Step 4: Don’t Be Too Specific
Once you have identified your wonder-therapy, you must make very broad claims about how effective it is.
If you suggest that you can only treat one thing, you won’t get many customers.
Be imaginative and expand your potential market. For example, lots of people with chronic illness suffer pain. But don’t stop there, make it clear that your product is so wonderful it can not only relieve pain but abolish insomnia, destroy dizziness, banish blackheads and laugh in the face of fatigue.
The more things you can claim to treat, the more people will be interested in your product, and the more money you can con out of them.
In this article, the author (Precious_Pets perhaps) describes black seed oil as having the following therapeutic properties:
“Black Seed Actions
- Analgesic: Relieves or dampens sensation of pain.
- Anthelmintic: (Also know as vermicide or vermifuge) destroys and expels intestinal worms.
- Anti-bacterial: Destroys or inhibits the growth of destructive bacteria.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Reduces inflammation.
- Anti-Microbial: Destroys or inhibits the growth of destructive microorganisms.
- Antioxidant: Prevents or delays the damaging oxidisation of the body’s cells – particularly useful against free radicals. Anti-Pyretic: (Also known as ferbrifuge) – exhibits a ‘cooling action’, useful in fever reduction.
- Anti-spasmodic: Prevents or eases muscle spasms and cramps.
- Anti-tumour: Counteracts or prevents the formation of malignant tumours*
- Carminative: Stimulates digestion and induces the expulsion of gas from the stomach and the intestines.
- Diaphoretic: Induces perspiration during fever to cool and stimulate the release of toxins.
- Diuretic: Stimulates urination to relieve bloating and rid the body of any excess water.
- Digestive: Stimulates bile and aids in the digestive process.
- Emmenagogue: Stimulates menstrual flow and activity.
- Galactogogue: Stimulates the action of milk in new mothers.
- Hypotensive: Reduces excess blood pressure.
- Immunomodulator: Suppresses or strengthens immune system activity as needed for optimum balance.
- Laxative: Causes looseness or relaxation of the bowels. “
In a different Tweet, Precious_Pets also describes black seed oil as a “natural cure for cancer”.
As his/her name suggests, Precious_Pets is perhaps more concerned with animals (and the article in question makes reference to an asthmatic racehorse and a homeopathic vet – seriously). In order to be convinced of the therapeutic power of black seed oil in humans, you would have to make two very large assumptions. Firstly, if a certain therapy works in animals, it must work in people. Secondly, that the placebo effect does not apply to animals.
Both of these beliefs are false.
Very wisely, the potential adverse affects on the body – from the numerous toxins also found in black seed oil – are not mentioned.
Many people don’t realise that many conventional drugs (i.e. the ones you get on prescription from your doctor) are derived from plants. If you are attempting to sell something like black seed oil, you can therefore suggest a clear (but false) distinction between your “natural” products, and those “nasty” medicines. (Fans of the Logical Fallacy Game will spot this as a False Dichotomy)
Of course, before nasty medicines can be developed, lots of research has to be done. If you want to gain a quick overview of what research has been published so far on a particular subject, simply go to PubMed, and search for what you’re interested in. This way, you get the best of both worlds: You can claim that your product is not a nasty medicine, and at the same time exploit the fact that it is being researched for pharmaceutical purposes.
Whatever you do, do NOT mention that such research is in the early stages and has mostly been done in laboratories and in animal studies. If you do, people might question whether what happens in a test-tube, or in a rat, is the same as what happens in real life human-beings.
You should also NOT mention that the reason research into medicines starts in test-tubes, and rats, is that the researchers are being extremely cautious. Once they gain some idea of how a substance might affect humans, they consider giving it to a small group of relatively healthy people in a carefully controlled environment. One example is this trial measuring the effects of black seed oil as an anti-H.pylori agent in people with stomach problems (H.pylori is a bacteria commonly found in the stomach, and associated with inflammation and ulcers).
To research a drug properly takes several years. This is as much about safety as it is about effectiveness. It is best NOT to draw attention to this fact. You wouldn’t want to be accused of being reckless and dangerous for selling an inadequately tested, and potentially harmful, substance to random strangers.