‘Mom’s Choice Awards’ have just honoured the homeopathic product ‘COLD CALM KIDS’. This remedy has the following ingredients:

  • Allium cepa 3C HPUS
  • Apis mellifica 15C HPUS
  • Eupatorium perfoliatum 3C HPUS
  • Gelsemium sempervirens 6C HPUS
  • Kali bichromicum 6C HPUS
  • Nux vomica 3C HPUS
  • Phytolacca decandra 6C HPUS
  • Pulsatilla 6C HPUS

3C = a dilution of 1:1000000

6C = a dilution of 1:1000000000000

15C = a dilution of 1:1000000000000000000000000000000

The ingredients are, according to this website, claimed to have the following effects:

  • Allium cepa 3C HPUS – Relieves sneezing and runny nose
  • Apis mellifica 15C HPUS – Relieves nasal congestion
  • Eupatorium perfoliatum 3C HPUS – Relieves aches associated with colds
  • Gelsemium sempervirens 6C HPUS – Relieves headaches associated with colds
  • Kali bichromicum 6C HPUS – Relieves nasal discharge
  • Nux vomica 3C HPUS – Relieves sneezing attacks
  • Phytolacca decandra 6C HPUS – Relieves mild fever
  • Pulsatilla 6C HPUS – Relieves colds with a loss of taste and smell

The formula could easily make Hahnemann turn in his grave! It goes against most of what he has been teaching. But I found these claims interesting nevertheless.

Are they true? To find out, I did some research. Here is what I found (in case anyone can find more evidence, I’d be most grateful to let me know):

  • Allium cepa 3C HPUS – Relieves sneezing and runny nose NO GOOD EVIDENCE FOR THIS CLAIM
  • Apis mellifica 15C HPUS – Relieves nasal congestion NO GOOD EVIDENCE FOR THIS CLAIM
  • Eupatorium perfoliatum 3C HPUS – Relieves aches associated with colds NO GOOD EVIDENCE FOR THIS CLAIM
  • Gelsemium sempervirens 6C HPUS – Relieves headaches associated with colds NO GOOD EVIDENCE FOR THIS CLAIM
  • Kali bichromicum 6C HPUS – Relieves nasal discharge NO GOOD EVIDENCE FOR THIS CLAIM
  • Nux vomica 3C HPUS – Relieves sneezing attacks NO GOOD EVIDENCE FOR THIS CLAIM
  • Phytolacca decandra 6C HPUS – Relieves mild fever NO GOOD EVIDENCE FOR THIS CLAIM
  • Pulsatilla 6C HPUS – Relieves colds with a loss of taste and smell NO GOOD EVIDENCE FOR THIS CLAIM

I am confused! If there is no good evidence, how come Boiron, the manufacturer of the product, is allowed to make these claims? And how come the product just was given an award?

The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA) evaluates products and services created for children, families and educators. The program is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. The organization is based in the United States and has reviewed thousands of items from more than 55 countries…

An esteemed panel of evaluators includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others.

MCA evaluators volunteer their time and are bound by a strict code of ethics which ensures expert and objective analysis free from any manufacturer association.

The evaluation process uses a proprietary methodology in which items are scored on a number of elements including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment value, originality, appeal and cost. Each item is judged on its own merit.

MCA evaluators are especially interested in items that help families grow emotionally, physically and spiritually; are morally sound and promote good will; and are inspirational and uplifting…

Now I am even more confused!

A benchmark of excellence?

A strict code of ethics?

Morally sound?

I must have misunderstood something! Or perhaps the award was for achieving a maximum of 8 false claims for one single product!? Can someone please enlighten me?

26 Responses to ‘Mom’s Choice Awards’ for a homeopathic product – was it for the maximum number of false claims in one single product?

  • As you stated, it is contrary to homeopathy principles to mix up multiple remedies and expect them to act individually. According to homeopathy, each of the individual remedies could ameliorate the particular symptom indicated but only if the totality of the symptom picture for that particular remedy corresponded to the totality of the symptom picture in the sick person.

    Compound homeopathic remedies are another level up on the delusion scale from clinical homeopathy, and I am not going to waste time here saying more on it except that NONE of the thousands of compound remedies that have ever been made have proven that the individual remedies continue to work according to their individual characteristics when mixed with other substances. By mixing remedies ONE new ‘remedy’ is created in thee symptom profile of this ONE new remedy needs to be established but none ever has been.

    • so, why is it a commercial success?
      because consumers fool themselves into thinking it works?
      just as you fool yourself into thinking classical homeopathy works?

      • “consumers fool themselves into thinking it works?”
        If you visit any pharmacy you will see shelf after shelf of dietary supplements, nourishing shampoos, anti-wrinkle creams, herbal plasters… There is very little reason to suppose that any of these are necessary, or that they do what is suggested on the box (the manufacturers are very careful not to make specific fraudulent claims on the packaging but are quite misleading nevertheless). In my local high street there are three health shops within a very short walk of each other whose entire business is based on false ideas. They are all doing very well.

        When I look at how the marketing industry uses so many tricks to misinform and mislead us I despair.

    • So what you’re saying is that a homeopathic remedy no longer works if, during preparation, is mixed with anything else?

      Except for water and alcohol, of course.

      And sucrose.

      And silicates from the glassware.

      And metal cations from pipework.

      And atmospheric gasses.

      And dust.

      Question: How can you guarantee the “purity” of any homeopathic remedy when, by its own principles, the slightest contact with anything else creates catastrophic contamination?

  • Edzard, it works, but you have NEVER been able to work out how it works because your medical paradigm does not permit you to.

    Thanks for taking on those imitators of homeopathy.

    Have a good day.

    • “it works, but you have NEVER been able to work out how it works because your medical paradigm does not permit you to”
      PURE BS!
      why do you think consumers feel that combination remedies work?
      why do you think you are not just as easily fooled as they?
      where is your evidence?

  • Edzard, it is the ‘combination remedy’ placebo effect!

    You seem to forget that it was homeopaths that INVENTED placebo. Sac lac, sac lac, remedy, sac lac…


    • what makes you think that you are immune to placebo effects?
      the benefit you experience after your homeopathy is a pure placebo effect – just as those consumers who swear by ‘cold calm’.

    • Placebos were not “invented”.
      That is simply the term applied from c. 1722 to the psychological and emotional responses obtained from remedies and treatments which have no effect on any specific pathology at all.
      Placebo effects have been experienced since time immemorial.

      Remedies and treatments which do “work” specifically may also induce placebo responses of course.

      A great shame that Hahnemann did not understand this.
      Or did, and was a bigger quack than many took him for.

      • Dr. Rawlins
        Thank you for pointing out that homeopathy did not ‘invent’ the use of placebo and providing the historical background to the placebo concept.

        However, if we can substitute the word ‘invent’ for the word ‘use’, can you let us know about conventional medicine’s USE of placebo in treatment, not in the sense that the drugs and prescriber has a placebo effect but actual use of placebo.

        Homeopathy has 200 years history of USE of PLACEBO, conventional medicine?

  • Oh, Dear.
    Homeopathic complexes.
    Usually put together by chancers who know next to nothing about homeopathy. (I can think of examples..)
    People who think you can just chuck together a whole bunch of indicated remedies, as in allopathy, but without the hazardous adverse effects associated with pharma.
    “I suppose it might just work..”

    As has been pointed out, homeopathy’s minimal dose approach stipulates a single remedy, which is matched to the characteristics of the patient (in disease), rather than to the disease regardless of the patient (the allopathic method of testing tends to try to eliminate the individual patient, whereas homeopathic experience is based on acute observation of individual cases and outcomes).

    It isn’t unusual to find ingredients in complexes which disagree with or antidote one another (according to Dr R. Gibson Miller’s “Drug Relationships” – which needs updating it should be said, and is not followed by everyone. EE would no doubt know about this from his early days as a dedicated student of the subject.)
    Yes indeed; Nux and Puls do antidote each other. “But I suppose it might just work”. Disappointing from Boiron, mind.

    I think you will find that the ‘claims’ amount to ‘can be used for’ – there’s an asterisk on “USES*”, but no connected note – and “has entries in HPUS recording established use for” – “ACTIVE INGREDIENTS:**” (the lost asterisks again). Which may fall short of something the FTC could follow up. (But what do they know? – It would come down to how much prejudice they have at the moment.)

    Boiron do actually do research on some products. Not that pseudo-skeptics would ever accept science, if it contravenes a deeply-held prejudice.

    Does it work ? I have no idea. But as Greg pointed out, although it (mis-)uses homeopathic remedies, it isn’t homeopathy in the classical sense. It’s an allopathic-minded mish-mash.

    It might work for some, and good luck to them. They would probably buy it again. Does it have to work for everyone, as pharma testing seems to demand (very socialistic for a capitalist construction)?. Well, no – that’s the prime pseudo-skeptic fallacy. Anyone it works for – given the individualisation of prescription – is going to be more than happy.

    What one can certainly say, is that it is likely to be far safer than, say, Tylenol (what’s the death count so far this year?). And without availability of products such as these, parents would fall back on Tylenol. Which I am sure would please the manufacturers, and those with aspirations for a Pharma monopoly.

    Perhaps some advice from Boiron’s website is well worth heeding, at least in the USA (and perhaps Australia) where angry pseudo-skeptics, not above breaking the law, are rampant:
    “Do not use if the label sealing the clear tube cap is broken or missing”.
    One wouldn’t want to come up against a batch adulterated with a toxic level of ingredient, spoiling homeopathy’s safety record.

    • oh dear indeed!!!

    • @Will: you use the expression pseudo-skeptic to imply detractors or critics-of-lunacy who may read this blog aren’t genuine skeptics…? Perhaps you think we are disingenuous in regards our “skepticism” in the same way you are disingenuous with your alleged “belief”?
      I think more accurately; you are a pseudo-intellect.

    • Will, thank you for providing the additional explanation.

      I have not got the patience to discuss this nonsense topic any further, but Edzard and Co continue to battle against Strawman. For that, we owe them our thanks.

      • lovely to be appreciated!!!

        • Edzard,I think that you will appreciate it when you discover, after all these years, what homeopathy is. But first, you need to continue to discover what it is not.

          • oh dear; the pompous words of a conceited preacher!

          • What homeopathy is: A Religion, masquerading as medicine, perpetrating fraud; a self-congratulatory circle-jerk of ignorant narcissists so far up themselves they tickle their own tonsils with their earlobes.

            What homeopathy is NOT: honest, ethical, plausible, credible, competent, responsible, rational, self-correcting, ready to acknowledge the harms it causes, remotely compatible with known reality, liable. Have I missed any?

          • @ has

            Yes. You have missed on very important one:

            Effective beyond placebo.

  • Mom’s Choice Awards
    Humm, I have a pretty good laser printer and a friend who could design a decent website for me.

    Maybe the Animal Friends award for the best veterinary homeopathic “medicine” of the year?

  • You’d think Boiron might be more prudent in their marketing claims given that they’ve been on the end of various legal actions.

    Hylands were also the subject of a class action re claims made for very similar products. See Predatory law firms could make a lot of money out of homeopathy.

    This provides some history of Hylands pushing combination remedies into the retail pharmacy sector.

  • ‘Pompous preacher’ has one more thing to add to this ludicrous post on complex homeopathic remedies.

    Apart from the point that mixing substances alters the character of the individual substances and forms ONE new substance, if individual substances retained their autonomous action within the complex substance then why not just make ONE SUPER HOMEOPATHIC COMPLEX with all the major remedies in the mixture? This would be the cure all of all, wouldn’t it?

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