Thursday, April 16, 2009

GREAT source of inexpensive homeopathic medicine!

For some odd reason, Amazon.com's recommendation system thought I'd be interested in Boiron Camilia homeopathic teething medicine. Only $11 for 40 doses (on sale).

Ooh, but I see in the related products list Humphreys Teething Tablets, which are even cheaper-- $4.34 for 135 pills.

Hmm, but you're supposed to take three of the Humphreys at a time. Still, the Humphreys is cheaper per dose (10 cents versus 27 cents).

But maybe it's not as good. They both get five-star Amazon.com reviews, but what about the active ingredients? The Camilia's main active ingredient is a 5C dilution of pokeweed plant-- that 1 part pokeweed to 10,000,000,000 (ten billion) parts water. Pokeweed is poisonous, but that's good because the whole idea behind homeopathic remedies is that a little bit of poison is good for you.

Humphreys is a 3X dilution of pokeweed (1 part pokeweed to a thousand parts water). In the homeopathic world, less active ingredient is better, so that's not good (a 5C dilution-- diluted 1-to-100 five times-- is better than a 3X dilution-- diluted 1-to-10 three times). But, you also get a 3X dilution of Belladonna (aka Deadly Nightshade) for your money.

How's a concerned parent supposed to decide? Should you give your baby the more expensive remedy that only has one poison in it, or the cheaper one that has two?

Personally, I'd opt for the least expensive option. I found these fantastic homeopathic pills online, and they cost less than 2 cents per dose! They contain a 60C dilution of BOTH pokeweed AND belladonna, and they even come in three kid-friendly flavors!

I'm pretty sure I saw the same product being sold at Big Y; I'll have to pick some up next time I'm buying groceries.

4 comments:

Paul G. Silva said...

I used to LOVE those things. I had NO IDEA they were soooo good for me :P

Joseph said...

Gavin, of course with homeopathy it's the LABELS that really provide the potency. That's what stimulates the brain's belief system. I wonder if anyone homeopathic doc has done any double blind studies with and w/o labels on the bottles??

Gavin Andresen said...

Yeah, I bet you're right-- labels are key.

Did you see the study last year that showed that more expensive placebos are more effective?

I wonder if warning labels on homeopathic medicines would make them more or less effective...

Timothy Campbell said...

I love your idea of warning labels on homeopathic medicine! Let's see, how should it read?

WARNING: Taking too many of these pills at once can cause you to rattle when you walk.

That should just about cover it.