One of my people on the ground just alerted me to: A Safe Way to Eliminate Head Lice
There are a countless things in nature which will kill you if you try to eat them, such as nightshade, arsenic and crocodiles. But for some reason the concept that “all natural” is synonymous with “harmless” pervades our society.
Alternative medicines are happy to capitalise on this and contrast their all natural remedies against real medicines with actual side-effects. Homeopaths are proud that their meds are completely harmless, but this is not because they’re natural, it’s because they’re diluted beyond the point of containing any active ingredient. You can buy homeopathic versions of all sorts of deadly compounds, such as nightshade (ala Atropa belladonna), but there’s not enough matter in the universe to make a homeopathic dose with lethal amounts of active ingredient.
As I’ve gone on at length before, a 30C homeopathic remedy involves diluting the active ingredient 1 in 10^60 (don’t get me started). But what if someone started selling homeopathic solutions that were only diluted 1 in 100? At those concentrations, you will get a very large dose of the active ingredient.
This is exactly what someone is doing.
Quit Nit is advertising itself on mothering forums and elsewhere as a safe, all-natural homeopathic remedy for getting rid of nits. Only it happens to contain a 1 in 100 dilution of the rather potent Quassia Amara.
As you would expect it comes with a raft of safety warnings about not getting in anywhere near the eyes, nose, mouth and other sensitive areas, along with instructions to seek medical aid if anything goes wrong.
Yet, their advertisement on mothering.com says:
“A treatment made with natural active ingredients will work very effectively and without the risk of exposing your children or yourself to pesticides.”
For a start, anything that you’re selling to kills insects (which head lice are: I checked) is by definition an insecticide, which makes it undoubtedly a pesticide. That’s just the actual name of what it is.
Kills insects = is a pesticide.
A pesticide is something that kills pests, it’s not a bubbling conical flask of liquid that scientists insist on drizzling over our food for kicks. Being natural or not doesn’t even come in to it.
So this company are selling a pesticide, but claiming it’s not a pesticide to parents.
But what gets me really angry is that they push it as a safe option, despite all the safety warnings they are required to put all over the box.
I’m happy to concede that homeopathic remedies are good insomuch as they don’t have direct harmful side effects, but just because something is slightly diluted doesn’t make it homeopathic anymore than having a few coins in your pocket makes you the richest person on earth.
This is a chemical solution designed to kill head lice. For all I know it could be very good at doing just that. It certainly looks strong enough. But don’t try to convince parents that it’s a safe alternative to things that kill head lice.
In other words, don’t sell it as a safe alternative to itself.
I’m surprised homeopaths themselves aren’t up in arms over this one. Someone is selling concentrated chemical pesticides and passing them off as a homeopathic product.
And shame on you mothering.com for directly endorsing this product with all it’s vacuous “chemical free” nonsense.
PS If you think this is me just getting unnecessarily emotional about alternative medicines again, this is exactly the same company that had to recall it’s homeopathic teething tablets after they were found to contain dangerous levels of the above mentioned nightshade (third most poisonous plant in the world) that caused actual seizures in kids.
These crazy people really are dangerous and their insidious all-natural lies work.