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View Full Version : Homeopathic Lice Treatment- Swindling Beleivers in Woo


jskowron
29th November 2011, 05:55 AM
So, the kids had some little critters crawling around in their hair. My wife went to the drugstore and brought home some treatment gel marketed under the Tec Labs brand. Simple enough stuff- coat the hair scalp with the stuff, cover with a "lunch lady" type plastic cap, and rinse off in an hour or so, and comb out the dead lice. We did the treatment, and sure enough an hour or so later, nothing but dead (or at least not moving) lice, and two days later, no live adult lice and no more itching.

Looking at the product box today, I notice the word "homeopathic" on the box! This cues me to look at the active ingredient, to find that it is "Natrum Muriaticum 1x." In other words, salt water! Now, i don't feel like I've been scammed, 'cause the stuff worked (to be more accurate, the absence of live adult lice and itching appeared to be contiguous to our applying the treatment), and also because I did not purchase the product thinking I was getting something homeopathic (in fact, that word on the label would have made me pass on the product).

This does not, however, seem like an attempt by the manufacturer to swindle the public with an ineffective "homepathic" solution that is basically, water. Rather, it seems to me like an attempt to swindle the proponents of woo into buying something that actually works, but is not "real" homeopathy (how about that for an oxymoron). A solution of 1 part table salt to 10 parts tap water, mixed with some gel and licorice smelling stuff (as well as something to provide a tingly sensation so you think more is going on than actually is) seems to be an effective means of dehydrating adult lice and making the nits easier to remove. This is distinguishing from and actual homeopathic remedy, which would (a) consist of actual lice diluted with water to the point of being indistinguishable from water; and (b) be ineffective.

This seems to be the next logical step in the great alternative medicine swindle- market actual remedies that work, but call them homeopathic.
I avoided infestation myself by employing an ages old, natural "treatment"- baldness!

Rolfe
29th November 2011, 06:02 AM
This seems to be a peculiarly US thing - marketing substantial products as "homoeopathic" with a note of 1X or 2X or something like that. Zicam was in that category - they used it to market an effective but unsafe cold remedy, and got sued for their pains when someone lost his sense of smell.

US homoeopathy legislation seems to lack the clause that mandates that ingredients have to be present in trace quantities if at all.

Rolfe.

jskowron
29th November 2011, 06:18 AM
It really does seem that, for marketing purposes, anything that involves diluted/mixing something with water is labeled "homepathic", ignoring the whole "law of similars" stuff (incorrect as it may be). Now I must get back to drinking my Rubiaceae Drupes 1x preparation.

Psi Baba
29th November 2011, 06:24 AM
I have serious doubts that the majority of the general public really understands what homeopathic actually means. I think some people confuse "homeopathic" for "holistic," and still others confuse "homeopathic" for "naturopathic," simply believing that the label homeopathic means nothing more than the ubiquitous "all-natural." I don't know if manufacturers of such products as the lice treatment are making similar mistakes or are merely pandering to the public's perception of the label or that they are misusing the term to indicate that the product does not contain any substances that would require FDA approval, ie "no chemicals!"

Rolfe
29th November 2011, 06:39 AM
If ther manufacturers know enough to label the thing "1X", they know what they're doing!

Rolfe.

jskowron
29th November 2011, 06:54 AM
If ther manufacturers know enough to label the thing "1X", they know what they're doing!

Rolfe.

Not just "1x" but "Natrum Muriaticum 1x"

Ocelot
29th November 2011, 06:58 AM
Could this also be a licensing dodge?

I mean if you say its homeopathic then you don't have to prove that it's effective, just safe; and that much is pretty much assumed because there's nothing in it. Of course if there is actually something in it then that's cheating.

Mojo
29th November 2011, 08:25 AM
Would 1X Natrum Muriaticum be a 10% solution of salt or a 1:10 dilution of a mother tincture made by dissolving some salt in water?

Estellea
29th November 2011, 08:43 AM
Would 1X Natrum Muriaticum be a 10% solution of salt or a 1:10 dilution of a mother tincture made by dissolving some salt in water?It would be a 1:10 dilution of the mother tincture.

Este

Rolfe
29th November 2011, 09:08 AM
Not just "1x" but "Natrum Muriaticum 1x"


Good point.

Could this also be a licensing dodge?

I mean if you say its homeopathic then you don't have to prove that it's effective, just safe; and that much is pretty much assumed because there's nothing in it. Of course if there is actually something in it then that's cheating.


It certainly was in the case of Zicam. Of course, in that case it wasn't so much the efficacy testing that was the problem, it was the safety testing.

Rolfe.