Celebrity health quackery, 1

I've been noticing lately an awful lot of stories in which some celebrity blithely espouses total pseudo-medical mumbo-jumbo. Since celebrities exist only to entertain us, I can't be too concerned. After all, who takes them seriously? But I thought it would be interesting to keep track of some of the more bizarre instances.

Take Demi Moore, for instance -- who last night was lauding "leech therapy" for "detoxifying" her blood:

"They have a little enzyme that when they are biting down in you it gets released in your blood and generally you bleed for quite a bit - and your health is optimized.
"It detoxifies your blood - I'm feeling very detoxified right now. I did it in some woman's house laying on her bed. We did a little sampler first, which is in the belly button.

Leeches are a valid medical treatment for vascular degeneration and microsurgical repair, both instances in which blood flow is impeded and removal of excess blood aids in healing. Leech therapy has also been investigated as a method of local pain relief in osteoarthritis, in which leech saliva is hypothesized to contain anti-inflammatory agents.

Contrary to Moore's description, leeches do not remove toxins from the body, nor does their saliva have chelating properties (that is, of the sort that would remove toxins from the blood sometime after the leech was detached).

I suspect that the bizarre medical history of leeches, their current utility in certain medical contexts, and their freakish bloodsucking nature makes them just strange enough to appeal to a certain brand of homeopath. In the simplistic logic of homeopathy, leeches resemble things that are toxic and harmful, so they should be useful to ward away things that are toxic and harmful.

Personally, I wonder why anyone would think that a temporary parasite like a leech would deliberately concentrate "damaging" toxic substances from a host's body. I mean, what does the leech supposedly get out of it? Do these people believe in evolution?

Well, some questions answer themselves. But that's about as far into the logic of Demi Moore's "alternative" health practices as I'm willing to go.