Fox News Pushes Homeopathic Nonsense

Fox News Pushes Homeopathic Nonsense February 18, 2015

We tend to think of support for homeopathy as coming from crunchy, granola-eating liberals, but apparently Fox News likes it too. They have a mostly non-critical article about homeopathy as a “natural alternative” to treat post-partum depression and other maladies. This line particularly made me laugh:

According to the National Institutes of Health, homeopathic remedies are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but the FDA doesn’t evaluate them for safety or effectiveness.

They’re “regulated” by the FDA, but not for safety or effectiveness. So what exactly is being regulated, the shape and color of the pills? The colors used in the logo on the bottle?

Instead of looking at the disease or condition, homeopathic treatment is very specific to the symptoms, Silverstein said. So although many women will have nausea, some will only feel sick in the morning, while others will feel sick all day. Or some will constantly crave grapefruit, while others will vomit at the sight of it. The homeopathic expert can then tailor the remedy depending on the symptoms.

During pregnancy, homeopathic remedies can help things like morning sickness, heartburn, insomnia, back and ligament pain, hemorrhoids, and constipation. There are remedies to prepare the uterus for childbirth, induce labor, dilate the cervix, start contractions, and make contractions more effective.

After childbirth, homeopathic remedies can heal bleeding, bruising and vaginal tears, and help women recover from both vaginal and cesarean section deliveries. In the postpartum period, remedies can help increase breast milk, unclog milk ducts, and benefit mood, postpartum depression, anxiety and fatigue.

“Most of us don’t understand how homeopathy works, but we see the results,” said Sara Chana Silverstein, a homeopath, master herbalist and an international board-certified lactation consultant who works in New York and Los Angeles.

A systematic review in the journal International Journal of Clinical Practice found that some homeopathic remedies— particularly those that contain mercury or iron, those that are not highly diluted, or those that are an ineffective remedy compared to an effective conventional treatment— can cause serious side effects.

Yet unlike pharmaceuticals which suppress the body’s functions, homeopathic medicines help the body figure out on own imbalance and find equilibrium, LoGiudice said.

Oh yes, what article on medical woo would be complete without mentions of “balance” and “equilibrium,” which are completely meaningless terms in such a context.

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