Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Syzygys, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    So I am killing time at Walgreens, cruising the isles. I look at meds. There is an eardrop for tinnitus (we discussed it in another thread). There is no cure for tinnitus, but this eardrop promises help. But there is a word on the box: homeopathic.
    That gives out a huge warning sign. The next medication is an eyedrop helping with red eye and such, also homeopathic. In plain English that means it is bullshit and placebo.

    Then I see a chronic pain killer, the kicker is that beside being homeopathic, the only active ingredient is: Cobra venom. I am not kidding.

    I asked the pharmacist about these, and she said smiling: "I guess it can't hurt to try them". Well, they weren't even that cheap...If I am paying only for the placebo effect, at least it should be dirt cheap.
  2. Robittybob1 Banned Banned

    Years back there was a pharmacist in NZ who encouraged me to try the homeopathic remedies. I was surprised to learn that there is no active ingredient in the bottles, due to the extreme dilution that supposedly is the process of making this material.

    Were they getting good results or not?
  3. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    At the higher price you might try it. Everyone always has in the back of their mind that you get what you pay for, and cobra venom sounds intriguing to say the least.
  4. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Essentially you're paying for water (or, more likely, the bottle plus profit for the sellers) when you buy a homeopathic medicine.
  5. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

    Why arent homeopathic companies shut down like those phony eye exercise company that was shut down in 2005 or so? Anyone can make placebos but these guys are supported by the gov!
  6. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Good question. I am just guessing, but maybe their lobby is strong. I saw on the box something fancy title I don't recall, that was their official organization. I guess as long as it doesn't harm people and doesn't make outrageous claims, it is OK to sell it. After all, it is capitalism, so if there is a market for it....

    It wasn't this, but something similar:


    The latin "Similia similibus curentur" means: Like cures like
  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Molecules are tiny. You can dilute a solution by a factor of 10^6 and you'll still have a measurable number of the molecule in question floating around in it.

    We're just discovering that our waste treatment plants allow hormones and antibiotics into their effluent that are measured in parts per billion. Nobody even used to check for such low concentrations. But the result of the hormones is hermaphroditic fish right here in the Potomac River, my own aquifer.
    Never underestimate the power of the placebo effect. On the balance, placebos might be the best medicines ever developed, since they have no bad side effects.

    Well unless you count hermaphroditic fish anyway.
    Welcome to the USA. We never claimed to be perfect, just fun.

    Drunk drivers kill 20 times as many Americans as terrorists (who are almost exactly as deadly as peanut allergies), but we're spending all our money (excuse me, I meant to say "the money we're borrowing from China") to fight the latter instead of the former.

    Apparently Americans are dismally poor at risk analysis and management. Considering that most of us can't make change for a dollar without a calculator, it stands to reason that we won't be very good at anything that requires doing arithmetic.
    I haven't spent a lot of time researching the history of homeopathy, but it arose in the late 19th century. I have always suspected that it was, at the time, a reasonable hypothesis based on the success of the new technology of vaccination. After all, vaccination is the insertion of a very small number of pathogens into a body, expecting its immune system to develop the requisite antibodies so they'll be ready the next time a larger bunch of those pathogens shows up.

    Nobody really understood the biology of bacteria and viruses in those days. The homeopaths may have simply assumed that if vaccination worked for smallpox, then maybe it would work for other illnesses whose causes could be identified.

    Perhaps the idea wasn't stupid, back then.
  8. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    Speaking of placebos. Has anyone noticed all the advertizements that offer you a free 30 day supply for you to try their product? Some that come to mind are for weight loss (belly fat), arthritis and joint pain, Low T ...etc.

    They avoid a lot of legal trouble with that 30 day free offer, and if the placebo effect works for you and you keep paying for a useless product. Sounds like a good way to make money to me.
  9. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    I wouldn't even mind the placebo, as long as it is cheap. Of course it could be that price is an important factor with the placebo effect, nobody likes to acknowledge that they were taken for a fool, thus higher priced drugs have a stronger placebo effect, me thinks....
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Wait a minute! If it works for you, then it's not useless!
  11. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    I could have worded that better, such as seems to be working. In my personal experience if your doctor is trying to find the right medication for you. You tend to want whatever your trying to be the one, and frequently you do feel better for awhile and then it's not working anymore.

    To me I'd say a placebo effect is interfering with your ability to be on the right prescription as soon as possible. As a result if a placebo effect can keep you from seeing a doctor for longer than you should it is hurting you.

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