MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

Nobody can doubt that, during the last 200 years, conventional medicine has made monumental progress. Homeopathy, however, has remained more or less like Hahnemann invented it. But now it seems as though homeopathy can celebrate an unprecedented step ahead. As so often in medicine, it originates from a commercial enterprise.

Genexa is a US firm that produces natural health products. On their website, they state that “At Genexa, we believe medicine should be free from unhealthy fillers and toxins”. They recently published a press-release introducing a line of homeopathic medicines certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Non-GMO Project verified. They are keen to point out that these products “do not contain any genetically modified ingredients.” In fact, several of their remedies do not contain any active ingredients to speak of: they are homeopathic!

“We are extremely proud of our organic and non-GMO certifications – the seals are prominently featured on all our products and website for easy label reading and patient education,” stated David Johnson, CEO of Genexa, in their press-release. “Our quality standards are among the highest in the over-the-counter medicine industry.”

Genexa’s 11 homeopathic formulations are being advertised for the treatment of common health issues such as flu, cold, allergies, stress, pain, leg cramps, sleeplessness and jet lag. An entire line of products is, according to the press-release, specially formulated for children and includes treatments for cold, allergy and calming.

Genexa’s CMO proudly announced that “It’s important to us that our retail customers feel confident in the products and know they can trust they are purchasing medicines free from unhealthy fillers and toxins and simply focus on healing.” Presumably that trust must include the trust into the efficacy of the homeopathic remedies! Yes, I am pleased to report that, apparently it does; elsewhere they confirm this by stating that “Genexa holds itself to the highest standards in both quality and ethics.” The highest standards of ethics surely include that the remedies in question are demonstrably efficacious.

But how can we be sure? Are any of these homeopathic remedies supported by reasonably strong evidence? Oddly enough, despite all these affirmations, I did get my doubts when I tried to dig a bit deeper.

Take the homeopathic remedy called SLEEPOLOGY, for instance. The website informs us that “This homeopathic formulation consists of nine leading remedies designed to treat sleeplessness, inability to fall asleep, frequent waking, restless sleep and sleeplessness from stress, exhaustion, nervousness, excitability, restlessness, worries, irritability, and pain.” So, it’s a complex homeopathic remedy with 9 different ingredients. But is there any evidence of efficacy for this mixture? I am not aware of any clinical trials that have tested its efficacy. But I must be wrong, because on the website we are being told that “Clinical trials have demonstrated efficacy for treating sleeplessness for piper methysticum, and valeriana officinalis.” That may be so, but the trials were done with herbal extracts, not with homeopathic potencies! Could the statement therefore be more than a little misleading?

On the internet, I found all sorts of fascinating bits about the new homeopathic lines (my compliments to the PR firm that organised the launch!); for instance the revelation that: “The company’s proprietary medicines were created by and are regularly reviewed and enhanced by its chief medical officer, Dr. Todd Rowe*, a nationally respected physician with an expertise in homeopathic medicine formulation. Working with the Genexa team, Dr. Rowe and his team of chemists and pharmacists spent hundreds of hours meticulously formulating and testing the products. The result is a line of effective, potent medicines that are certified organic by the USDA and non-GMO verified by the Non-GMO Project. “Our formulations are based on tried and true principles for miasmatic and energetic balance, so that the remedies potentiate each other and promote the most positive patient outcomes,” said Dr. Rowe. “These powerful medicines work with your body to help it heal itself.”” However, I was unable to find out which potencies are being used for the Genexa homeopathic products. This information might not be that relevant: according to the homeopathic ‘like cures like’ principle, the effects of a substance are reversed through potentiation. This is why coffee, for instance, is potentised by homeopath to generate a sleeping remedy. Does it not follow then that, potentising two or more herbal ingredients that have hypnotic effects (as in SLEEPOLOGY), must generate a remedy for preventing sleep? A similarly puzzling lack of ‘homeopathic logic’ seems to apply to several other products in Genexa’s line of homeopathic remedies.

I have to admit, I am confused.

Could it be that the ‘breakthrough’ turns out to be a breakdown of ‘homeopathic logic’?

Let’s hope someone from Genexa reads these lines and can enlighten us.

[*he is the President of the American Medical College of Homeopathy]

10 Responses to A breakthrough in the field of homeopathy: organic + non-GMO remedies

  • How far can they go? I’m standing by for “Powder of Sympathy” to make a comeback. That, I just discovered, is the delightfully alternative practice of applying the medicine, not to the patient, but to the thing which caused the problem. So, septic wound from being stabbed by a fork? Apply Powder of Sympathy to the fork!

    Excuse me, I need to go and plan my range of non-GMO, organic, homeopathic Powders of Sympathy. “Scientist admit that they don’t know how it works” – how’s that for a slogan?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powder_of_sympathy

  • I am sure they are gluten free as well. And we all know that dihydrogen monoxide is a superfood.

  • To quote a cliché: you couldn’t make it up! Except that someone has.

    “Our formulations are based on tried and true principles for miasmatic and energetic balance…” Wonderful. This company is back in the 19th century with ‘miasmas’. To quote Wikipedia, “The [miasmatic] theory was eventually given up by scientists and physicians after 1880.” But at least that’s balanced with current New Age usage of ‘energy’.

    With this product range, Genexa has ticked three of the boxes for people who ‘care about things’. Homeopathy, obviously — that’s associated by uncritical people with ‘natural’ things, which must, per se, be better than those darn chemicals the real doctors prescribe. ‘Organic’: the great 20th century agricultural confidence trick, once again aimed at people who ‘care about things’. We had organic agriculture for thousands of years. It failed a lot of the time, so people turned increasingly to science to understand what they had to do to improve things. Now people want to cast aside what science found and go back to the middle ages. There is nothing wrong with ‘organic’ produce, but it is a luxury. Show me how you can feed the current world population with ‘organic’ food, and I’ll convert from a critic to a supporter.

    The third box Genexa has ticked is the ‘non-GMO’ concern. The introduction of genetically modified crops was a failed PR exercise: the companies behind the first GM crops succeeded in conveying the impression that their GM products would cynically boost their corporate bottom lines. The detractors succeeded in conveying the impression of ‘Frankenstein foods’. The reality is that GM crops are perfectly safe, most of them offer definable advantages over conventional crops, and they are in widespread use in many parts of the world. The persistent objections now seem ridiculous, but they do indeed persist. They often arise from ignorance: does anyone talk about ‘Frankenstein insulin’? Insulin (plus an ever-expanding list of other life-saving pharmaceuticals) is manufactured by growing GM microorganisms on a huge scale, but this branch of the GM industry is largely unknown to the general public.

    I discovered the ingredients of Genexa’s ‘Sleepology’ product:
    Active ingredients (in each tablet)
    Alfalfa 6X HPUS
    Avena sativa 6X HPUS
    Chamomilla 6X HPUS
    Eschscholtzia californica 6X HPUS
    Gelsemium sempervirens 12X HPUS
    Nux moschata 9X HPUS
    Passiflora incarnata 6X HPUS
    Piper methysticum 6X HPUS
    Valeriana officinalis 6X HPUS

    I doubt whether there have been many efforts to modify any of these genetically, so the non-GMO claim may be irrelevant. But please note the majority of ingredients are at 6X, so they are not at the high dilution of the widely used 30C.

    The list of indications (from the same webpage) is extensive. “restless sleep, sleeplessness from nervousness and exhaustion, inability to fall asleep, sleeplessness from stress, sleeplessness from pain, irritability and excitability, frequent waking, sleeplessness from worries and restlessness, inability to fall asleep and restless sleep”. Why ‘restless sleep’ is doubled up in the list of uses I can’t imagine: perhaps the product is twice as good for that indication. Oh, but wait a minute, what’s this footnote? “These “Uses” are based upon traditional homeopathic practice. They have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.” Aha! That tells potential customers with a brain the product is almost certainly worthless.

    • PS Genexa sell sleepology for $21.99. If their product takes off well they should soon be able to contribute funds to conduct the proper clinical trials impoverished homeopathists are always telling us they can’t afford to undertake.

    • Fortunately, these products are not licensed for sale in the UK.

      But will we see the classical homeopaths objecting to these products?

    • Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein at the same time as Hahnemann wrote his Organon. A coincidence? I don’t think so.

  • I looked at Cold Crush Adult. http://genexahealth.com/cold-crush-adult/ The actual ingredients are on the “Drug Facts: tab.
    The strongest claim is “Clinical trials of bryonia alba 6,7 have demonstrated efficacy for treating cold symptoms.”
    One reference is in-vitro. The other reference is http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3041973 which found no significant difference between the homeopathic preparation and aspirin. Not having access to the original paper, I don’t know what dose of aspirin was used, but even at correct doses aspirin has only limited effect on cold symptoms.
    So this bryonia alba is no more effective than something ineffective, resulting in the claim “demonstrated efficacy” – that sounds like deceptive marketing to me. Is anyone in the US able to lodge a complaint, or does free speech outweigh deceptive commercial speech?

    They also say “Common cold symptoms have long been shown to be responsive to many homeopathic treatments3-5.” Reference 4 is http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=709805 which gave lozenges with 13.3 mg of zinc from zinc gluconate every two hours. No mention of homeopathic, and that couldn’t be diluted more than 2X. Ths level of zinc has significant side effects “Individual patients must decide whether the possible beneficial effects of zinc gluconate on cold symptoms outweigh the possible adverse effects.” All the homeopathic ingredients of Cold Crush Adult appear to be plants, so I don’t see how trials of zinc gluconate are even relevant to this medication. It’s like saying “Pharmaceuticals have proved effective against bacterial infections so this antidepressant should work against bacterial infections because it’s a pharmaceutical too”

    Very silly and misleading.

  • This is misleading advertising and should be reported to the FDA, etc.

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