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Sponsored by the Center for the History of Medicine and the Office of Student Programs at UMMS. Here are a handful of quirky, but still surprisingly popular medical remedies that you might not know about. With the strength of steel and the elasticity of a rubber band, spider’s silk is one of nature’s most versatile materials. Its renown as a salubrious agent even extended beyond the bounds of the recondite realm of the physician, being widely known and employed by the laity and mentioned in numerous literary works.
Though use of spider’s silk is no longer in Western medicine’s arsenal, research has begun to vitiate some of its traditional uses. Outside of manure, it is a reasonably valid assumption that there is no reason to collect animal feces.
Millions of people depend upon it to propel their vehicles to work or school; in addition, its global use as a building block of plastic makes it an indispensable aspect of modern society. For thousands of years and from China to England, it has been an indispensable component of the physician’s material medica. For example, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare makes mention of this panacea: “I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good master cobweb.
In Germany a myriad number of applications for spider’s silk are being investigated, from its potential use as ultra-strong yet feather-light sutures to creating “functionalized spider silk microspheres and microcapsules” that “may be employed as targeted drug delivery devices.” Of special interest to researchers is its potential use as a wound dressing, for spider’s silk engenders neither inflammatory nor immune responses.
However, many people do not realize that over its illustrious career it has served a much wider array of purposes.
Yet somehow, somewhere, the conceptual leap was made between the noxious material’s benefits to plants and other potentially salubrious uses. If one were to ask people what they thought the major use of gasoline was, they would most likely site one of these two uses. The Roman historian Pliny writes of its use in dressing open wounds, while his fellow countryman Marcellus Empiricus tells of a concoction composed of the ashes of a web mixed with polenta useful for joint lesions. While smearing feces on one’s self seems antithetical to promoting health, the historical use of animal feces is widespread. So far, federal officials have been coldA to suggestions that a version of HIP could be offered as an alternative to expanded Medicaid.A To enroll in Medicaid, Indiana will continue to require that eligible Hoosiers earn less than 22 percent of the federal poverty level. Many might be shocked to learn, then, that in addition to these more common uses, it is an old wives’ tale remedy for lice.
In China, a cure for mental indolence was to place cobwebs beneath one’s collar on the seventh day of the seventh month. There was a period of time when Werner-Lambert, the company owning the rights to Listerine, suggested it had the ability to prevent, among other things, the common cold and sore throats. In colonial America it was believed that ingesting a ball of rolled-up cobwebs could cure asthma.
This marketing ploy lasted for nearly 100 years until the 1970s, when the Federal Trade Commission ordered Werner-Lambert to cease peddling Listerine as anything but a mouthwash. In traditional Chinese medicine, bat droppings are a common component in many potions and elixirs.


Nonetheless, though the scientific reasoning behind this is tenuous at best, every year there are reports of people having chosen the gasoline treatment over other, more traditional methods, sometimes with disastrous consequences. However, a select few – perhaps remembering the good ole’ days when Listerine was thought of as a potent panacea – have stumbled upon another potential use for it: as a treatment for toenail fungus. The Shanxi Huakang Herbal Product Company currently sells something by the name of “Baby’s Weight-Increasing Treasure Granule” to be used to “treat baby's poor appetite, diarrhea, profuse sweating, vexation, insomnia, emaciation, etc.” which uses bat droppings among its ingredients, as well as chicken’s gizzard, Chinese yam, and cuttlefish bone. As recently as last year, an 18-year-old girl suffered burns over 50 percent of her body after a water heater’s pilot light set her ablaze after she attempted to use gasoline to cure her lice. While there has not been an official scientific consensus as to Listerine’s antifungal properties, proponents of this remedy can take comfort knowing that there might be some truth to their claims. In 1958, a Brazilian doctor urged health officials to coat homes with a mix that had, among many things, cow dung, in an attempt to prevent the spread of Chaga’s Disease, a tropical parasitic infectious disease. Undoubtedly, we can safely say that FDA will not be approving this remedy in the near future. Among the many compounds that constitute Listerine is Thymol, an antiseptic with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Hence, soaking your feet in Listerine may actually prove to be a less costly, unique way to combat toenail fungus. Beyond the realm of folk-medicine, research has recently taken up the thankless task of investigating the stuff’s other uses, with some surprising results. In the 2007, the IgNobel (an award given for seemingly absurd research) prize in Chemistry went to Mayu Yamamoto, a scientist who succeeded in using cow dung to extract vanillin. More recently, Japanese scientists found a way to create hydrogen from cattle dung for use in fuel cells. So the next time your walking your dog, think twice about just tossing out that plastic bag – it might just save you from some future malady. This was the essence of President Barack Obama's message when the Affordable Care Act was passed. A The US Mail was one of the most efficient success stories of federal government until the move to private management. Throw in the efforts of Congress to sink the Post Office to benefit private couriers -- and behold! The ordinary citizen has no personal communication system that isn't driven by corrupt national security agendas. He'd gotten a call that the detour was no longer in effect, so he'd driven the regular route. They directed him down a side street that looped around into a U-turn that put him back in the same place going east. As we crossed another east-bound artery, a passengerA pointed out we could have gone that way instead of taking the highway. But when the debate is voluntary among just us, I'm the first to say we're a bunch of redneck know-nothings.
The opposition to expansion of rapid transit for Marion and Hamilton counties provides a benchmark for the level of stupidity we live with.A Yesterday I was at a bus stop about a half-mile from my doghouse.


A The challenges of the job on this particular day would include serving a wedding banquet and then an evening soiree of fraternity boys. Holding a second job would be impossible, unless it was within walking distance of the first job -- and then she still wouldn't be able to get home by herself.
It's OK for people of means to shop at a discount grocer, because they're being smart with their money. And who is losing precious minutes of life sitting in traffic?Do you really want to put 40,000 miles on a car in one year? Let the rapid transit bills pending in the state legislature move forward, and let the people vote in a referendum on how big a transit program they're willing to support. A Or here's an idea: If we can have rituals for kissing pigs, how about a ritual to honor the diversity of community opinions on how to preserve the environment and build a stronger economy at the same time? Indeed, big money has been given directly by a federal PAC to Pence's gubernatorial campaign, because unlike federal law, Indiana statute permits such direct communication and financial transactions with hisA campaign committee. During the last 60 years, we got rid of segregated schools, poll taxes, literacy tests for voting, Jim Crow laws, and physical barriers denying people with disabilities access to public places.
Now,A considering the implications of Citizens United, we cannot afford to be nostalgic.A Let the dogs out. The biggest cheaters on public school achievement tests are not students and teachers, but the politicians who useA testing to support their agendas.
All we need to do is to tell everyone -- students, teachers, and parents -- what will be on the gateway exam to graduate, and on the state end-of-course exams.
A A  Then, if the students can't pass these tests after being given every chance to show a knowledge of core skills, they shouldn't be given waivers to graduate.A A  For example, it makes sense to pick about 20 types of problems that are exemplars of processes in math, and in grammar and usage.
The students should also expect to write a short essay.A A  I wonder if half the politicians in Indiana could pass? If the process works correctly, the classroom time will be used appropriately.A A A  And then the cry, "Oh, no . This was the essence of President Barack Obama's message when the Affordable Care Act was passed. The ordinary citizen has no personal communication system that isn't driven by corrupt national security agendas.
Holding a second job would be impossible, unless it was within walking distance of the first job -- and then she still wouldn't be able to get home by herself.
Let the rapid transit bills pending in the state legislature move forward, and let the people vote in a referendum on how big a transit program they're willing to support. A Or here's an idea: If we can have rituals for kissing pigs, how about a ritual to honor the diversity of community opinions on how to preserve the environment and build a stronger economy at the same time?
Indeed, big money has been given directly by a federal PAC to Pence's gubernatorial campaign, because unlike federal law, Indiana statute permits such direct communication and financial transactions with hisA campaign committee.



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