MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

Guest post by Frank Van der Kooy

The BlueBoxTM homeopathic remedy kit, produced by Pegasus Homeopathics, contains 28 easy-to-use remedies for the treatment of just about everything, and therefore; “The BlueBox™ is a must have for every home”. Their marketing strategy is focussed on children and on the ease-of-mind of their parents, with Pegasus telling us that it: “Treats the whole family from infants to the elderly; Safe for babies as well as pregnant and breast feeding mums; Readily taken by children, no alcohol or nasty-tasting syrups; Can’t overdose – even if a child swallows the contents of a bottle it’s the same as one dose.” One of the 28 remedies in this kit is called Anti-virabac 200C, described as a; “natural antibiotic, safe for those allergic to penicillin. Indications: A homeopathic ‘antibiotic’ for use in viral and bacterial infections, that is best implemented at the earliest stage of the infection. Safe for use in penicillin-allergic individuals.”

There is a lot wrong with this, but let’s just focus on what this remedy contains. It is a mixture of nine homeopathic remedies, including Belladonna 200C and Gunpowder 30C, with the purpose of the latter being; “Localises the infection preventing deeper penetration into tissues.” The 200C and 30C indicates that these substances have been diluted by a factor of 10400 and 1060 respectively, and consequently neither contain a single molecule of the original substance. This might be a good thing, especially for Belladonna which is a highly poisonous herb, and something that you definitely do not want to give to your children.  Incorrectly diluted Belladonna (in a different homeopathic remedy) has recently been implicated in the deaths of ten infants in the US. As for the Gunpowder 30C, well, some homeopaths are known for diluting the Berlin Wall for the treatment of depression, and a whole host of other conditions, so why not gunpowder?

But let’s step into the mind of a homeopath, and try and explain the logic behind the Gunpowder 30C. Here goes: Gunpowder is used to fire a bullet which will, depending on the entry location,, cause serious harm or death. If you are only wounded, the wound can become infected, the infection might spread throughout your body, and eventually you may die. Using the homeopathic principle of ‘like-cures-like’, it therefore ‘stands to reason’ that when you dilute gunpowder, by a factor of 1060, it will localise and prevent the infection from spreading any further. Because the underlined words look alike, it is irrefutable scientific evidence that Gunpowder 30C is a remarkably effective remedy. I am however only guessing here, but it is clear that the amount of science involved is truly mindboggling (any homeopath reading this, please correct me if I am wrong). A quick search reveals that homeopathic gunpowder is more commonly used for the treatment of septic wounds in people and animals, which I guess, makes more sense in a homeopathic sort of way.

Let’s say that I do not have any scientific background and that I’ve decided to buy the BlueBoxTM. Before coming to this decision, I’ve spoken to a homeopath (a specialist), I’ve discussed it with the extremely helpful people at the pharmacy, I’ve read all the info on the website of Pegasus (the producers), and I’ve even gone as far as to read the lengthy WHO report, which recommends that homeopathy should be integrated with conventional healthcare. All-in-all, it paints a very positive picture and I, and many others, will feel confident in the safety and effectiveness of this product. And hence, I will happily give these remedies to my children. Why not?

But what now if my young child die, due to an infection that I’ve treated with anti-virabac 200C? The infection worsened very quickly, within 48 hours, and upon hospitalisation it was already too late to save his life. At the end of the day, this remedy contains nothing other than the diluent, and will do absolutely nothing against any infection. A fact that is reflected in the Australian NHMRC homeopathy report, where they clearly state that: “People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness.” Tragically, this happens quite often, with an unknown number of people dying because they have chosen ineffective homeopathic remedies. Gunpowder 30C for the treatment of infectious diseases and/or septic wounds, really? The number of victims is unknown because the BlueBoxTM, and all other homeopathic remedies, are bought over-the-counter. There is no paper trail and hence no system in place to document ‘adverse events’. So, if you or your child dies, the cause of death will simply read infectious disease or septic wound – and that will probably be the end of it.

Who is to blame for this situation?  The homeopath, pharmacist and all other role players are legally doing what they are doing. They are allowed to sell you water as a treatment for many different medical conditions.  You, on the other hand, as a parent who’s child died because of these  ineffective remedies, can however be taken to court and you might even be send to jail – and this is the ‘Homeopathy Paradox’.

This is also where the important role of Vice Chancellors (VC) come into play. They are instrumental in deciding on what path science will take in a specific country. Their role is becoming more important, especially in light of some politicians nowadays resorting to all kinds of alternative facts.  Take someone like Prof Barney Glover, VC of Western Sydney University (WSU), and also the current Chair of ‘Universities Australia – The Voice of Australia’s Universities’. He has influence over the whole scientific landscape in Australia, and quite recently gave a very good speech at the National Press Club,  about the necessity and importance for universities to stand up for facts and the truth, because nobody else will.  This is very encouraging but, unfortunately, very misleading.

Prof Glover was notified in 2015, that he should urgently investigate the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM), because of their continued (in)direct support of homeopathy and many other disproven complementary medicines. For example: the NICM had a big influence in compiling the WHO report, calling for the better integration of homeopathy (implying that it is an effective healthcare system) with conventional healthcare, and by way of their extended network, has tried to discredit and destroy the NHMRC report on homeopathy. Their incorrect and misleading response to the NHMRC report is now being used by homeopaths, all over the world, to continue to mislead the public regarding the effectiveness of homeopathy.

Unfortunately, neither the VC nor anyone else in WSU’s management has yet taken the very important step of standing up for science. Therefore the VC, and others, were nominated for the Bent Spoon Award in 2016. A nomination that they tried to block, but after independent review, did not manage to do so.  VC’s that do not stand up for science can therefore have a far-reaching impact, such as convincing me, who live on the other side of the world, to buy the BlueBoxTM, which in turn, might lead to my child’s death. Let’s call it the ‘butterfly effect’, with a ‘minor’ act (allowing pseudoscience at their university) on one side of the world, causing a lot of carnage on the other side of the world, or the world over.

(The reason for WSUs refusal to investigate the NICM seems to be as simple as increasing their external income. And it works, because quite recently the controversial supplement company Blackmores donated $10 million, and a year or so ago, the extremely controversial organisation, the Jacka Foundation, donated $4 million. These numbers appear to be enough for WSU to continue to hold their hand of protection over the NICM).

WSU is by no means the only university that has put money before science and ethics. Take for example the University of Johannesburg (UJ) who has a ‘Department of Homeopathy’ (they featured on this Blog before – see for instance  here).  A couple of days ago I emailed the Dept. of Homeopathy, asking for advice regarding homeopathic malaria remedies for my 6yo son before we travel to the Kruger park. They advised me that they do not sell it themselves, but that I should contact a specific pharmacy and ask for….wait for it….a banned herbal remedy and for homeopathic antimalarial drops – the latter, of course, does not contain anything other than solvent. This advice comes straight from a University, and although this issue is still unfolding, I am hopeful to have more luck with UJ’s VC – but I am not holding my breath. So, if you happen to work at any one of these two universities, could you kindly forward this article to your VC? For what it is worth.

 

10 Responses to Gunpowder 30C – works like a bomb for any infection! But also blows a Vice Chancellor’s smokescreen, of standing up for science, to bits.

  • As the first step before throwing it away is to finely grind the starting material with sugar, this may be the answer to homeopathy.

    • Grinding gunpowder with sugar in a mortar is not a good idea.
      How do I know…?
      Mother was not at all happy with the burn holes in my table and draperies. Me and my friend were experimenting with making smoke and stink bombs. It was a while before we were allowed to play together again 🙂

      But you don’t have to risk anything when making Gunpowder 30C…
      Homeopaths sometimes make remedies “by meditation”. When they do not have the stuff at hand they simply think hard about the material.

      Here is one of my favourite examples of hard homeopathic thinking (or rather lack of it?):

      Source: http://homeopath.x10.mx/heklalava.htm

      (emphasis is mine)

      I made a Hekla 1M by “meditation” which I’ve dropped off to my patient (whose tooth pain from dubious dental work that had been troubling him for two months healed over a few days and has stayed away – 12/9/00). I felt incredibly clear and energised whilst making it; it felt very windy and desolate as I sort of blew the essence in. When making the remedy I felt:
      Wind, cold wind rushes through the land, a settling of fine dust permeates and disturbs. It blocks the fine vessels, and sets hard. It is immovable, without violent eruption.
      After making the remedy, I had definite doubts about anything actually being in there, much the same as when I made up the Venus remedy – well it IS pretty weird!

      Weird is the right word.

      Another convenient way to make homeopathic remedies without access or risk of the starting material involves writing its name on a piece of paper. The intricate details of this method are described on page 19 in Kjetill Oftedal’s book Family homeopathy and survival guide

      Immediately following on the next page is a description of how the Apache medicine men made remedies by meditation.

      Homopathy is indeed weird.

      😀

      • I am sorry. The description of the “name on paper” method starts on page 20. But the whole section on remedy making is very informative. I believe that section can be read in its entirety under the link I gave. I guess the whole book can be recommended. Reading from it to normal people can evoke both awe and mirth. Not the least if you inform them that the author did manage to finish a BsC in physics before his cognitive compass broke.

        • Edzard

          “But let’s step into the mind of a homeopath, and try and explain the logic behind the Gunpowder 30C.”

          All your evidence is based upon assumptions when facts are available. (Dr. R Hahn)

          “Gunpowder is used to fire a bullet which will, depending on the entry location,, cause serious harm or death.”
          OK

          “Using the homeopathic principle of ‘like-cures-like’, it therefore ‘stands to reason’ that when you dilute gunpowder, by a factor of 1060, it will localise and prevent the infection from spreading any further. Because the underlined words look alike, it is irrefutable scientific evidence that Gunpowder 30C is a remarkably effective remedy.”
          Did gunpowder enter the body or the metal in the bullet did?

          “I am however only guessing here, but it is clear that the amount of science involved is truly mindboggling (any homeopath reading this, please correct me if I am wrong).”

          I am not a homeopath but it is easy to see your warped thinking. You are wrong.
          http://www.homeoint.org/clarke/g/gunp.htm

          • too daft to notice that this is not my post?

          • Edzard

            “too daft to notice that this is not my post?”

            Confirms he is a poor writer who does not check his facts. What does it make you for allowing him to post a poorly written article on your blog?

            Or putting an article on your blog does not requires your concurrence of facts?

          • Look Iqbal, due to the stupidity of it all (I guess I have to be clear here – I am referring to homeopathy) one should be allowed a bit of satire, once in a while at least.

            So you say this stuff in the BlueBox is okay to buy and give to children?

          • Edzard

            “So you say this stuff in the BlueBox is okay to buy and give to children?”

            Many times better than the Paracetamol or the quinine tablets that are the alternative. Supported by a good doctor, there is no better alternative.

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12856055

            And this report is from your system.

  • The University of Johannesburg referred me to Weleda pharmacy, to buy my homeopathic malaria drops for my 6yo. I did search their website and could find the product, but no information other than the name. So i emailed them to ask for an information sheet regarding this product and they replied with the following (unedited):

    Good day,

    We don’t have an information sheet for the Malaria mix. The formula is as follows:
    Arnica montanaD30
    Arsenicum alb 6ch, 12ch
    Cinchona off 6ch, 12ch
    Eupatorium perf 6ch, 30ch
    Chininum ars 12ch, 30ch
    Ferrum met 12ch
    Malaria off 30ch
    Ledum palustre 30ch

    You can call us on the numbers below if you have any further queries.

    Kind regards,

    Weleda Pharmacy Naturally Yours

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