Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Snake oil or helper?

Posted by Maureen on 7/17/01 at 00:46 (053436)

I was on a different heel pain message board and read about a product called 'Jade' which is a type of oil using 3 kinds of Melaleuca Oil and other oils. The site claimed that heel pain was caused by an internal infection which causes an auto-immune response, causing the pain. I was curious if you have heard of this treatment. I was wondering if it might have some validity because my husband and I both started having heel pain within one month of each other- never having it before. We are 42 and 44 years old and around 10 or 15 lbs. over weight. His started in the right foot and mine in the left. Could this be some kind of infection that we are sharing? Thank you.

Re: Snake oil or helper?

Mary De on 7/17/01 at hrmin (053443)

Maureen,

It's my understanding, from this site and my emails to Dr. Reynolds, that he believes that PF is an auto-immune response, where the immune system mistakes 'self' for 'foreign,' as in lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Some agree and some disagree -- there are some intriguing parallels. But I haven't heard anything to say that PF is a contagious infection -- that would be a different sort of immune problem.

Is Jade Balm a snake oil? It seems to have helped some people, and not others. I'm in the Jade trial, and I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt -- I've seen some improvement, but no miracles. The trial is still 'young.'

It does seem as though Dr. Reynold is sincere in wanting to help people, and I want to give him the benefit of the doubt as well. It's also apparent that he's selling a product on his web site, and looking for our support. If his product works, then there's no harm in selling it. Modern capitalism in motion. At this point, though, it's an unknown. So if considering buying, check out the impartial info first. Suggest you look at the trial tallies here on heelspurs.com, also run a search on 'Jade' to catch the back correspondence. And stay tuned -- new developments may pop up. Also, Dr. Reynolds seems to be an approachable kinda of guy. You could email him directly and ask questions. Be prepared, though -- he's very enthusiastic about Jade, not a white-lab-coat type.

best, Mary De

Re: Jade Balm

Julie on 7/17/01 at 08:14 (053458)

I think there may be a misunderstanding. Dr Reynolds's Jade Balm is not the same as the Jade Maureen found on another website. There is another Jade, and John H found it a couple of months ago, but it isn't Jade Balm. Jade Balm contains a mixture of native Australian oils, including tea tree and citratum, and plant extracts. Dr Reynolds has never said anything about infection.

Maureen, Jade Balm is certainly worth looking into, as Mary says.

Re: Snake oil or helper?

Dr. David S. Wander on 7/18/01 at 20:35 (053636)

Although I'm sure that Jade can probably do no harm, I'm very hesitant to recommend any topical product for any long term significant relief. To state that heel pain is an auto-immune response is a very brash statement. There are some auto-immune diseases that do have heel pain as a symptom, but there are also many other causes of heel pain, including trauma, mechanical, nerve entrapments, tumors, etc. And if a percentage of heel pain is caused by an auto-immune response, I do not understand how this topical product can have any significant effect on the immune system or long term treatment for this condition. Anecdotal stories and results do not enough for me to recommend this product. I admire Dr. Reynolds for his efforts, but a true double blind randomized study needs to be performed, back by research to substantiate his claims.

Re: Snake oil or helper?

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/20/01 at hrmin (053850)

Individuals such as Dr. Wander and I desire to keep an open mind to new treatments. Nevertheless, we must filter information with our base of knowledge, the majority of which is derived via accepted scientific methods. Medical science is far from perfect. It does provide us with a set of tools which we use to evaluate new proposed treatments. Sometimes, this is interpreted as a form of arrogance---it is not meant to be such.

Dr. Reynolds and the individuals who are trying Jade 168 have my best wishes and support. His theory, though, on the autoimmune etiology of plantar fasciitis and mode of action of Jade just don't jive with what we know and the need for the type of studies mentioned by Dr. Wander certainly exists. Double blind studies tend to be objective because the individuals using the medicine do not know what they are using. That tends to eliminate bias and placebo effects. The researchers who collect the data also do not know which individual is using which medicine, eliminating any bias on their part.

Re: Open minds

Julie on 7/21/01 at 06:37 (053897)

Dr Davis, I agree with you and Dr Wander. My own experience - and, after a year, growing knowledge - of plantar fasciitis certainly bears out the validity of the mechanical model; and I would guess that most cases of PF are biomechanical in origin. However - and I hope you will accept this coming from a non-scientist - 'desiring' to keep an open mind is not the same as keeping one. As you know, throughout history many important, and some major, scientific discoveries have been dismissed as hare-brained rubbish when first propounded, because they did not 'jive' with what was known at the time. I've no doubt that this is going to happen again and again till the end of time, but if I were a scientist, or a practising physician of any kind, I would want to be open to those first little bits of work that suggested there might be something new on the horizon.

(I am not suggesting that either of you is arrogant. In my own efforts to continue to be a good example of my own profession, yoga teaching and teacher training, I know how difficult it is to accept new ideas and approaches and discard held views and beliefs.)

I am not saying that Dr Reynolds has made an important scientific discovery. I do not know. But as I have said before, I believe he is a sincere practitioner who wants to give help. He has put forward a theory which may, possibly, add to our overall picture of PF and enlarge our understanding of it. Because his claims that patients in his general practice have been helped by Jade Balm have been supported by at least three long-term sufferers here who say they have been significantly helped, I think his theory as to _why_ it helps deserve to be looked at by the podiatric establishment with a collectively open mind. Perhaps, in some patients, heel pain _is_ an auto-immune response.

Finally, Dr Reynolds has said at least twice that he knows a proper trial is necessary, and that he hopes the results of his pilot trial will justify funding for a larger one.

Re: Snake oil or helper?

Dr. Chris Reynolds on 7/23/01 at hrmin (054000)

I think that was probably Jade 168 Balm you were reading about, although I've never implicated infection as a cause of PF. You can get more information from my website and the current PF Jade trial at http://www.jadepage.com

Re: Snake oil or helper?

Dr. Chris Reynolds on 7/23/01 at hrmin (054001)

Thanks for the compliment Mary. I haven't owned one since med school.

Re: Snake oil or helper?

Dr. Chris Reynolds on 7/23/01 at hrmin (054002)

No one could agree more that a comprehensive double blind trial should be performed using Jade 168 Balm. If you would like to run one the manufacturer will provide product free of charge. After all, that is what I have done in my attempt at a trial. I have always said that the PF trial I am doing is only a water-tester. Well, we've tested the water, the results look good, 68% of participants are enjoying an improved quality of life, four out of thirty have had complete or almost complete remissions in less than a week, the cream is perfectly safe to use (I've never seen an adverse reaction in 5 years's use on thousands of patients), numerous PF sufferers have had long term relief from Jade and you as a therapist won't even try it on your patients. I suppose a double blind cross over trial might help you sleep better, but if the Jade obviously is helping a significant number of sufferers, some of whom have voluntarily reported to this website, then don't you have a duty of care to give your patients a non-invasive, safe, often effective treatment first up? If it doesn't work then there is no harm done. If you would like to try it out, send me your mailing address and I'll get some samples to you. My auto-immune theory re PF by the way is just that, a theory. It has no bearing on whether patients' symptoms improve or not.

Re: Snake oil or helper?

Mary De on 7/17/01 at hrmin (053443)

Maureen,

It's my understanding, from this site and my emails to Dr. Reynolds, that he believes that PF is an auto-immune response, where the immune system mistakes 'self' for 'foreign,' as in lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Some agree and some disagree -- there are some intriguing parallels. But I haven't heard anything to say that PF is a contagious infection -- that would be a different sort of immune problem.

Is Jade Balm a snake oil? It seems to have helped some people, and not others. I'm in the Jade trial, and I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt -- I've seen some improvement, but no miracles. The trial is still 'young.'

It does seem as though Dr. Reynold is sincere in wanting to help people, and I want to give him the benefit of the doubt as well. It's also apparent that he's selling a product on his web site, and looking for our support. If his product works, then there's no harm in selling it. Modern capitalism in motion. At this point, though, it's an unknown. So if considering buying, check out the impartial info first. Suggest you look at the trial tallies here on heelspurs.com, also run a search on 'Jade' to catch the back correspondence. And stay tuned -- new developments may pop up. Also, Dr. Reynolds seems to be an approachable kinda of guy. You could email him directly and ask questions. Be prepared, though -- he's very enthusiastic about Jade, not a white-lab-coat type.

best, Mary De

Re: Jade Balm

Julie on 7/17/01 at 08:14 (053458)

I think there may be a misunderstanding. Dr Reynolds's Jade Balm is not the same as the Jade Maureen found on another website. There is another Jade, and John H found it a couple of months ago, but it isn't Jade Balm. Jade Balm contains a mixture of native Australian oils, including tea tree and citratum, and plant extracts. Dr Reynolds has never said anything about infection.

Maureen, Jade Balm is certainly worth looking into, as Mary says.

Re: Snake oil or helper?

Dr. David S. Wander on 7/18/01 at 20:35 (053636)

Although I'm sure that Jade can probably do no harm, I'm very hesitant to recommend any topical product for any long term significant relief. To state that heel pain is an auto-immune response is a very brash statement. There are some auto-immune diseases that do have heel pain as a symptom, but there are also many other causes of heel pain, including trauma, mechanical, nerve entrapments, tumors, etc. And if a percentage of heel pain is caused by an auto-immune response, I do not understand how this topical product can have any significant effect on the immune system or long term treatment for this condition. Anecdotal stories and results do not enough for me to recommend this product. I admire Dr. Reynolds for his efforts, but a true double blind randomized study needs to be performed, back by research to substantiate his claims.

Re: Snake oil or helper?

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/20/01 at hrmin (053850)

Individuals such as Dr. Wander and I desire to keep an open mind to new treatments. Nevertheless, we must filter information with our base of knowledge, the majority of which is derived via accepted scientific methods. Medical science is far from perfect. It does provide us with a set of tools which we use to evaluate new proposed treatments. Sometimes, this is interpreted as a form of arrogance---it is not meant to be such.

Dr. Reynolds and the individuals who are trying Jade 168 have my best wishes and support. His theory, though, on the autoimmune etiology of plantar fasciitis and mode of action of Jade just don't jive with what we know and the need for the type of studies mentioned by Dr. Wander certainly exists. Double blind studies tend to be objective because the individuals using the medicine do not know what they are using. That tends to eliminate bias and placebo effects. The researchers who collect the data also do not know which individual is using which medicine, eliminating any bias on their part.

Re: Open minds

Julie on 7/21/01 at 06:37 (053897)

Dr Davis, I agree with you and Dr Wander. My own experience - and, after a year, growing knowledge - of plantar fasciitis certainly bears out the validity of the mechanical model; and I would guess that most cases of PF are biomechanical in origin. However - and I hope you will accept this coming from a non-scientist - 'desiring' to keep an open mind is not the same as keeping one. As you know, throughout history many important, and some major, scientific discoveries have been dismissed as hare-brained rubbish when first propounded, because they did not 'jive' with what was known at the time. I've no doubt that this is going to happen again and again till the end of time, but if I were a scientist, or a practising physician of any kind, I would want to be open to those first little bits of work that suggested there might be something new on the horizon.

(I am not suggesting that either of you is arrogant. In my own efforts to continue to be a good example of my own profession, yoga teaching and teacher training, I know how difficult it is to accept new ideas and approaches and discard held views and beliefs.)

I am not saying that Dr Reynolds has made an important scientific discovery. I do not know. But as I have said before, I believe he is a sincere practitioner who wants to give help. He has put forward a theory which may, possibly, add to our overall picture of PF and enlarge our understanding of it. Because his claims that patients in his general practice have been helped by Jade Balm have been supported by at least three long-term sufferers here who say they have been significantly helped, I think his theory as to _why_ it helps deserve to be looked at by the podiatric establishment with a collectively open mind. Perhaps, in some patients, heel pain _is_ an auto-immune response.

Finally, Dr Reynolds has said at least twice that he knows a proper trial is necessary, and that he hopes the results of his pilot trial will justify funding for a larger one.

Re: Snake oil or helper?

Dr. Chris Reynolds on 7/23/01 at hrmin (054000)

I think that was probably Jade 168 Balm you were reading about, although I've never implicated infection as a cause of PF. You can get more information from my website and the current PF Jade trial at http://www.jadepage.com

Re: Snake oil or helper?

Dr. Chris Reynolds on 7/23/01 at hrmin (054001)

Thanks for the compliment Mary. I haven't owned one since med school.

Re: Snake oil or helper?

Dr. Chris Reynolds on 7/23/01 at hrmin (054002)

No one could agree more that a comprehensive double blind trial should be performed using Jade 168 Balm. If you would like to run one the manufacturer will provide product free of charge. After all, that is what I have done in my attempt at a trial. I have always said that the PF trial I am doing is only a water-tester. Well, we've tested the water, the results look good, 68% of participants are enjoying an improved quality of life, four out of thirty have had complete or almost complete remissions in less than a week, the cream is perfectly safe to use (I've never seen an adverse reaction in 5 years's use on thousands of patients), numerous PF sufferers have had long term relief from Jade and you as a therapist won't even try it on your patients. I suppose a double blind cross over trial might help you sleep better, but if the Jade obviously is helping a significant number of sufferers, some of whom have voluntarily reported to this website, then don't you have a duty of care to give your patients a non-invasive, safe, often effective treatment first up? If it doesn't work then there is no harm done. If you would like to try it out, send me your mailing address and I'll get some samples to you. My auto-immune theory re PF by the way is just that, a theory. It has no bearing on whether patients' symptoms improve or not.