Skepticism

Homeopathy strikes again

“Homeopathic” cold remedy Zicam is apparently not homeopathic.

It actually contains zinc. And when taken intranasally, it can cause people to lose their sense of smell. You’d be surprised at how important this is. Smell is one of the most underrated of our five senses. But can you imagine running around all day wondering if your B.O. is too strong? Or not being able to taste the full complexities of a gourmet meal because you can’t smell the different spices? Smell has also been shown to be strongly linked to emotional memories.

All of this, lost, because some people decided homeopathy should get more lenient treatment than any regular medicine.

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vreify

vreify

Vy is a recent graduate working in a neuroscience lab with children and monkeys. She likes sewing, knitting, lifting weights, and reading in her free time. Especially reading about science!

2 Comments

  1. Protesilaus
    June 29, 2009 at 7:55 pm —

    Zicam is homeopathic…sort of.

    What is going on here is someone took Zinc (which I don’t believe causes the common cold) and dilutes it 2X times. This yeilds a 10^2 dilution, 1 part per 100. This is incredibly smaller than an actual Homeopathic dilution (which is on the order of 10^30 usually). This means instead of being “magic sugar water” that the original is, its an actual level of a potentially harmful drug, with no proven benefits of taking it.

  2. Protesilaus
    June 29, 2009 at 7:58 pm —

    EDIT: Saying smaller than an actual Homeopathic dilution may be misleading. The dilution is less making the amount of active ingredient infinitely larger (its actually in the bottle).

    The weird thing is they followed Homeopathic principles, but not to the dilutions that are supposed to be the most powerful based on their own incorrect laws. This is one case when 2 wrongs made a much bigger and more dangerous wrong.

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