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Monday, March 08, 2010

Grief and Guilt Reliever! Homeopathy saves the day again.

Okay, sure, it would feel good to get relief when when one is experiencing grief or guilt. But really? A spray-on reliever?

Homeopathy has done it again! They've created something that is not only implausible, but also might tamper with things that should not be tampered with. (See Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind if you don't get my drift)

Grief and guilt are not evils of the world, even though they may feel like it during the experience. They may actually be useful for you and for your kin, for example by reminding you why you shouldn't do certain things, or helping you deal with a loss. In making you feel like crap, grief and guilt help you change the things that are making you feel that way.

But of course, this is the normal reaction to grief or guilt. Things can get out of hand, and if that is the case, one should seek professional help with a doctor, psychologist or even a psychiatrist. This is the instance when you do not want someone with a mail-order degree in herbs to help you out with your psychological treatment. Bad things happen.

Just for fun, I also looked up the different substances that are supposed to be in the bottle. (In extreme dilutions, of course!)

Aurum Metallicum - gold
Cocculus Inducus - poisonous plant
Colocynthis - plant
Hyoscamus Niger - plant
Ignatia Amara - plant that is actually called Strychnos ignatia (more on that below)
Lachesis Mutus: poisonous snake
Natrum Muriatricum - table salt !!
Phosphoricum Acidum - phosphorous acid
Pulsatilla - flower
Staphysagria - probably a flower..

So, mostly plants, but also, gold, phosphorous acid, and table salt!

You'll notice they severely latinized the name for table salt (Sodium Chloride).
Also, they sometimes use botanical synonyms, which is a bit of a strange practice. I found Ignatia amara on wikipedia as Strychnos ignatia, and noticed that Ignatia amara is given as a synonym. In botany, in the age before the internet, a lot of nomenclature (naming) and classification was done without realizing that others were doing exactly the same work. This has naturally led to a lot of overlap, and there are strict rules for naming in botany and zoology to cope with this. It is common practice to use the oldest published name(which may have been discovered at a later date!), but in some cases, for example in referring to old literature, the old synonyms are also given for clarity. I have no idea why homeopaths would refer to an old synonym for certain plants, except maybe that in this case the current plant name connotes strychnine, which I guess I myself would not want to put on a contents label.

I don't think I'll be using that mixture to cure my monday blues anytime soon..

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