Oh Sweet Irony: Homeopathic Remedies Recalled Because They Contained Medicine

We’re not big fans of pseudoscience around here, which makes this next story a particularly delicious morsel of schadenfreude. The FDA has recalled homeopathic remedies sold by Terra-Medica because they may contain real medicine. Penicillin or its derivatives, to be exact. As Ars Technica points out, one of the products even bills itself as treating inflammation and infection “without the use of traditional antibiotics”. It’s also worth noting that penicillin allergies are one of the most common adverse drug reactions. Great work, everyone.

To phrase it in layman’s terms, homeopathic remedies are heavily-diluted concoctions of overpriced horsesh*t. As Ars Technica also points out, the House of Commons found them to work no better than placebos. That may be because they’re diluted to the point of often being only water and occasionally sugar.

“In a vial of homeopathic sulphur pills at 30C strength, there’s significantly more chance of winning the lottery (1 in 14 million) than there is of finding a single molecule of sulphur.” – 10:23 Campaign via GDS Infographics [emphasis ours]

Speaking of the 10:23 Campaign, Ars Technica spoke to someone involved in their anti-homeopathy stance — Michael Marshall — about the recall.

“[It’s funny] to see homeopathic products recalled because, for a change, they actually contain some real ingredients.” But, he added, there’s “real cause for concern here. People are often persuaded to try homeopathy by claims that homeopathic remedies have no side effects — and that’s true, albeit because they also have no beneficial effects. These so-called medicines are simply drops of water, put onto sugar pills, and no more than that,” Marshall said. […] “Our advice to the consumer is clear: leave sugar pills in the 19th century where they belong.”

Sellers of homeopathy products explain the dilution of their products by claiming the water has a “memory” of the ingredient it used to contain. Well, if water has a memory, every particle of it out there should remember a curry I ate back in ’93. Drink up, homeopathy proponents.