MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

To honour Hahnemann’s birthday, a National Convention was held yesterday on ‘World Homeopathy Day’ in New Delhi. The theme of the convention is “Enhancing Quality Research in Homeopathy through scientific evidence and rich clinical experiences”. They could have done with this new study of Influenzinum 9C, it seems to me. This is a homeopathic remedy made from the current influenza vaccine. Influenzinum 9C, also known as homeopathic flu nosode. It is claimed to:

  • strengthen the body and increase its resistance to the season’s flu viruses,
  • protect against cold & flu symptoms such as body aches, nausea, chills, fever, headaches, sore throat, coughs, and congestion,
  • enforce the flu vaccine’s action if you have opted for the flu shot,
  • deal with aftereffects of the flu, and
  • alleviate adverse effects of the flu shot.

As these are the claims made by homeopaths (here is but one example of many: “I’ve been using this for over 30 years for my family, and we have never had the flu!”), French researchers have tested whether Influenzinum works. They just published the results of the first study examining the effectiveness of Influenzinum against influenza-like illnesses.

They conducted a retrospective cohort study during winter 2014-2015. After influenza epidemic, a self-assessment questionnaire was offered to patients presenting for a consultation. The primary endpoint was the declaration of an influenza-like illness. The exposed patients (treated by Influenzinum) were matched to two non-exposed patients (untreated) with a propensity score. A conditional logistic model expressed influenza-like illness risk reduction provided by the Influenzinum.

The cohort included 3514 patients recruited from 46 general practitioners. After matching, the treated group (n=2041) and the untreated group (n=482) did not differ on variables collected. Thus Influenzinum preventive therapy did not significantly alter the likelihood of influenza-like illness.

The authors concluded that Influenzinum preventive therapy did not appear effective in preventing influenza-like illness.

This can be no surprise to anyone you knows what ‘C9’ means: it signifies a dilution of 1: 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 (plus 9 times vigorous shaking, of course).

I am sure that some homeopaths will now question whether Influenzinum is truly homeopathic. Is it based on the ‘like cures like’ principle? Before some clever Dick comments ‘THIS SHOWS THAT PROF ERNST HAS NOT GOT A CLUE ABOUT HOMEOPATHY’, please let me point out that it was not I but the homeopaths who insisted in labelling Influenzinum ‘homeopathic’ (see, for instance, here: “Influenzinum Dose is a homoeopathic medicine created by Laboratoire Boiron. Single dose to be consumed in one step. This homoeopathic medicine is generally used as a substitute for the flu vaccine”). AND WHO AM I TO QUESTION THE AUTHORITY OF BOIRON???

29 Responses to Influenzinum: the homeopathic flu prevention that does not prevent flu

  • If Edzard goes back to the discussion on potentised oestrogen, he will see that I pointed out that it was not ‘homeopathic’. He acknowledged this comment.

    Today, he has another lesson. Influenzinum is not homeopathic it is isopathic.

    ‘Edzard’ is slowly learning about homeopathy on this blogsite.

  • You make it seem as if this is something new:
    Edzard: I am sure that some homeopaths will now question whether Influenzinum is truly homeopathic.

    Homeopaths know the difference between isopathy and homeopathy.

    For goodness sake, Edzard stop pretending to be Mr Know It All

    • will do!
      as soon as you behave as MR KNOW NOTHING

    • Homeopaths know the difference between isopathy and homeopathy.

      Interesting tautology. I first learned of this distinction from professor Ernst, as a matter of fact.
      How come then, if this distinction is so important, that we never hear of practicing “Isopaths” and very seldom see this term used in practice?
      A simple search in PubMed begets only 10 (ten) items for “Isopathy” compared to 5448 on “Homeopathy ( I did not know Homeopathy was so dilute (pun intended) in the sea of scientific scriptures.
      An identical search in Google begets a mere 18.500 items vs. 16.500.000 (Google rounds its counts)

      My conclusion is that Greg is doing reverse isopathy, making a mountain out of a grain of sand.

  • I’ve been using ‘Benneth’ for about five years now, and it’s never done me any harm.

  • P. Morrel, Triumph of the light—isopathy and the rise of transcendental homeopathy, 1830–1920, Medical Humanities 2003;29:22-32. http://mh.bmj.com/content/29/1/22
    Quote
    The attitude of homeopaths is reflected in their view of isopathy, higher potencies, nosodes, and the miasm theory, because it is these topics that most clearly demarcate those of a more spiritual disposition from the materialists, revealing the “intraprofessional tensions over what constitutes proper homeopathic practice”.45 Isopathy, the use of diseased tissues as drugs, or “the cure of diseases by their own morbid products or the supposed exciting causes, are, far from being a novelty, on the contrary of very ancient date”.46 Robert Dudgeon (1820–1904) was in no doubt that “the honour of having introduced isopathic heresies into the homeopathic school … [falls upon] our transatlantic friend Dr Constantine Hering”,46 who, according to Dudgeon, simply raked isopathy “up from the dust and rubbish of antiquity … much encouraged by Gross and systematised by Lux”.47
    End Quote

    This topic is hundreds of years old and it is common knowledge to homeopaths.

  • I just found this article – hard to find a statement in it that is not utterly incorrect (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/larry-malerba/homeopathic-remedies-for-the-flu_b_802803.html) :
    If you are looking for a safe and reliable treatment for the flu then perhaps homeopathy is for you. My own clinical experience of 20 years has repeatedly confirmed the safety and effectiveness of homeopathic treatment for the flu. Not to be confused with the term “holistic,” which means any approach to health that takes into account the whole person, “homeopathic” refers to a specific holistic medical therapy that involves matching the symptom profile of the sick person with the symptom profile of a corresponding homeopathic medicine.
    If you catch the flu and would like to try homeopathic treatment it is best to consult a well-qualified homeopathic medical professional. It should be noted that homeopathic medicines are FDA approved and regulated, and all of the ones discussed here are classified as over-the-counter. Homeopathic medicines are exceedingly safe and are available for purchase in many natural food stores, pharmacies and even some grocery stores.

  • Influenzinum is not meant to be a cure. It is a homeopathic vaccine.

  • Anne
    So effectively a homeopathic vaccine is more kind of decorative then. A bit like jewellery.

  • As a complete layman I’m confused. Should I take it or not???
    I was VERY Ill the last time I had a flu jab ,so for last few years have
    taken the homeopathic tiny white round sugary balls to dissolve
    in my mouth as instructed. They are well known here in France and
    can be bought in any chemists from a display on show at this time
    of the year.
    Do let me know what is best?
    From
    A Normandy resident

    • Kim I Trask
      I am also a complete layman.
      However I am not confused.
      The reason I am not confused is because I don’t use homeopathy.
      The reason I don’t use homeopathy is because it is pseudoscientific nonsense, as is regularly shown on this blog and elsewhere.

  • I entered this site for help. My goodness what childish bickering! Going elsewhere to consult an adult.

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