MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

Oscillococcinum is by now well-known to readers of this blog, I am sure (see for instance here, here and here). It seems an important topic, not least because the infamous duck-placebo is the world’s best-selling homeopathic remedy. Just how popular it is was recently shown in a survey by the formidable ‘Office for Science and Society’ of the McGill University in Canada.

The researchers surveyed the five biggest pharmacy chains in Quebec: Jean-Coutu, Familiprix, Uniprix, Proxim, and Pharmaprix. For each chain, a sample of 30 pharmacies was chosen by a random number generator.

The calls started with the following script: “I would like to know if you carry a certain homeopathic remedy. It’s called Oscillococcinum, it’s a homeopathic remedy against the flu made by Boiron.” If they did not have it, the investigator asked if this was something they normally carried. He spoke to either a floor clerk or a member of the pharmacy staff behind the counter, depending on who knew the answer.

Out of the 150 pharmacies on the island of Montreal that were called for this investigation, 66% of them reported carrying Oscillococcinum (30% did not, while 4% could not be reached, often because the listed pharmacy had closed). Some chains were more likely to sell the product, with Jean-Coutu and Pharmaprix being the most likely (80% of their stores had it) and Proxim being the least likely (50% of their stores carried it).

The McGill researcher stated that the fact that two-thirds of Montreal-based pharmacies will sell us a pseudo-treatment for the flu that targets adults, children and infants alike is hard to square with the Quebec Order of Pharmacists’ mission statement. They describe said mission as “ensuring the protection of the public”, but how is the public protected when pharmacies are selling them placebo pills? The harm is partly financial: 30 doses of these worthless globules retail for CAD 36. It is also in the false sense of security parents will gain and the delay in proper treatment if needed. And, ultimately, it is in the legitimization of a pseudoscience the founding principle of which is that the more you add water to something (like alcohol), the more powerful it becomes.

I can only full-heartedly agree. One might even add a few more things, for instance that there are other dangers as well:

  1. If pharmacists put commercial gain before medical ethics, we might find it hard to trust this profession.
  2. If people take Oscillococcinum and their condition subsequently disappears (because of the self-limiting nature of the disease), they might believe that homeopathy is effective and consequently use it for much more serious conditions – with grave consequences, I hasten to add.
  3. If consumers thus start trusting homeopaths, they might also fall for some of their abominable health advice, e. g. that about not vaccinating their children.
  4. If a sufficiently large percentage of people believe in the magic of shaken water, our rationality will be undermined and we will encounter phenomena like Brexit or fascists as presidents (sorry, I has to get that off my chest).

70 Responses to Oscillococcinum: “If it’s made from a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s got to go”

  • I would add another issue:
    (5) Patients might learn to distrust medicine and science in general when they experience the remedy “effective”, what doctors and scientists claim to be impossible for all we know about life and nature.

    • So true Norbert and not an uncommon phenomenon.

      I personally have had good results with Oscillococinum as have so many people I know. But that aside, one would have to wonder if there are topics on this site that speak to abusive and deadly results pharmaceuticals have caused many. I was going list…but too extensive of a list, not to mention the liver toxicity caused by so many drugs. And how about iatrogenic illnesses? Another deadly topic. So give me my homeopathics this site deems as placebo at best. While I know otherwise I will take my chances with the small amount of money that comes out of my pockets!

      • I personally have had good results with Oscillococinum …

        Good for you(*) – but you should keep in mind that you have merely been fooling yourself, and/or that you fell for the sweet talk of a quack (i.e. Boiron) – literally, because this stuff is just sugar crumbs.

        You would have had the exact same results but far, far cheaper had you just put your faith in herbal tea, perhaps with a dollop of honey or some extra sugar. To increase the magic, you may want to choose a ‘special’ tea that you only use when you would otherwise reach for Boiron’s sugar crumbs.

        *: And oh, I wonder what you mean by ‘good results’. This ‘remedy’ (that I prefer to call oscilloquack) is peddled by Boiron to their hapless audience under the claim that it “reduces duration and severity of flu symptoms” – but it is absolutely impossible to tell if this actually happened to you! Because a mild cold or perhaps even a simple day of feeling a bit under the weather is very, very common, and wouldn’t have developed into a case of influenza anyway. You would have recovered just as quickly if you hadn’t taken Boiron’s sugar crumbs.
        FYI: to most people, real flu happens only once every 10 to 20 years or so – and in those cases, Boiron’s sugar crumbs don’t make any difference either.

        • > exact same results but far, far cheaper had you just put your faith in herbal tea, perhaps with a dollop of honey

          Don’t think so:
          Honey has known antibiotic substances, so you’d be better off.
          Herbal teas have oodles of active substances. So you may be better off. Or, actually, worse.

          • Haha, yes, you’re quite right there … although I wonder if those antimicrobial ingredients in honey survive in hot tea. And there’s also the fact that antibiotics are quite useless in cases of viral infection.

            “Herbal teas have oodles of active substances. So you may be better off. Or, actually, worse. ”
            Oh dear, ‘active substances’ … we don’t want that, now do we? That sounds far too much like Big Pharma’s Evil Chemicals….

            Nope, let’s stick to a ‘remedy’ that contains no active substances at all.

            And oh, I just came up with the homeopath’s adage:

            You take ill
            Nature takes its course
            I take the credit – and your money.

  • “If a sufficiently large percentage of people believe in the magic of shaken water, our rationality will be undermined and we will encounter phenomena like Brexit or fascists as presidents (sorry, I has to get that off my chest).”

    When you go political Edzard, it diminishes the value of blog. You should be more circumspect when making your facetious political comments.

    • I did automatically apologise and by no means make a habit of it

      • I don’t accept Edzard’s apology. He was right to draw the parallel. These issues do not live in a vacuum.

        Being easily tricked and believing in this nonsense IS an indicator that there is something wrong with a person’s ability to reason and think critically. If more people were critical thinkers, I’m sure Trump would not be the US president and the issues surrounding the EU and Britain would not be nearly as messy.

        Also, we would not have “smart’ toilets.

        • It is inappropriate to label Trump a Fascist. Grouping him with Hitler and Mussolini is inappropriate. Words have meaning and inappropriate labeling, revealing your own bias, diminishes the integrity and ultimately reader confidence in this blog.

          from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelledeen/2016/03/10/whos-a-fascist/#2b919e5832c0

          ” I’m not a Trump fan at all, but calling him a “fascist” distorts the history of the last century. If you’re looking for real fascists in the modern world, you’ll do better looking at the jihadis, who believe they’ve been tricked into previous defeats, unleash slaughter on those who oppose them, seek to dominate the world, and destroy free societies. Trump’s not one of those.”

  • If pharmacists put commercial gain before medical ethics, we might find it hard to trust this profession.

    I am not sure about Québec since it has been about 15 years since I lived there but in Ontario in the larger drugs stores such a Shopper’s Drug Mart and pharmacy departments in some of the large stores such as Walmart the pharmacists are the overworked hired help. They are unlikely to have any say in what is stocked other than actual prescription medicines.

    I would have to be pretty desperate to go there for medicines or advice.

  • But a quite surprising number of fascists do seem to be somehow drawn to Brexit and Trump. Which is not the same as saying that every Brexit voter is a fascist( something I have often been accused of saying, often by the same type of person who calls me a ‘traitor’ or ‘wrecker’, and even, recently, a ‘quisling’). By all means be careful of what you say, but also for what you apologise for saying.
    We do, after all, live in a world in which Michael Gove shouts ‘Britain is tired of experts’, and Trump and his weird supporters( there, said it) pour relentless scorn and hatred on to science and scientists.

  • I hate to be a party-pooper at this parade of nincompoops…but here goes:

    Oh my gosh…homeopaths actually use nanodoses of a duck in treating people with influenza. Now, isn’t this obviously quackery (at its worst, at least as a pun?)…OR…aren’t ducks considered BIRDS…and has any of the bird-brains at this website ever heard of the “bird flu”? Hmmmm.

    Don’t people at this website know that epidemiologists consider ducks a leading vector in spreading flu viruses from one part of the world to another. And isn’t it really sound scientific thinking to consider experimenting with using nanodoses of a duck to treat people with the flu?

    Well, according to the BRITISH JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and the LANCET, homeopathic doses of the heart and liver of a duck ARE effective in the treatment of influenza and influenza-like illness.

    The Lancet was so impressed with this study that the editors wrote a clever editorial entitled “Quadruple-Blind,” in which they asked what the readers thought about randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study with 487 patients. The editors further asserted that “criteria for recovery were strict: rectal terperature below 37.5 degrees Centigrade and resolution of the cardinal symptoms within 48 hours of the start of treatment.” Then, after providing further details about the study as well as the results (17% vs. 10% within 48 hours), the editors then admitted that the study utilized a homeopathic medicine, Oscillococcinum. The editors wondered what effect the blinding of the reader to the type of medicine used in the study would have on their analysis. In other words, because the editors KNEW (!) that readers would be biased against homeopathic treatment, this editorial hid the results of the study until the very end of their editorial. Sadly, the Lancet has largely chosen to revert to its previous anti-homeopathy biases since then.

    References:
    Anonymous. Notes and News. Quadruple-Blind. Lancet, April 22, 1989, p. 914

    Ferley, JP, Zmirou, D, D’Admehar, D, et al., A Controlled Evaluation of a Homoeopathic Preparation in the Treatment of Influenza-like Syndrome, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, March, 1989,27:329-35.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2655683

    • oh dear, you are scraping the barrel and have found a piece of BS!

    • Sorry, Dana, Oscillococcinum is not what you would call an nano-dose. Potentized to 200K it is a zero-dose.
      And, yes, after 48 hours 17 vs. 10 % of patients had recovered, but this is cherrypicking at its best. If you do a proper statistic analysis (you know, the thing with figures), where the results of all the patients are included, not just the few early recoverers, you will see that there is no significant advantage of the drug. In spite of the considerable number of patients.

      • How truly embarrassing! Even the LANCET acknowledged the significance of the difference between 17% and 10%…and further, the LANCET asserted that the “criteria for recovery were strict.”

        You KNOW that you are spouting garbage because everyone recovers from the flu…and so, eventually, there is no significance in the later days of the study…but if I have the flu, I prefer to use a SAFE drug that will increase my full relief by 70%.

        • I see!
          EVERYONE RECOVERS FROM THE FLU
          [except those who die of it, of course]
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28869984

        • The study is 30 years old. Surely someone must have replicated its findings by now?!

          • Frank…my sincere sympathy for your myopia. If you simply had the smarts to look at the item BELOW your own comment, you’d discover a study from 2019. Is that new enough for ya?

          • Dana

            My sincere sympathy for your myopia. COPD is not the same condition as influenza-like syndrome (by a very long chalk).

          • Frankly Frank, you didn’t read what I wrote…or worse, you simply didn’t understand it. I never said that the flu is anything like COPD. My sincere condolences….

          • Yes you did, Dana. You said the second study replicated the results of the first. It didn’t. It was studying something completely different. “It showed imaginary duck liver pills worked! It replicated the results!” You will no doubt halfwittedly crow. No it did not. A replication is a repeating of a trial. Bluff and bluster all you want, kiddo. You’re standing there with your imaginary pants on fire. And we can all see it.

          • Ok Len, I’m going to prove that you are LYING!

            Show me where I wrote that the 2019 study was a replication of previous Oscillo research.

            Busted (again).

            You folks are just like President Trump and Fox News…full of bluster and unable to tell the truth!

          • “You folks are just like President Trump…”
            nice touch Dana, a collective as hominem – unless you are a Trump-fan [nothing would surprise me]

          • Dana, your command of English begins to look as suspect as your comprehension of science and medicine.

            In response to your comment referencing Ferley et al, Br. J. Clin Pharmacol. I wrote: “The study is 30 years old. Surely someone must have replicated its findings by now?!”

            You replied: “If you simply had the smarts to look at the item BELOW your own comment, you’d discover a study from 2019. Is that new enough for ya?”

            But the study you linked to BELOW my own comment (Conde Diaz et al., 2019) concerns miscellaneous upper respiratory tract infections in patients with COPD, not the “influenza-like syndrome” in otherwise normal patients studied in the 1989 paper.

            For what it’s worth, both studies are garbage (as has been spelt out by Edzard’s post today and by Julian Money-Kyrle yesterday).

          • Frankly Frank, I don’t give a damn what you or others here at this wacko website think. I post so that the occasional person who is really looking for good information can now find it, despite the morass of people like yourself.

            You asked if there’s been any new research on this medicine…and I had previously posted a study that also showed clinical benefits…and what was so impressive about this study was that it showed that Oscillococcinum reduced the number of URTI infections in people with COPD, a group of people who are prone to URTI!

          • No Dana, I didn’t ask if there’s been “any new research on this ‘medicine'”. Read my lips: “The study is 30 years old. Surely someone must have replicated its findings by now?!” That means the findings of the study of Oscillococcinum in influenza-like syndrome, not in some totally different indication and setting!!!

            Or perhaps you imagine that a study of Oscillococcinum in potato blight would replicate the flu-like findings equally well?

            “..what was so impressive about this [2019] study was that it showed that Oscillococcinum reduced the number of URTI infections in people with COPD, a group of people who are prone to URTI!” Except that it didn’t show this in any scientifically meaningful way.

        • Really appreciate your thought provoking comments Dana. They are filled with logical back up and not empty critical garbage. There are many roads that lead to the conclusion of “achieving good healthy results” and unfortunately I have seen too many narrow minded opinions and views lacking the critical evidence to support their criticism. Thank you for the clear knowledge you have brought to this table.

          • “so that the occasional person who is really looking for good information can now find it, despite the morass of people like yourself”

            Oh dear- I am probably one of those whom Dana and possibly Dawn Silver hope to convince. The posts above are corretc, Dana and Dawn – you both are displaying complete lack of critical thinking and logic. Read then back outloud to yourselves- what you are being criticised for saying is EXACTLY what you did say!

          • Burdle,

            I think Dawn was being ironic. Though I’m not sure that Dana would recognise irony if it fell on his toe.

        • No, the LANCET did not acknowledge the significance of 10 vs. 17 %. They did publish a paper where the authors claimed that two days after treatment 17 % of the patients instead of 10% of the patients reported no more symptoms and this was significant.

          But this does not imply that this has a real medical significance. Because this advantage vanished the follwoing days and two days after treatment was the only point in time to select and receive a significant result. Not after one day, neither after three or all the other days.

          • Norbie…you must be smarter than you are showing here!

            And now there is a clear record of your intellectual constipation.

            In treating acute ailments, there are almost always non-significance between treatment and control because virtually everyone gets better eventually.

            However (!) REAL scientists (as distinct from anyone here) want to know if a specific treatment enables people to get healthier FASTER!

            Tell me, Norbie, did the treatment OR the placebo group experience benefits faster?

            Oh…why do I predict a loud SILENCE on this question? Hmmmm…

            What’s interesting here is that it is a zillion skeptics to one homeopath…and this one homeopath is knock-out punching these nincompoops.

          • Dana, isn’t there a remedy against the need to insult people each time you comment? perhaps UllmanC30?

          • If you notice, I only provide insults to people who are insulting. I’m giving him a dose of their own pathology.

            You deserve the most insults ’cause you’re the best at insulting intelligence.

          • thanks; you convinced me

          • Well, I take it as a sign to be on the winning tack when you can’t help yourself any other way than trying to insult or ridicule me.

            I agree that in self limiting diseases the difference tends to become non significant in the long run, when all the individuals have recovered. You should observe the maximum effect somewhere araund the point where most if not all of the treatment group have recovered and in the controlgroup there are some patient still suffering.

            But with Ferley’s test the results become non significant bevore even a quarter of the patients had recovered. And note, if you apply a significance test that includes all the patients, then there is no significance.

            Maybe you should read and try to understand what is in this study instead of tormenting your brain for nonsensical abbreviations of people’s names. You know, your name has some marked properties that would come handy to make fun of – and this for sure is not what we would want to do on this blog wouldn’t we?

          • By my mistake the following comment landed at the bottom of the heap. (Admin may strike the other copy). It was intended as a response to professor Ernst’s suggestion above, that Ullman take a remedy prepared from himself, Ullmann 30C An admirable idea in my opinion
            Here is my comment on this:

            My understanding of the principle of Similia similibus curantur indicates that Ethylicum 30C every six hours will also be appropriate to suppress his symptoms resembling intermittent inebriety. Perhaps they can be taken together?

            Apropos Ethylicum.
            Helios has a remedy finder where you can order 2000+ varieties of remedies in various preparation and potencies.

            Ironically, you can for the small sum of £66.65, order Ethylicum potentised to ,say 200C, in … a liter of 23% Ethylicum. Homeopathy certainly is peculiar.

            See for yourself: https://imgur.com/a/6FmHSbo

          • An excellent idea, Edzard. How will we prepare the Mother Tincture? I’m going to print out some of Dana’s comments and then soak them in alcohol. The mystical energy will then be passed on. Or perhaps it might not be. I might collect some of his writings on to one page of text on my iPad and shine the light onto a vial of purified water. Which way would be best?

            Anyway. Once we have done so we can prepare it to a 30C dilution and then sort out a proving.

            Homeopathic Dana. Excrumentum Bovinus 30C as it will be marketed.

        • Dana

          You are aware of the Texas Sharpshooter technique, aren’t you? This is what this study is. Utter garbage. Carry on, though. The more you post, the more you demonstrate your silliness.

    • Troll. Not worth the effort.

  • Well, I’m not done with raining on your parade. Here’s a recent study from 2019:

    It is common know that viral or bacterial upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) may lead to exacerbations of COPD symptoms. Researchers recently sought to explore if homeopathic medicines to COPD patients during the influenza-exposure period may help to reduce the frequency of common URTIs. Well, homeopathy to the rescue (again!).

    A prospective, observational, multicenter study was carried out in Cantabria, Spain. Patients with COPD were divided into two groups: group 1 received conventional treatment plus homeopathic medicines (diluted and dynamized extract of duck liver and heart; AKA, Oscillococcinum, Boiron) (OG); group 2 received conventional treatment only (CG) (Conde Diez, Viejo Casas, Garcia Rivero, et al, 2019). The primary endpoint was the number of URTIs (upper respiratory tract infections) between the 4-5 months follow up (mean 4.72 ± 0.96) from basal to last visit. Secondary endpoints included the duration of URTIs, number and duration of COPD exacerbations, use of COPD drugs, changes in quality of life (QoL), compliance, and adverse events (AEs).

    A total of 219 patients were analyzed (OG = 109, CG = 110). There was a significant reduction in mean number of URTIs during the follow-up period in OG compared to CG (0.514 ± 0.722 vs. 1.037 ± 1.519, respectively; p = 0.014). Logistic regression analysis showed a 3.3-times higher probability of suffering ≥2 URTI episodes in CG (p = 0.003, n = 72). OG patients having ≥1 URTI also had a significant reduction in mean URTI duration per episode (3.57 ± 2.44 days OG vs. 5.22 ± 4.17 days CG; p = 0.012). There was no significant difference in mean number of exacerbations, mean duration of exacerbations, or QoL between OG and CG. There was a greater decrease in proportion of patients using corticosteroids for exacerbations between baseline and visit 2 in OG compared to CG (22.1% vs. 7.5% fewer respectively, p = 0.005). Exacerbator phenotype patients had a significant decrease in number of URTIs (0.54 ± 0.72 vs. 1.31 ± 1.81; p = 0.011), and fewer COPD exacerbations (0.9 ± 1.3 vs. 1.5 ± 1.7; p = 0.037) in OG vs. CG, respectively.

    In total, patients given homeopathic treatment during the influenza-exposure period had a significantly beneficial impact at reducing URTIs’ number and duration in COPD patients and at reducing the number of COPD exacerbations in patients with the exacerbator phenotype.

    Conde Diez S, Viejo Casas A, Garcia Rivero JL, Lopez Caro JC, Ortiz Portal F, Diaz Saez G. Impact of a homeopathic medication on upper respiratory tract infections in COPD patients: Results of an observational, prospective study (EPOXILO). Respir Med. 2019 Jan;146:96-105. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2018.11.011. Epub 2018 Nov 16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30665525

    • Dana

      That’s an A vs A+B study. It’s been explained to you repeatedly why these are worthless. Can you remember what was said? As ever your memory powers are very poor when your foolishness has previously been dissected, explained and pointed out to you.

      And can you remember how your stupidity as regards bird flu and oscillococcium was demonstrated the last time you stamped and spluttered on the subject? Seemingly not.

      You’re a strange man, Dana. Very strange.

      • Lenny, Lenny, Lenny…you remind me of Fox News and its fake outrage!

        A vs. A+B is different IF data proves it…and it does! The irony here is that usually people at THIS website honor RESULTS and STATISTICS…but I guess you are an exception. You only honor your personal beliefs. Well, aren’t you a scientific dwarf.

        Thanx for verifying that you can pretend to smart without saying anything smart. In fact, your analysis is plain wrong.

        • Dana, have you been on an ‘ad hominem’-course?
          https://edzardernst.com/2012/12/ad-hominem-attacks-are-signs-of-victories-of-reason-over-unreason/
          THANKS FOR CONCEDING DEFEAT SO QUICKLY

          • Thanx Ed…you have not provided a scintilla of evidence that adds to your or Lenny’s (empty) point of view.

            And yet, with audacity in full gear, you say that I have conceded. Delusionary to the max.

          • sorry, what point of mine are you referring to?

          • Ed, Ed, Ed…my comment was in reference to the comment you made immediately above mine (that’s how this work, doesn’t it?). While my comment showed that there was a statistically significant difference between A and A+B, and therefore, I emphasized RESULTS and STATISTICS. In comparison, you seemed to see only ad homs.

            You folks deny DATA and EVIDENCE and seem to dwell only in ad homs of your own and delusions that I am conceding defeat (delusions too).

            When you have nothing else to do, you either DENY or claim AD HOMs. You are so predictable…and so intellectually dishonest (that’s not an ad hom, that’s evidence that you’ve just provided again!).

          • so, what point of view of mine are you referring to

            the A+B v B argument was not mine.

          • if it makes you happy, I will publish a critique of your new favourite trial tomorrow

          • Ed…Contrary to your belief, the world doesn’t spin around you. My comment above yours that begins with Lenny, Lenny, Lenny, is NOT meant to respond to anything YOU wrote.

            My next comment was to you…and you know this because I begin it with Ed, Ed, Ed. Sorry, I thought this was obvious…but I guess not.

            And yes, I’m laughing.

          • Dana, what have you been smoking?

          • Ed, What have you been eating? Dung?

            I’m so glad that you are “above” ad homs…and instead, prefer back-handed insults and feigned incredulity (for the record, I don’t have even a homeopathic dose of belief in your pretend outrage, though you do make me laugh at the thought that you actually believe that people take you seriously).

        • Dana says I’m wrong.

          It’s nice when Dana says things like that.

          It means I’m right.

          • Len, Len, Len…Keep believing in your delusions because that is ALL that you have…well, you also have lots of embarrassment because there is a clear record of your delusions and your embarrassment right here.

            And hopefully, Ed won’t claim this is an ad hom (again).

          • “The Court found Mr. Ullman’s testimony to be not credible.”

            You could link to those records of my delusions and embarrassments, Dana. They’re all here apparently.

            Oh.

            You can’t.

            You’ve been making stuff up again, haven’t you?

            Dana. Your stupidity, ignorance and inability to evaluate clinical evidence has been demonstrated repeatedly on this blog. As a general rule when one of your arguments has been demolished, you mysteriously disappear from a thread. This was a fine example.

            https://edzardernst.com/2017/02/lies-damned-lies-and-dana-ullman/

            We’ll await the dissection and discarding of the recent study you’ve been triumphantly waving around. It’s not something I’ll do because I’m no expert in the minutæ of critical analysis and trial design, but others here are.

            You’re just going to be made to look more foolish, Dana. Again. What is pitiful is your inability to recognise it. You’re strutting around in those nice clothes the men sold you that they told you only clever people can see.

    • Dana

      Haven’t you told us in the past that trials of non-individualised homeopathic remedies have no internal validity because homeopathic treatment needs to individualised?

      Are you contradicting yourself?

      Presumably it’s only studies like the review by Fisher, Frye and Mathis which lack internal validity because they conclude that “There is insufficient good evidence to enable robust conclusions to be made about Oscillococcinum(®) in the prevention or treatment of influenza and influenza-like illness.”

      A lack of internal validity is important it seems only when a trial shows homeopathy to be ineffective..

      • “Haven’t you told us in the past that trials of non-individualised homeopathic remedies have no internal validity because homeopathic treatment needs to individualised?”

        Good example of the logical fallacy of “special pleading” or the “immunized hypothesis”

        https://hatepseudoscience.com/2017/06/23/immunized-hypothesis/?fbclid=IwAR2hmXycjG0EpaO1VL8xvgqRzWiMSgowvbdGaPGAg0SEpj-wCexWSeOR33I

        • YES..I have asserted that many times, AND I have also asserted that there are sometime EXCEPTIONS to a general rule.

          And for the record, Oscillococcinum is primarily effective during the first 48 hours of symptoms of influenza or influenza-like syndrome.

          Needless to say, it makes SENSE physiologically and pathologically to use nanodoses of the heart and liver of a duck to help people fight the flu because ducks are KNOWN carriers of influenza viruses but do not become sick from them!

          • “Needless to say it makes sense..”

            No, Dana, it doesn’t. Not if you have the faintest scintilla of understanding of biology, physiology and pathology. It does demonstrate your idiocy, however.

            And ducks don’t get sick from influenza viruses, do they? I’ve got bad news for you, sunshine. They do. Particularly domesticated species. Like Muscovy. So that’s your bonfire pissed on. Again. Now run away, little boy. Go play with your silly friends.

            https://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/avian-in-birds.htm

          • Sometimes humans think they are the only thing on the planet how ridiculous

          • Since Oscillococcinum is diluted to 200C it makes no sense to talk of “nanodose”. Nadadose would correctly describe the actual measure of “medication” present in the pill.

            Needless to say a nadadose of anything can do nothing good nor anything bad – as long as it does not substitute for taking something which can do something good, which in the case of flu can only amount to alleviation of symptoms.

    • I’ve just had a look at the paper. It is described as an observational study, which it clearly isn’t if the patients are assigned to different treatment groups.

      The authors don’t appear to have any understanding of the use and interpretation of the statistical tests that they employ. For instance, they are quoting means and standard deviations for data that clearly do not follow a normal distribution (as can readily be seen by comparing means and medians) and then using significance tests that assume a normal distribution.

      The patients are not randomised in any way, and although the two treatment groups are comparable on many measures, the prevalence of diabetes is much higher in the conventionally treated group, which would be expected to affect their risk of infection, its severity and duration.

      Come to think of it, maybe it really is an observational study, comparing one group of patients who (for whatever reason) happened to receive Oscillococcinum with another group who didn’t.

      I’m rather surprised that the journal accepted this paper. Having read it I don’t think the authors’ conclusions are justified.

  • My understanding of the principle of Similia similibus curantur indicate that Ethylicum 30C every six hours will be appropriate to suppress the symptoms resembling intermittent inebriety.

    Apropos Ethylicum. Helios has a remedy finder where you can order 2000+ varieties of remedies in various preparation and potencies.

    Ironically, you can for the small sum of £66.65, order Ethylicum potentised to ,say 200C, in … a liter of 23% Ethylicum. Homeopathy certainly is peculiar.

    See for yourself: https://imgur.com/a/6FmHSbo

    • My comment above (on Thursday 31 January 2019 at 21:40). My mistake. I copied it further up to where it should have landed. Admin may strike this and the redundant comment above.

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