The FDA announced last week that it will crack down on some homeopathic products. Note the word "some" in that sentence, when it should be "all." Homeopathy is nothing but a scam, with companies producing bogus health aids that do nothing but enrich those corporations to the tune of about $3 billion a year. Walgreens, CVS, and any other pharmacy that puts those items on the shelves next to actual medicine should be ashamed of themselves.
If you're not aware of homeopathic claims, here's the bottom line: they take a drop of something good, then dilute it so much that there's only a trace of the original good thing left in there. They claim the water has a memory of that positive ingredient -- somehow it doesn't have a memory of all the crap and pee that were in there at some point, too -- but there's no scientific basis for their claims.
Several years ago, my friend James Randi used to start his speeches by announcing he was going to swallow an entire bottle of sleeping pills. He then produced the bottle, showed the audience the pills, and swallowed them right down. Before anyone in the audience could panic, however, he told them that there was nothing to fear because these were homeopathic sleeping pills, meaning they contained no active ingredient whatsoever that could harm him. He then went on with his presentation without ever becoming even a tiny bit drowsy.
Most homeopathic remedies are sold in liquid form, but are nothing more than water. On its own that isn't bad for you, but when you expect it to help you overcome serious health problems (at least one homeopathic product claimed it helped cure cancer!), that might keep you from seeking out real medical advice from a doctor who could prescribe something that actually does have science behind it.
Remember the old saying: if alternative medicine worked, it would be called medicine.
Labels: science, skepticism