "natural." You were also empowered to treat yourself, so you can take comfort from that every time you look in the mirror.

This is just more scare tactics and propaganda for the reasons I recount above.

Black salve persists despite the obvious facts because a compelling narrative can be more powerful than reality. When people are plied on a regular basis with conspiracy theories and false narratives, even otherwise intelligent and well-meaning people can get to a place where incredibly bad decisions seem reasonable.

"A compelling narrative can be more powerful than reality."
Boy, isn't that the truth. And nobody does it better than those in the Fake News, Fake Medicine, Fake Journalism crowd. I won't repeat my major rebuttal points above. The author doesn't really add anything substantive here. He's just ranting.

Psychologically, people want the magic salve. Medicine always involves some trade-offs, and practitioners should be transparent about what those trade-offs are. They may be minor, like you have to take medicine or change your lifestyle, or it may be significant, like undergoing a major procedure or getting the equivalent of chemotherapy. Alternative medicine often promises magical treatments without trade-offs -- no risk, no side-effects, etc. The lure of such false promises is just too great for some people, especially if it is packaged inside a comforting narrative.

This is just unsupportable garbage. Nobody I know who deals in Black Salve fails to discuss potential pain management issues. The process is not quick and it isn't magic. For many years, I've provided User Instructions, along with pain management guidelines, as well as an explanation of the process, which is expanded upon on my Black Salve book, because nobody should use a natural product from a vendor under false pretense --- something that occurs a majority of the time in conventional cancer therapy, which is why there are so many people attempting to avoid it.
Nobody likes getting lied to.

The marketing of unrealistic promises with compelling narratives has been given a huge boost by social media, which is increasingly a battleground between the forces of quackery and consumer protection. A recent investigative report shows how the promotion of black salve is still thriving online, despite promises from major outlets to crack down. Youtube, for example, says it is against its policy to promote health misinformation on its platform, and it will remove videos if reported. However, it is still easy to find videos promoting black salve on Youtube, so whatever process it is using is not adequate.

More Doublespeak. Consumer protection is not about protecting the consumer. It's about shoving orthodox approaches down people's throats and eliminating effective, inexpensive natural solutions -- that is, competitive threats to big business. I devote hundreds of pages to explaining why this is the case in my book, The Joys of Psychopathocracy (2017). Also, note that the recent investigative report cited is none other than the Buzzfeed article that was so factless and deceptive that I had to write a rebuttal for that article, as well. What we have here is Fake News quoting Fake News.

Facebook is much worse, and will not categorically ban pages promoting black salve (like "SW Florida Black Salve", which is directly selling it). They will, instead, change their algorithm to not promote such pages. But of course they are easy to find if you search.

This isn't journalism. The goal of the writer, just like the one at Buzzfeed is clear. They are agents for Big Medicine. They aren't objective. What they do goes even beyond advocacy. Katie at Buzzfeed bragged in her article about contacting Amazon and getting them to censor my book, Black Salve. Where was I when journalists became censors of "unacceptable language"? Perhaps it is because the people who write these articles are no longer journalists. As to "SF Florida Black Salve," I have no idea who these people in Florida are, but it obvious that the author is directly involved in trying to put them out of business. I didn't know that journalists were supposed to be proactive in determining who is and who isn't allowed to remain in business.

It is illegal to sell black salve in the US, but you can still buy it online from international sellers. I would think that promoting or selling an illegal health product is a pretty bright line for banning content. I understand the complexity of banning something as vague and sometimes subjective as "misinformation," but illegal products banned by the FDA are not ambiguous or subjective.

It is illegal to sell Black Salve with health information. It is not illegal to sell these Salves without health advice. This is why -- at the advice of counsel -- I have kept my sales activity apart and separate from the articles I write. I do not link them. Granted, great ambiguity has been created inside the U.S., where the two click rule has been unevenly enforced so that it's difficult to figure out what is and isn't acceptable. But conscientious makers of natural products have justification, even in the legal arena, for what they're doing.

I did submit a report to the FDA concerning SW Florida Black Salve, so we will see what kind of response we get. Reporting often does work, as does complaining to Youtube and to a lesser extent Facebook. Vigilance on the part of consumer protection outlets will always be necessary, but it is a game of whack-a-mole. Systemic protections are necessary. Black salve is clearly dangerous quackery, so it is low hanging fruit, and therefore a good indicator of how the system it working. At present -- not good enough.

So ends this anti-Black Salve tirade. In my experience, the complains of these "faux"-journalists, just in the past two weeks has lead to the censoring of my book on Amazon, the removal of about a half dozen Black Salve groups on Facebook, and the removal of several YouTube testimonial videos.
This isn't protecting the consumer. This is bold competitive interference using the tools of the State and Big Tech to squash opposition. Where this leads is a world without effective natural cures, a world where true remedies are replaced with molecular structures, all patented, of course, with horrific secondary side effects, where the only products left on the market as those that provide maximum profits and the least degree of accountability for Big Pharma producers, and little to no choice for the consumer . . . but most of all it leads to a world where medicine is anything but Science-Based Medicine.

Greg Caton
November 10, 2019