No harm in homeopathy?

One of the defences wheeled out for quack remedies, such as homeopathy, is that it’s harmless. If there are no active ingredients, its supporters claim, then there is no harm in someone choosing to try a homeopathic remedy.

This argument works, as far as it goes, if we are talking about an adult who has decided to disregard the available medical advice when looking for a treatment for him or herself. Such people are ignorant – possibly deliberately so – but most of them will turn to real medicines when their symptoms persist.

But what if the adult in question is not looking for a treatment for herself, but for her colicky baby? What if, in all good faith, she goes to a chemist and picks up a remedy with nothing in it?

Enter Brauer Colic Relief. It even comes with a medical looking dosage:

Infants under 6 months: Give 0.5 mL every half hour for up to 4 doses if required until symptoms abate. May be given 4 hourly thereafter. Infants 6 months and over: Give 1 mL every half hour for up to 4 doses if required until symptoms abate. May be given 4 hourly thereafter. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare practitioner.

So what is in Brauer Colic Relief? Nothing, as it happens:

Contains equal parts of:
Bryonia 30C, Chamomilla 6C, Colocynthis 6C, Mag. phos. 6C.

To put these numbers into perspective, I recommend you take a look at the Mad Art Lab’s attempt to put homeopathy into perspective. But the shorter version is that at a dilution of 6C there is unlikely to be a single molecule of the “remedy” in in the solution. At a dilution of 30C you’d be left with less than one molecule per universe.

Brauer Colic Relief are despicable.

They are selling overpriced water to concerned mothers whose children have real complaints and need real treatments. They are profiting off the pain of babies and giving nothing back in return.

Hat tip to Furious Purpose via Pharyngula.

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