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???

79 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.

    • Don’t get the flu shot or take anything with any form of influenza in it. Instead, take a steady regimen of vitamin C and zink. During flu season, double up on the vitamin C. You can never overdose on that. If you do get sick, take Kold Kare (Andrographis paniculata). It supports the immune system. You don’t strengthen the immune system by attacking it. You support it. And you don’t fight fire with fire (like cures like(which it does not)).

      • “During flu season, double up on the vitamin C. You can never overdose on that.”
        perhaps you shout stop publishing misleading advice?
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25518094
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18714631
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1569652

      • @Steven
        As the professor alludes, you are wrong. Not on one count, not on three counts but on ALL counts. It is easy to refute each and every one but it takes a bit of work, which I am not interested in using this evening for. All your claims have been refuted here before. Perhaps some of the other participants has the energy and time to repeat them.
        But I would like to ask you one small favour. Can you please tell us where you get your information from? What sources of information do you rely on and why?

      • It is highly cost-ineffective to try to refute unsubstantiated claims… Of course you can overdose on Vitamin C. Vitamin C does not prevent the flu. Treating the flu with Vitamin C (not megadoses) is a relatively cheap pastime, but you just might simply rid the flu a small fraction of a day earlier, and that’s not guaranteed either. If one belongs to a high-risk subgroup of the general population, it is imperative that they get the flu shot. The CDC suggests almost everyone should get it (last time I checked).

        And stuff…

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

  • I used to get the flu very badly 2x/year. After starting Influenzinum about 13 years ago, I have never gotten the flu. At all. Ever. I have always taken vitamins and supplements, eaten well, and exercised. There has been no major change in my immune system. I still get colds.

    • thanks for this little advertisement – however, it cannot distract from the fact that INFLUENZINUM IS A PLACEBO

    • Brin, thank you. I have read many people who have had the same experience you have had using the influenzinum. I just ordered some. Not sure why anyone thinks it is a placebo since it has the same inactivated flu virus that the flu shot has, just not all the other crap the flu shot has. It is formulated for each years virus just as the flu shot is using the same guidelines. Everyone I know who has had the flu shot has gotten the flu anyway and were sicker than I was and I did not get the shot. I also take Sambucol Black Elderberry syrup (there are other brands available too), Zicam, vitamin C (normal daily dose) and L-Lysine, all which are known anti viral OTC meds. I learned about L-lysine because I was suffering from recurring shingles year after year and now when I feel the shingles coming on I take 500 mg for first few days and then decrease to 250 mg daily for a few weeks. No prescription helped my shingles. I do the same thing for the shingles that I do for the flu. My case of the flu this year was very, very mild, especially compared to family and friends.

      • Suze said:

        Not sure why anyone thinks it is a placebo since it has the same inactivated flu virus that the flu shot has

        No, no it hasn’t. It is made from the liver and heart of a Muscovy duck, diluted down so there is absolutely no liver of duck left. Even then, they use the duck based an an error made by Joseph Roy a century ago. Even if they did use some flu-infected material, by the time they’ve diluted it, it would contain precisely zero flu virus – it is diluted to 200C in homeopathic nomenclature. The ‘active ingredient’ has (if manufactured correctly) been diluted to one part in:

        10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
        000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
        000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
        000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
        000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
        000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
        000,000

        That’s a 1 followed by 400 zeros.

        It is formulated for each years virus just as the flu shot is using the same guidelines.

        No, no it’s not. Did a homeopath tell you that?

        • I think you misread Alan, they are referring to Influenzium… that’s the other fake influenza remedy from Boiron. Its got “only” eighteen zero’s to its name so there might be one in some millions chance that a dead influenza particle can be found in one of the globules. One dead influenza particle is about one or two million dead influenza particles less than on a doorknob in your supermarket. 🙂

          • Ah, my mistake. Thanks, Björn. I was rushing out this morning…

          • Well, the homeopathists wouldn’t be able to tell any difference themselves and the packets look very similar.
            What I would like to know is whether Boiron even bothers to procure the latest influenza strains for their annual batches? No one can prove that the muck contains what they claim so why bother?

            When FDA sent a delegation to check out the English pubs.. eh I mean… visit the production facilities of Nelson’s homeopathic remedies, they found that the shaken water did not hit the sugar pills more than five out of six times. Nevertheless no one had raised concerns over non-functioning remedies. When a producer of generic esomeprazol botched their production all my patients who took this product came and complained.

            The real concern with homeopathic rmeedy produciton is when they inadvertently put medicine in the pills: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/homeopathy-contains-medicine
            I actually suspect that the reason the fake pills tested positive for penicillin in this case is because of penicillium molds in the production facilities, not genuine penicillin in the pills.

          • Björn said:

            Well, the homeopathists wouldn’t be able to tell any difference themselves and the packets look very similar.

            Indeed, but no need to take your word for it: we can take it from the representative of the Society of Homeopaths and senior lecturer in homeopathy at the University of Central Lancashire, giving evidence before the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee on 21 February 2007:

            Ms Chatfield: I am Kate Chatfield. I am here to represent the Society of Homeopaths and I am a senior lecturer in homeopathy at the University of Central Lancashire.

            Q538 Lord Broers: I have a simple, technical question about homeopathy and drugs. Is it possible to distinguish between homeopathic drugs after they have been diluted? Is there any means of distinguishing one from the other?

            Ms Chatfield: Only by the label.

            She must surely know what she’s talking about?

          • Bjorn, for your reading enjoyment: https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/DrugRecalls/default.htm

            In reference to your comment about recalls for homeopathic remedies… 7 pages of drug recalls by the FDA for drugs made by big pharmacy and that is just last year, 2017… SEVEN PAGES for 1 year. Next maybe you would like to advocate for all of the opioids that big pharma has gotten filthy stinking rich off of simply because they are made by a pharmaceutical company in spite of the fact that they have caused numerous deaths and addictions like this country has never seen before. I will take my chances with homeopathic remedies since you don’t find an untold number of deaths associated with homeopathic remedies, most that have been used safely throughout history.

          • In reference to your comment about recalls for homeopathic remedies… 7 pages of drug recalls by the FDA for drugs made by big pharmacy and that is just last year, 2017…

            Ah, the “Don’t look here, look there instead” gambit so beloved of the touts for pseudomedicine. If I may paraphrase Guy Chapman’s eloquent analogy, problems with medicine validate homeopathy in the same way that air accidents validate flying carpets as a means of mass transport.

            It is hardly surprising that things that have effects can also have unwanted side effects, and that things that don’t have effects don’t have unwanted side effects, is it? Which is why the FDA’s actions against homeopathic manufacturers is essentially limited to things resulting from shoddy manufacturing processes.

            A direct question to you, Suze? With respect to this FDA Warning letter:
            https://www.casewatch.org/fdawarning/prod/2012/nelson.shtml
            specifically, CGMP VIOLATIONS (b), why do you think it is that nobody who had bought one of the “undosed” vials complained about the inefficacy of its contents?

            You also wrote:

            you don’t find an untold number of deaths associated with homeopathic remedies

            But that’s not really true, is it? Most of the harm done in the name of homeopathy is related to the withholding of medicine. Look up the harrowing “Penelope Dingle” case (GIYF) if you don’t believe that hideous cruelty is sometimes perpetrated in association with homeopathy.

          • YES, HOMEOPATHY IS A FORM OF MEDICAL NEGLECT!

          • “you don’t find an untold number of deaths associated with homeopathic remedies, most that have been used safely throughout history.”

            But Suze, you don’t find any number of (robustly evidenced) cures with homeopathic remedies. Just lots of testimonials. I hope you’ll stick to your guns and refuse all medicines if you have the misfortune to suffer from a serious illness.

    • People simply want to be deceived. It even says in the advertisement that this does not work 😀

      http://www.boiron.ca/homeopathic-medicines/boiron-tubes/influenzinum/

      • Bjorn, you need to learn to read. No where in the advertisement does it say it does not work. It says it does not work for everyone. Well, guess what??? neither does the flu shot so I guess that is fake medicine too per your reading comprehension. SMH

        • No Suze. It says right there it is a homeopathic preparation. That means it does not contain anything useful. Homeopathic producers make sure their products are inert. Otherwise they would not be allowed to sell them.

          • Please go back and read the first paragraph of this article…never mind, I will copy and paste for you so you don’t have to make the effort.

            “This is a homeopathic remedy made from the current influenza vaccine. Influenzinum 9C, also known as homeopathic flu nosode.”

            Again, please learn to read.

            Various companies that make the influenzinum also state that it is made from the current influenza vaccine.

            SMH, SMH, SMH

          • You must have missed it Suze, but fact is that homeopathic remedies are made in such a way that all the original stuff is washed out completely. That’s intentional.

            Diluting a solution of dead viral paricles* to 1/1000.000.000.000.000.000 is the same as cleaning out the original stuff completely. That is more thorough than laboratory equipment is cleaned out.
            It would be pure luck if a few morsels of the dead viri were found in the washings.

            To circumvent the fact that nothing is left in the final product, the homeopaths claim that shaking the water between serial dilutions has some kind of magic effect so the water remembers the original stuff that was in there but no one can explain how or demonstrate it, least of all the homeopaths themselves. They use all kinds of fancy words for it with nano- and quantum- something but that doesn’t mke any sense.
            Furthermore, they are unable to explain how this supposed “memory” of the water is transferred to the sugar pills when the water evaporates.
            Learn to do your research dear Suze, before you shake your head too hard.
            Homeopathy is make-believe medicine and the companies that produce pills like oscilloconninum or Influenzium are simply lying to the customers and taking their money for nothing. Next time you go to church,try asking your minister what he thinks about taking money for nothing and lying to ordinary gullible people.

            * Homeopaths do not always bother to start with the real thing, sometimes they just think very hard about the stuff while shaking the vial and call it making the remedy by meditation. Or they place a vial of the stuff next to a flask of water for a few hours in the sunshine.

        • Who said anything about the flu shot? Focus on influenzinum, flu shots have nothing to do with the efficacy of a bogus marketing trick Influenzinum. Is your belief perseverance that strong, that you had to bring up something irrelevant just to try to make a point?

          • James, do you not understand what influenzinum is??? It is the alternative to the flu shot, therefore bringing up the flu shot is not irrelevant. SMH that this has to be explained to you.

            The claim is that influenzinum is not an effective alternative to the flu shot because it does not work. Again, neither does the flu shot. CDC has now reduced the efficacy of the flu shot to 10% from 17% and I suspect it will go even lower before the current flu season is over.

            There are a lot of people who say that influenzinum works for them. What we don’t know about the studies that were done is the health and medical history of those involved in the study vs. those who claim that influenzinum works for them. Also, were all of the participants of the same age, same health status??? I doubt that “3514 patients recruited from 46 general practitioners” were all the same age and same health status. It is easy to set up a study to show the results you want show. Most studies are very biased. A lot of information lacking about the participants of this study.

            Since the flu shot is a crap shoot as to whether it will do you any good and influenzinum is a crap shoot as to whether it will do you any good, I will place my money on the influenzinum since it is less likely to put me in the hospital like the flu shot did that I got a few years ago.

          • Suze said:

            do you not understand what influenzinum is??? It is the alternative to the flu shot

            Please provide what you believe to be the most compelling evidence that influenzinum is an alternative to the flu vaccine.

          • it’s an alternative in the similar way as flying carpets are an alternative to aeroplanes

          • Alan, the numerous people who say they take it as an alternative to the flu vaccine because it is natural and not filled with mercury or formaldehyde. I will take their word for it since only they would know why they take it. Most say they have been taking it for years and it has worked for them. It is also based on the same inactive flu virus each year that the flu vaccine is based on. Do a little research. Getting a headache from SMH so much at the inane comments on here.

          • Suze said:

            Alan, the numerous people who say they take it as an alternative to the flu vaccine because it is natural and not filled with mercury or formaldehyde. I will take their word for it since only they would know why they take it. Most say they have been taking it for years and it has worked for them.

            I didn’t ask you what reasons people give for taking it: I asked your most compelling evidence that influenzinum is an alternative to the flu vaccine.

            It is also based on the same inactive flu virus each year that the flu vaccine is based on.

            Irrelevant to my question, of course, but did you understand the bit about dilutions? And regardless of what’s used to make it, what matters is whether it it effective. So far, you have failed to provide any evidence.

            Do a little research. Getting a headache from SMH so much at the inane comments on here.

            You owe everyone new irony meters.

          • Suze, how many times do we have to copy Boiron? Influenzinum contains almost no virus, about one part in one quintillion (10^18)… It is as good as none. And the oral route of administration destroys the chances of even that.

            It does nothing but empty your pockets.

          • Suze:

            I will take their word for it …

            There is a very good reason that the Royal Society chose for its motto: Nullius in verba (“Take nobody’s word for it”). That reason is that unverifiable anecdotes can never have the same status as evidence.

            It’s time to wake up to the simple fact that homeopathy is not a medical modality; it is a marketing modality. For snake oil.

  • Suze, nobody thinks it is a placebo, they know it is a placebo. There is nothing in the product apart from sugar/lactose. It doesn’t have inactivated flu virus as the flu shot.

    Everyone you remember getting the flu has had the flu shot. The other 9/10 who didn’t get the flu, you don’t remember. With Zicam you are risking your sense of smell, as per the FDA, and you shouldn’t spend your money on vitamin C, the complete RDI of which can be found in a small kiwi or a red pepper, or a few servings of berries. You shouldn’t really spend money on Lysine, the complete RDI of which can be acquired in a small (100 gram) serving of chicken breast (~2.5 grams of Lysine) or in many other combinations of plain food.

    Shingles typically resolves in a few weeks, I don’t see how Lysine may help anyway.

    • James, wrong! There are many companies that make the Influenzinum. They plainly state that their product has inactivated flu virus in them for the current year flu.

      EVERYONE that I know that got the flu shot has had the flu. Not one person in a large circle of family and friends that got the flu shot has not come down with the flu and they have been much sicker than those of us who did not get the shot, some have been hospitalized. According to the CDC, the current flu shot is only 17% effective, yes, SEVENTEEN PERCENT. It is basically a crap shoot whether it will work or not. Many, many positive reviews online for the influenzinum. The one time I had the flu shot I ended up in the hospital. I will pass on that happening again.

      You really should not be giving out medical advice since you know nothing about my medical history. I have a multitude of auto-immune diseases and my DOCTOR told me what to take. Are you a doctor??? If not, why would you tell me not to take what my doctor, who has a medical degree, told me to take?

      As for the L-lysine, do a little research…”L-lysine is an amino acid that’s great for treating shingles, cold sores, and herpes outbreaks because it inhibits the growth of the Herpes zoster virus. The suggested dose is 1,000–1,500 mg three times per day. Take at the very first sign of symptoms.” I don’t even have to take that much for it to stop my shingles. When none of the prescription medication for shingles worked, my DOCTOR told me to try L-lysine and it is the only thing that finally worked. I eat chicken almost every day of my life and I still get the shingles and the only thing that stops them is taking the L-lysine. Obviously there is not enough L-lysine in chicken to resolve my recurring shingles. Also, you obviously have never had shingles or you would not be so flippant with the statement “Shingles typically resolve in a few weeks”. The pain is unbearable. It causes lasting nerve damage that I can promise you does not resolve in a few weeks. I can’t take pain medicine because I have Menieres disease and pain medications have a very negative effect on my balance, so I have to suffer. I choose to take L-lysine instead of suffering.

      As for the Zicam risking my sense of smell, I will take that chance. I am deaf and because I have lost one of my senses, the others have taken over, including my sense of smell. I can smell the difference between dripping water and running water, and yes, there is a difference. I can’t stand to go in Walmart because too many people who STINK! I want to put the Lyson and deodorant displays at the doors with a big sign that says”TAKE A HINT!!!” I have been taking Zicam for years and it has not caused me to lose nor lessened my sense of smell. I kind of wish it would.

      Do you work for big Pharma? I am a Christian and the Bible plainly tells us that G_d will provide all we need to heal. You advocate for eating foods that have certain vitamins but then balk at natural remedies. That makes no sense. I will continue to do what I am doing because it works for me. Since no two people are alike, obviously everyone has to find what works for them in accordance with their bodies and their medical history and medical ailments. I bother to do the research and consult with my doctor in order to find what works best for me.

      • The CDC states:

        While vaccine effectiveness can vary, recent studies show vaccine reduces the risk of flu illness by about 40% to 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are like the vaccine viruses. Similar reductions against hospitalization have been observed too.

        It is NOT 17% that dropped to 10% and the rest of what you post. I understand you may suffer a lot in real life, but this does not automatically grant you the right to post crap. Regardless of your posts, however, I have an ethical obligation to show understanding. This brings me to…

        L-lysine is an amino acid that’s great for treating shingles, cold sores, and herpes outbreaks because it inhibits the growth of the Herpes zoster virus. The suggested dose is 1,000–1,500 mg three times per day. Take at the very first sign of symptoms.

        This quote of yours comes directly from here, i.e. from Whitaker Wellness Blog. I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun of discovering the “wellness” aspect of the website contents for the readers, but I have to tell you this is not quite close to research and the reliability of some of the information from the referenced website is questionable.

        I did some proper online research and I could not really find too much about L-Lysine. Among the best evidence I could find, which was rather weak anyway, were a couple of studies that had found it to inhibit viral replication in-vitro for the herpes simplex virus (not the shingles-causing varicella zoster cousin), which was primarily by competing with arginine, both being basic amino acids, the latter being a fundamental component of the virus (shown in just one among various sources).

        Regarding herpes simplex labialis, there was no evidence for efficacy of lysine (mind the Cochrane review). Out of all this, I cannot see any reason to expect lysine to have a clinically important effect for shingles, caused by a related virus. You definitely get enough of it every day anyway. I still cannot see how Lysine would help anyway, from in-vitro to in-vivo there is a wild difference that you should be aware of, like the difference between proper research and wishful adoption of whatever sounds more cheesy on various wellness and “natural medicine” websites around the internet.

        This is not medical advice. This is common sense. The stuff you mention have on average not been found to be effective for much more than malnutrition. There might be something to them, but they definitively do not prevent the flu, which is the point of the present post anyway. And the Influenzinum toy-medicine does not prevent the flu either, it is a marketing trick to make money. You see, after clear proof that Oscillococcinum does not prevent or treat the flu (by a series of systematic reviews that I find to be somewhat of a travesty because of the totally inappropriate infiltration by wishful thinking, probably due to having been conducted by outspoken proponents of homeopathy), homeopathic product manufacturers had to switch to a new toy, so they decided to make it sound even more credible. They lowered the potency to claim actual content (although it is terribly dilute still), and they made it isopathic, which may trouble most classic homeopathy believers. In simple words, homeopathy manufacturers went all-in. Influenzinum is ineffective as well, and when, in due course, evidence for that is also out, they will switch to some other concoction of a marketing trick to please their customers.

        I do not work for big Pharma, you don’t have to chase ghosts any time you face disagreement. Plus I am not against you in any way. Nobody here is. I respect your beliefs but you have to understand, in health and medicine, we cannot tolerate belief anymore, it’s the 21st century and belief is known to be a notoriously unreliable source of conclusions. You may focus on religion but you should not extrapolate to medicine. I feel you and I understand your strong pain, I wish you find some relief soon, but all of this has nothing to do with Influenzinum being efficacious for anything. Your suffering has made you an easier victim to a fraudulent claim and, trust me, this very fact causes strong discomfort to me, and to every participant of this conversation really, I can assure you on that. It is extremely sad to watch the exploitation of personal beliefs and suffering to sell ineffective crap… In my opinion, there are certain cases where there simply is no such thing as caveat emptor, due to the strong lack of knowledge and ability to protect oneself, regardless of age. People have to be protected from this healthcare travesty and when belief gets in the way, it tends to be quite hard.

        • I was not going to respond anymore but… talking about posting a load of crap… You need to look in the mirror! Your CDC quote is a general quote about how effective the vaccine SHOULD BE, not what it is THIS SEASON WITH THIS PARTICULAR FLU STRAIN AND VACCINE. Learn to read and to understand context. The numbers I posted come from North American data because their flu season starts before the U.S. flu season starts. This is where the numbers come from year after year. They have the same flu strain and the same vaccine we do. The numbers went from 17% down to 10%. The actual numbers for the U.S. will not be known until after the flu season is over, which is why the North American data is used as a worldwide measure. (https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/2/1/16960758/flu-vaccine-effectiveness), (http://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2018.23.5.18-00035), (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/)

          Learn to do actual research on what is, not wishful thinking or should be’s. Also, don’t take general statements about what should happen and try to make them look like actual reality. Talking about posting crap!

          As for the L-lysine… again you posted crap. There have been NO studies on the effectiveness of L-lysine on shingles. You posted crap when you said there had been a couple of studies done. Your information comes from here: (https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2878005), which simply cautions on the use for shingles because there have been no studies done. Just because no one sees fit to do a study does not mean that it does not work. I am living proof that it works as are many others, which is why my doctor and many other doctors, you know, the ones with actual medical degrees and medical knowledge, are advising patients to try it when all else fails and low and behold it worked for me when nothing else did, just as it has many others.

          Not using something that works for countless others simply because no one has put forth the time or money to do a study on is quite frankly stupid. If that had been the mind set throughout history we would not currently have any medicines and none of us would be here because everyone would have died due to refusing any treatment that a study had not been done on. Since funding for studies is limited it is not possible to do studies on everything on earth. There are more pressing issues like cancer and other deadly diseases, which is where most of the money for studies goes. There may never be a study done on L-lysine and shingles since shingles is painful but not life threatening. Just because you can’t see why it would not work does not mean that it does not work for me and many, many others. Thankfully I have a doctor who is smart enough to know what works. She has many patients who are taking L-Lysine for shingles and so far it is working for every patient she has advised to take it. I will take her advice over your lack of understanding.

          Your apparent ethical obligation to show understanding is based on your lack of understanding, your attempt to make a “should be” into a “reality”, your fabrication of studies that were never done and your lack of understanding of information provided in the Michigan University website article.

          After the first couple of paragraphs of your boat load of crap I did not bother to read the rest of your response nor reply to it. Figure it is just more crap. Not worth the effort.

          • Also, to help you understand how L-lysine might work…

            “Role of Lysine
            Our other articles about shingles and herpes talk about the effectiveness of our Monolaurin and Skin Defense.

            In addition, we want you to know that there is solid evidence that the amino acid L-lysine (or just lysine) is also helpful in treating the virus.

            According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, lysine treats shingles by speeding recovery time, as well as reducing the chance of recurrence. They say you might take L-lysine supplements to help prevent herpes outbreaks, or reduce the frequency or severity of cold sores and genital herpes outbreaks. The University of Michigan Health System notes L-lysine may also help treat shingles.

            Lysine helps prevents herpes from spreading because it competes with arginine. Arginine is another amino acid that helps the herpes virus replicate because it is required by the shingles virus to multiply. Taking l-lysine will interfere with the availability and/or usability of arginine by viruses.

            This also indicates that lysine may help treat mouth and genital lesions caused by the herpes simplex virus. These are solid reasons to consider reducing the consumption of arginine, and supplement with L-lysine.

            L-lysine is an essential amino acid that your body needs. Unfortunately, your body can’t make L-lysine. You must get it from your diet, from eating certain foods. You can get L-lysine from food sources such as beans and legumes, brewer’s yeast, fish and meat and dairy products. Animal proteins like meat, poultry and eggs contain the highest amounts of L-lysine so deficiencies are usually found only among strict vegans.”

            (http://www.ppt-health.com/shingles-see-also-herpes-monolaurin/l-lysine-reduces-shingles-outbreaks/)

          • I am sorry to say this Suze but you are doing your research in all the wrong places. The link you provide on Lysine is to a web-shop that conveniently sells supplements supposed to contain this foodstuff. And they are lying to you (look up what your Bible says about lying) Their reference to universities are wrong. If you read the texts they say substantiate the efficacy of lysine for this and that you will find that they are at best vague descriptions of dubious research findings that mostly do not show any effect at all. The better the research, the more likely it is to show no effect. Very much of the research on supplements is faked by companies that sell the stuff and it can be difficult to recognise if you do not know what to look for.
            Now, I do not have much hope that your dogmatic delusions can be affected adn some reason brought to you but please understand that we are not your enemies or adversaries, we are very sorry to see a God fearing lady who has been filled with nonsense and is being fleeced by charlatans. And your doctor seems to be living proof that an MD-degree is no guarantee for a sound mind.

            ….And I do not receive a penny from anyone for saying this, dear Suze 😉

          • You copy-pasted an interesting part, but you omitted the last sentence:

            You can also get L-lysine from taking a supplement!

            Yes, Suze, it’s the website that sells you L-Lysine.

            “Shingles” or “varicella” or “zoster” shows up nowhere in the references of that webpage you copied, not that I was expecting it to of course.

            I am amused by your absurd touchiness and your statement about me making “should be” to a reality. You seem to be far more strongly predisposed to what things “should be”… We call this stuff cognitive dissonance Suze, read up, it’s a very interesting subject.

            So, let’s see what Eurosurveillance actually says:

            Adjusted VE against influenza A(H3N2) was 17% (95% confidence interval (CI): −14 to 40) overall and 10% (95% CI: −31 to 39) in adults 20–64-years-old (Table 3). The corresponding VE against influenza B was higher at 55% (95% CI: 38 to 68) and 40% (95% CI: 10 to 60), respectively. With adjustment by calendar month (rather than 2-week interval) and the same covariates otherwise, VE with restriction to influenza B viruses of known Yamagata lineage (239/351; 68%) was 58% (95% CI: 38 to 71) overall and 47% (95% CI: 16 to 67) in adults 20–64-years-old. Adjusted VE against any influenza A and B combined was 42% (95% CI: 25 to 55) overall and 31% (95% CI: 6 to 49) in adults 20–64-years-old.

            Quite the case, indeed.
            Adjusted Vaccine Effectiveness was ~17% overall for H3N2 and ~10% for adults 20-64 years old. Against influenza B, we have 55% of vaccine effectiveness overall and 40% for adults 20-64 years old. Let me repeat myself, 55% overall, and 40% for adults.

            Let’s focus directly on the report now:

            Adjusted VE against any influenza A and B combined was 42% (95% CI: 25 to 55) overall and 31% (95% CI: 6 to 49) in adults 20–64-years-old.

            Why do you focus on 17%? Because it sounds scarier? No Suze, overall, the vaccine effectiveness is ~42% for all types of influenza combined. Mentioning the word “crap” multiple times will not change this specific fact.

            It is a bad thing that we don’t have a good Influenzinum review and report, you seem to hold some faith in proper research. We do have reliable reports on homeopathy in general, however, and these lead to a very clear conclusion.

            Well, apart from that, my information did not come from the website you posted (I think I clearly provided the corresponding links). I even bolded the important identities of conditions, in order not to be misunderstood.

            And, finally, you say:

            As for the L-lysine… again you posted crap. There have been NO studies on the effectiveness of L-lysine on shingles. You posted crap when you said there had been a couple of studies done.

            .

            I cannot help but quoting the most important piece of my previous response to you:

            Among the best evidence I could find, which was rather weak anyway, were a couple of studies that had found it to inhibit viral replication in-vitro for the herpes simplex virus (not the shingles-causing varicella zoster cousin), which was primarily by competing with arginine, both being basic amino acids, the latter being a fundamental component of the virus (shown in just one among various sources).

            I understand I should have bolded the parenthesis, but, still, I think it is clear from my wordings that I did not state that any study had been made on Lysine effectiveness for shingles. You must have really skimmed throughout my comment to get the vaguest of ideas about what I approximately wrote to come to that conclusion, which is, of course, evidently wrong.

            Your prompt egoistic response most likely comes from the fact that I was indeed able to directly locate where you got your information from, so you probably saw that as some kind of retribution (an eye for an eye kind of thing, maybe, kindergarten stuff…).

            Then you said:

            After the first couple of paragraphs of your boat load of crap I did not bother to read the rest of your response nor reply to it. Figure it is just more crap. Not worth the effort.

            More kindergarten here. Like you took the time to post a lengthy response, but you evaded the few more lines I posted. You should read it again, anyway. You may realize I’m on your side, really.

            So, now, calm down a bit, Suze. Let me remind you a significant excerpt from chapter 13 from the 1st letter of St. Paul to Corinthians:

            When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

            You should do your homework more carefully Suze. We are not here to bring you or anyone else discomfort on purpose, we are here to help and protect, to the extent possible from behind screens, of course.

  • @Suze
    To spare us the trouble of having to correct too many ill informed comments of yours, here is a list that we ask you to consult before posting your opinions:
    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/answering-our-critics-again/

    • My comments are not ill informed in the least. I actually bother to do research but more importantly I have an open mind and do not discount anything just because it is listed as a “homeopathic remedy” or a “pharmaceutical”. Because pharmaceuticals have not helped me I have opened my mind to homeopathic remedies and my doctor supports this. She is a physician who has enough common sense to think outside the box. My grandmother relied on homeopathic remedies for herself and never took one pharmaceutical in her entire life and lived a healthy life until she passed away at 94 in 1996. She grew her own herbs and plants to make her own medicines based on traditional homeopathic knowledge passed down to her from her parents and grandparents. A lot of people throughout history have been healed or cured by traditional homeopathic remedies.

      And everything listed in your little link can also be applied to pharmaceuticals as well.

      “It worked for me. Maybe, maybe not. You can only know that you improved after the treatment; you can’t know for sure that you improved because of the treatment. That could be a post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy. You may not be able to imagine any other possible explanation, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one.”

      How many doctors have to constantly change a patients medications because the medication did not work for the patient but seems to work for a certain number of others. Pretty much the same way homeopathic remedies work for some and not for others. DUH Let’s also not forget the constant lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies because of the adverse side effects and numerous deaths associated with pharmaceutical drugs and the harmful damage caused by some approved implants.

      “Try it yourself. Trying it for yourself is not a reliable way to find out if a treatment works. If the symptoms resolve, you have no way of knowing whether they resolved due to the treatment or whether they would have gone away anyway without treatment, or whether some other factor caused the improvement. That’s why science uses control groups. And what if your symptoms don’t resolve? That doesn’t rule out the possibility that the treatment works for 99% of patients and you just happened to be one of the other 1%. If you try a remedy and get better, it’s reasonable on a practical basis to try it the next time you have the same symptoms, but it’s not acceptable to cite your experience as proof that “it works.”

      Many people who have used the influenzinum have been using it for years and have not contracted the flu or had mild cases of the flu. That seems to up the possibility that “it works”. Maybe someone needs to start researching why that is.

      Physicians across this country say “Try it, it works” and then when it doesn’t they say the same thing about the next drug and the next and the next, while the patient suffers from the original symptoms as well as all of the ill side effects associated with the numerous pharmaceuticals they have been “tried on”. I happen to be one of those patients and am sick and tired of one medication after another that never works and causes additional harm. That is why I have turned to homeopathic remedies and I am researching natural ways to heal my body instead of one doctor after another and one drug after another and none of it helps and actually causes more harm and more problems. My new physician is a DO (http://www.osteopathic.org/osteopathic-health/about-dos/Pages/default.aspx) and believes there is a place for natural medicine as well as pharmaceuticals when necessary.

      There are many studies on herbs and homeopathic remedies and even major medical universities are researching their use. (https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/elderberry)

      Not every herb is bad, not every homeopathic remedy is bad and not every pharmaceutical is bad. Some pharmaceuticals are based on or derived from herbs and traditional homeopathic remedies… think aspirin from the bark of the willow tree used for centuries and marketed by Bayer in 1899 and still in use today. Aspirin is a homeopathic remedy. Also, digitalis, morphine, codeine, just to name a few. To discount every homeopathic remedy just because it is a homeopathic remedy is the height of stupidity. Even pharmaceutical companies do not discount it and use it in an attempt to find new medications for what ails people. (https://chge.hsph.harvard.edu/medicines-nature), (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mother-natures-medicine-c/), (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3560124/)

      Even members of the NCI’s Drug Discovery Program have worked with native healers who use homeopathic remedies for sources of new drugs. (https://news.mongabay.com/2007/03/70-of-new-drugs-come-from-mother-nature/)

      I did not realize when I commented here after accidentally finding this article that the person who runs this site and most of those commenting are so closed minded and can’t be bothered to do a little research that might not support their closed thinking. I will not bother to comment any more. I have a low tolerance for ignorance and people who discount everything that does not support their way of thinking. I have better things to do with my time. I guess those who rely on Morphine or Digitalis or any of the other medicines based on traditional homeopathic remedies are thankful that their fate was not left to those who responded to me and the supposed doctor running this site.
      SMH & LOL

      Here are a few more medicines based on herbs, plants and traditional homeopathic remedies:

      List of Drugs from Plants (https://www.thoughtco.com/drugs-and-medicine-made-from-plants-608413)

  • It’s counterproductive to try to bring reason to you Suze. It grieves me to admit that the alternative medicine industry is worth every penny of yours, you are so heavily predisposed to superstition and wishful thinking, that you could even believe in roulette winning streaks and would even see patterns in sequential die throws.

    Pain and suffering can change a person… As you choose to put your health on random chance, I wish you good luck…

  • Influenzinum 9c, a homeopathic flu “vaccine”! Started about 10 years ago, giving these little vials to my little children, my husband and myself, guess what, it brought us thru every flu season, with school and workplaces, where half the kids and adults where down with nasty flulike symptoms! Kids “hated” it, because they wanted to spent some time out of school! Anybody who wants to convince me that it does NOT work, should go and get the “healthy” flu shot and enjoy some of the side effects! Would and will do it every year in the future, believing or not it is up to the people, but my family of seven is happy with it! And healthy ???

    • I have never taken anything against the flue. guess what, it brought me thru every flu season.

    • “guess what, it brought us thru every flu season”

      There’s a tiny flaw in your reasoning. Can you spot it? Might it not just be normal health? Or drinking [name of your favourite beverages]? Or praying regularly to one of many gods? Or eating four kinds of fruit every day?

      Believe it or not, people don’t all suffer from ‘flu every winter!!

  • There’s an awful lot of meanness, ruthlessness and condescending tones in these posts. Such a shame. Why can’t you speak your point in a respectful way and say to each their own? Where’s all this anger and contempt coming from? So distasteful.

    • There is a very clear point in this post, one that does not involve any meanness or anger at all:
      Influenzinum does not prevent the flu.

    • If any other company or individual sells totally useless products whilst claiming that they work great, I’m pretty certain that you wouldn’t take offence if they were called scammers or frauds – because that is what they are.

      Then why should homeopaths deserve a better treatment? In fact, they’re worse than ordinary frauds, because they endanger people’s lives by falsely pretending that they have knowledge and skills with regard to disease and healing. And what’s more: they really should know better, yet against all modern scientific knowledge and even basic reason, these people insist on continuing to playing doctors at the level of five-year-olds(*), all the while attempting to convince gullible people that what they do really works.
      And no, the fact that they manage to fool so many people is no reason to treat them with more respect, just as you wouldn’t respect any other highly successful fraudster.

      *: Just look at how homeopaths come up with their ‘remedies’: take something that is Bad for you, dilute ‘n shake it, and hey, presto, it is magically transformed into a medicine, something that is Good for you! And no, we don’t even have to test it with real patients and real diseases, because we just Know that it works! Because that is how homeopathy Works!
      If any regular pharmaceutical company would even dream of going about their business in a similar way, they would be shut down immediately, probably after receiving astronomical fines. Yet homeopaths have the peculiar privilege of selling their naive magic as if it were real, and getting away with it too.

  • Grow-a-pair “Nonya”….in case you skipped history class homo sapien-sapiens’ (like ALL of nature) are bellicose.
    However language-pugilism is quite a bit less distasteful than hitting each other with clubs.
    Perhaps you should recognize the nefarious and evil intent of quacks and charlatans often necessitates equally distasteful rebuttals. When you’re personally involved in getting ripped-off $$$ by a charlatan selling quackery perhaps you can tell us how “distasteful” you got in your rebuttal…eh?

  • Ya, I agree with Nonya, a bunch of know-it-alls who think they are the only ones who know-it-all. This thread is a joke.

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