A Word of Caution for Homeopathic Medicine Users
The most recent edition of New Zealand Medical Journal Digest includes a discussion of medical doctors and a health psychologist talking about the negative side effects associated with the use of homeopathic remedies. The doctors in the article consider such treatments as arnica, colloidal silver, deer velvet, and a number of other treatments classified as homeopathic remedies to be a “waste of time and money,” and in some instances, harmful to the user.
As much as 95 percent of homeopathic products and hundreds of therapies are not backed by research or credible biologically, according to the doctors. Of these so-called remedies, the doctors expressly discussed arnica, deer velvet, the Lemonade Diet, magnets, propolis, rescue remedy, shark cartilage, and super doses of vitamin C for the treatment of cancer.
Some of these treatments, such as colloidal silver, which is advertised as aiding the immune system in the fight against cancer and HIV, could actually be dangerous. According to Dr. Holt, “Silver does have some anti-microbial actions, but not only is there no clinical evidence of an efficacy for these serious indications, products have been shown to contain widely variable amounts of silver and can cause argyria-dangerous and untreatable silver poisoning.”
According to drugwatch.com, consumers often make the assumption that because they are readily available, supplements must be safe. In and of themselves, that may be true, but when combined with drugs, supplements can cause serious adverse reactions. The FDA cites research that shows at least half of American adults regularly use dietary supplements, which are defined as “products taken by mouth that contain a dietary ingredient.” According to the agency, these include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs or botanicals. St. John’s wort, vitamin E, ginseng and Ginko biloba all have been touted for their ability to boost certain health aspects. Unfortunately, they also interact with various widely prescribed drugs and cause life-threatening reactions.
Dr. Holt also considered the trouble people are having when trying to distinguish between the products and therapies that are worth trying from those that should be avoided. He notices that most people simply go to a particular website presuming that this is all the investigating they need to do in order to determine whether or not to try the treatment. The doctors also discussed how people tend to assume that a product or therapy works because highly regarded people endorse it.
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