Why do people think that all natual” = not harmful? I was reading a Frommers message board where people were debating the usefulness of No Jet Lag. The vast majority of the posters were saying things like: “I’d recommend you try them-and they are 100% homeopathic-no drugs.”

Here was what I posted:

I just wanted to second the idea that there *are* drugs involved with “homeopathic” or “natural” remedies. People seem to believe “all natual” = not harmful, and that’s just not the case. A great many of the “drugs” we take today are merely purified forms of plant compounds that are “all natural” (aspirin being the example that leaps to mind).

For example, Ipecacuanha root (one of the active ingredients in No Jet Lag, according to http://www.nojetlag.com/jetlag7.html) is emetic; and in smaller doses, diaphoretic and expectorant. Toxic doses cause gastro-enteritis, cardiac failure, dilation of the blood-vessels, severe bronchitis and pulmonary inflammation. (Source: http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/i/ipecac07.html).

As you may guess from the name, Ipecacuanha is the plant from which Syrup of Ipecac is derived.

These remedies may work, but if they do it’s because of the chemical (/drug) interactions they cause in your body. Do check them out with a doctor before taking them, as they may combine badly with existing meds.

One thought on “Rant-o-the-moment

  1. Mmmm. Potato Greens.
    I have a hard time getting worked up about homeopathic drugs, since the “active” ingredients are in such small concentrations that you’d be hard pressed to find a single molecule in the solution.
    “I once read a book on homeopathy. All the pages were blank except for one about a third of the way through that had an ‘e’ on it” –Author Unknown


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