In the latest of a series of articles critical of "alternative" medicine, MSNBC proclaims that Zicam is not the only remedy that may harm your health. From the article:
an Associated Press analysis of the Food and Drug Administration's side effect reports found that more than 800 homeopathic ingredients were potentially implicated in health problems last year. Complaints ranged from vomiting to attempted suicide.
So once again, we're happy to see alternative medicine getting negative press. But hold on... homeopathy has no ingredients. How can they be harmful? Well, they can't. Homeopathy contains ingredients so dilute that not a single molecule remains in the final preparation. However, homeopathic remedies do include other ingredients that can be harmful, such as alochol. In the case of Zicam, they were simply lying... the preparation was in no way homeopathic as it contained a significant amount of zinc gluconate, which is supposedly the chemical that's creating anosmia in many people.
Ok, we understand that... but MSNBC apparently doesn't:
homeopathic medicines are derived from cancerous or other diseased tissues. Many are formulated from powerful poisons like strychnine, arsenic or snake venom.
No, they're not. There is NO strychnine, arsenic or snake venom in any truly homeopathic medicine. Naturopathic medicines? Maybe, they're completely different from homeopathy, though it seems like a large percentage of the public considers them the same.
And then, the article quotes homeopath Iris Bell:
Even some leading homeopaths have begun to change their minds about independent oversight.
Dr. Iris R. Bell, a psychiatrist and homeopathy researcher at the University of Arizona, Tucson, says the suspended Zicam products deliver the homeopathic ingredient right into the nose — not an accepted homeopathic method. She says the FDA should act against such products.
So it's the nasal application that's at fault? Sigh. Again, though this article has some really good information, it's tainted by so much misinformation that it's no surprise the public is confused.
Here's all they really need to know: alternative medicine that works is called medicine. Most doctors are trustworthy and reliable sources of health information. If you have a medical problem, see your medical doctor. Modern medicine is far from perfect, but it's the best thing we have.