Every year consumer advocate Choice magazine hands out its “Shonky” awards for products that, to put it mildly, do not live up to the manufacturers claims of effectiveness or quality. Being on the shonky list is no badge of honour. This year we have a fine crop of shonkies, but what caught my eye was number 8 on the list, Natures Way homoeopathic medicine for kids. This citation joins other such distinguished award winners as Sensa Slim and the Power Balance bracelet.
You can read the citation in full over at the choice website, so I won’t simply reiterate the points made in that article. Well, okay,I will. Unlike many homeopathic medicines, these ones actually have some (although minute) amounts of substance in them. One of these is Nux Vomica, otherwise known as the poison strychnine.
To be fair, the strychnine is only present in a one in a trillion dilution. As we have no idea what the starting concentration of strychnine was before they started diluting it, all we can say is the concentration is slightly higher in these remedies than if you waved a strychnine plant vaguely in the general direction of a bottle of this “medicine”.
Am I the only one who finds it ironic that with the current anxiety about “toxins”, and the popularity of “detox diets” and “detox remedies”, that people are willing to give a solution containing a real, bonafide toxin to their kids (albeit insanely diluted).
It is even more ironic that people are worried about giving their kids vaccines with minute, non-harmful levels of formaldehyde in them (levels lower that the kids own bodies produce naturally or are found in fruit), when there is strong evidence of the health benefits of vaccination.
There is absolutely no evidence that these products have any effect whatsoever, yet the worries that arise with vaccines don’t seem to surface with these strychnine containing products.
This is a well deserved Shonky, but sadly, I doubt it will change people’s habits.
You can vote for your favorite Shonky from the current crop here.