Canada AM Goes Wylde

Perhaps Canada AM’s Consumer Alert department needs more meta-awareness, as Canada AM yesterday featured Toronto homeopath Bryce Wylde promoting a “natural first aid kit” for the summer as a “special submission”. The video can be seen here.

For those who aren’t familiar, Canada AM is a morning infotainment program. Though they are associated with CTV News, the programming generally reflects lighter, more morning-friendly topics than you might see on the evening news. They have a whole dedicated contributor for gardening, for example. So I have pretty modest expectations when I tune in.

That being said, Canada AM should provide information in a responsible manner no matter how lighthearted the topic. If they aren’t practicing due diligence, why provide the information at all? Incorrect or incomplete information isn’t news, nor is it of any value to Canadian consumers. So it is disappointing that they would consult a homeopath for health information when there are science-based health professionals capable of making recommendations derived from the best available evidence.

Background

For those who have not heard much on the topic, homeopathy (practiced by homeopaths) is based on the concept that “like cures like” and that medicinal potency is increased by significantly and sequentially diluting a substance in water. “Like cures like” is problematic because there are no clear objective criteria for sameness, leading to very questionable justifications for treatments. Most importantly, there is no anatomical or physiological basis for “like cures like” to work and there is no evidence from any scientific field supporting the homeopathic belief that water has memory.

Though an explanation of mechanism is not necessary for homeopathy to work, so far there is no solid evidence of efficacy of homeopathic treatments outside unverifiable testimonials and poorly-designed scientific studies. The evidence is so bad that health agencies in the United Kingdom (UK), for example, have gone on record to say that homeopathy’s effects are no more than placebo effects. These reviews have led to efforts to stop the funding of homeopathy entirely. From the UK Parliament’s Health and Science Committee review of homeopathy:

s.54 We conclude that the principle of like-cures-like is theoretically weak. It fails to provide a credible physiological mode of action for homeopathic products. We note that this is the settled view of medical science.

s.70 In our view, the systematic reviews and meta-analyses conclusively demonstrate that homeopathic products perform no better than placebos.

s.82 We do not doubt that homeopathy makes some patients feel better. However, patient satisfaction can occur through a placebo effect alone and therefore does not prove the efficacy of homeopathic interventions.

In short, homeopathy may have “worked” for your aunt, but it doesn’t work for 200 people or so in a well-designed clinical trial. When it comes to first aid, there’s very little to separate what “worked” via the treatment and what healed via the body’s normal healing process, therefore there is no medical justification to purchase homeopathic products for first aid uses.

There is no compelling evidence that the products Wylde promotes are effective for the applications he describes. So it’s baffling that a news organization would ask a homeopath for health advice over a health professional. Canada AM’s segment effectively became a description of unproven nostrums, free of any evidence-based content or critical analysis.

The Interview

In the video linked above, the Canada AM host begins by introducing Wylde and the topic: natural remedies for cuts, scrapes, bug bites, and burns. The over-voice states “for most of us, band aids are the solution”, but Wylde prefers to provide “healing options”. It seems there’s a value judgement there, but why not use a band aid and let a cut heal? What benefit do homeopathic creams provide and why should I buy them over a science-based remedy?

The answer is hard to parse from his advice and explanations. There’s a lot of careful language in this interview. For example, why do we hear things like “expediting the anti-inflammatory properties of the body”  associated with natural products instead of things like “it’s an anti-inflammatory”? Because Health Canada allows vague, nondescript statements such as the former to confuse consumers into purchasing questionable homeopathic and naturopathic products, but it does not allow the latter. Consumers must ask themselves what phrases like “expedite”, “work better”, and “heal faster” mean. But those terms are difficult to evaluate here, as Wylde provides no objective endpoints — how many days quicker does a bruise etc heal with a “natural remedy” vs. on its own (assuming the cream works)? Is that a valuable gain?

The Advice

Wylde says he “can’t live without” Arnica because it’s “getting the body to work better on its own” for you to heal faster. He’s right to say the body works to heal itself on its own. The body can heal minor bruises, cuts, and scrapes in a matter of days with no intervention (though a band aid can help keep a wound sanitary by providing a barrier against dirt and germs). But there’s no evidence that Arnica gel isn’t just expensive moisturizer with scant traces of plant molecules in it.

Wylde also spoke about Calendula for reducing scarring on minor cuts and post-surgery incisions, claiming that it shouldn’t be used on deep cuts because it could cause an abscess or cyst under the site, “that’s how well it works”. Wait, what? There is no established efficacy for this cream, let alone evidence of excessive healing leading to secondary symptoms, so this claim is apparently an exaggeration.

Finally, he recommended diluted honey bee venom for bug bites and adding various ingredients (lemon, honey, etc) to water to prevent dehydration, arguing that regular water doesn’t replace the electrolytes lost in sweat. Apparently his advice is for people who don’t also eat on hot days while they drink their water. As for honey bee venom, there is no good evidence that this works and there is no convincing reason to use it over other science-based remedies (if intervention is required at all). But, he says, we should be careful of products like AfterBite because there isn’t due diligence in providing evidence of efficacy for the chemicals used therein.

In the written accompaniment to the video story, Wylde extends his thoughts on the various products he mentioned in his interview, providing details such as indications, counter-indications, where the product comes from, etc. The final result? A detailed advertisement for homeopathic and naturopathic products, courtesy of CTV.

A critical appraisal – because Canada AM didn’t provide one

I want to talk more about Wylde’s AfterBite statement, but first I want to point out when he said: “[Calendula has] been used for hundreds of years; it has lots of empirical–”. That’s it. He didn’t finish the sentence, he just went on to explain what it does. And we’ll never know what he was going to say because the Canada AM host was uncritically eating up Wylde’s every word (providing this testimonial about Arnica: “I use this a lot and it works”) and asked no follow-up about evidence. Super.

For him to indicate his distaste for products like AfterBite, claiming a lack of evidence, is rather galling given that he is in the midst of discussing products that have no documented mechanism of action, no credible scientific support, and no solid evidence of efficacy. While it’s perfectly fine to question any product’s supporting evidence, one wonders why he’s apparently incapable of doing the very same thing for the products he’s promoting.

It’s a health professional’s responsibility to recommend only what’s appropriate, based on evidence. Wylde’s weasel words and questionable explanations failed to make a compelling case for why consumers should spend money on these products and he provided no evidence to support the efficacy of any of the creams he mentioned, relying on personal anecdote to make his case. How can we tell the difference between normal healing and the supposed accelerated healing from a cream? Outside of a clinical trial, quite frankly, we can’t. That’s why scientific evidence is used to sort out what works from what’s doesn’t.

One of the frequent claims about science-based health professionals is that they’re beholden to Big Pharma and the products they sell. This video illustrates that the same claims can be made about alternative health providers. Why use unproven and unnecessary products for minor ailments like bruises and scrapes? For self-limiting conditions such as these, there is little justification for the use of products that lack evidence of any meaningful benefits. Save your money – keep your wounds clean and dry, put on a band-aid, and get on with your day.

Conclusion

The most sincere recommendations based on a desire to promote health aren’t helpful if they’re not based on accurate scientific evidence. Promoting dependence on unnecessary, unproven health products is no way to support smart decision-making among Canadians.

To provide feedback to Canada AM on this topic, contact them here.

*Kim’s opinions do not necessarily represent the values/opinions of affiliated associations, societies, or employers.

26 Responses to “Canada AM Goes Wylde”

  1. Anomynous says:

    I agree with this analysis of CTVCanadaAM coverage… except for one thing.

    Replacing electrolytes via various ingredients (lemon, honey, etc) to water to replace electrolytes lost in sweat is a more cost effective alternative and healthier alternative to “Gatorade” and other energy/sugary drinks which are marketed to rehydrate and replace electrolytes. These drinks are often over consumed and should not be used unless under heavy physical excursion. I see kids drinking this stuff with an afternoon snack when their bodies don’t need it.

    Lemon, honey and water works well as does just a glass of water and a fruit (preferably something high in citric acid)

    • Kim Hebert says:

      “Lemon, honey and water works well as does just a glass of water and a fruit (preferably something high in citric acid)”

      Yup, that was my point. Wylde implied that regular water isn’t enough replenishment, but food and water together are generally sufficient to provide proper hydration and nutrients. Most people won’t deplete their stores of electrolytes by going about their regular day or even with moderate exertion. Marathoners et al. are another story, but that’s not who he was talking about. [source]

      There is nothing wrong with adding lemon, for example, to water. But in this context, Wylde’s advice is unnecessary. Non-athletes don’t need calorie-filled “energy” drinks (which people may buy if they believe they need electrolytes but are not keen on home-made), nor do they need to add anything to their water (unless they are looking for some flavour variety). Ordinary water and food is plenty.

  2. Paul says:

    I’ve been complaining about the Toronto media’s love affair with Bryce Wylde for years. He’s been a regular guest on CityTV’s Breakfast Television since at least 2006, and now does a regular, daily bit on CP24. It makes me crazy how our media report on this crap completely uncritically.

  3. Jody says:

    first time reader but what is your opinion on drugs? I would prefer the natural way and have chosen the home remedies before the drugs and found equal (even better)results this way. ex: drinking apple cider vinegar for tennis elbow. I spent years suffering from tennis elbow, going for cortisone shots every few months, I read about drinking apple cider vinegar and 20 years later I still have no trace of tennis elbow….. Isnt that proof enough?

    • Richard says:

      Hi Jody,

      I don’t doubt that your tennis elbow is gone and that you sincerely believe that apple cider vinegar cured you…but it sounds more like you are submitting to the post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy. Unless you have controlled for all other confounding variables and replicated your apple cider vinegar experiment…as well as described a plausible mechanism that could explain how apple vinegar cider could interact with the body to relieve the condition, then I would say that the evidence is insufficient….it can be chalked up to coincidence, that is all.

    • Kim Hebert says:

      No, your unique situation is not proof. I’m glad you’re feeling better, but unfortunately there’s nothing in your comment that conclusively proves anything. The reason is that I have no way of verifying your diagnosis, of examining you, of verifying what therapies you tried, of determining whether you felt better because the source of the strain was removed independent of trying certain remedies, etc. These are important variables in determining what has helped you feel better. This is why anecdotes (personal stories) are not compelling as data to prove something works.

      In order to get an objective answer, one must to investigate a treatment among several people at the same time (taking a lot of measurements for different variables) and compare that group to other groups that are receiving another treatment and/or no treatment at all. This is a better way to show a treatment is effective because you’ve tested to see whether the effects are consistent among many people and you have compared between different treatments and measured the differences. If there were several studies within the context of therapeutic literature that showed that apple cider vinegar was consistently effective (and robustly so) over other therapies, that would be convincing.

  4. Michael ruse says:

    I like that he through in some “sciencey” sounding words like primary and secondary intention, and made it sound like these were steps in wound healing that the body does naturally, when in fact these are the labels of the specific interventions that doctors will take to facilitate wound healing – and most importantly in wounds that required surgical closure, not the scrapes and cuts he was talking about. What a con-man

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wound_healing#Primary_intention

  5. Tracy says:

    Your post made my day. I am struggling to get along in a medical center that also hosts naturopathic practioners. A patient will come to me for a ‘blood type diet’ – something I have researched again and again to be sure there is absolutely no evidence supporting this, or any type of solid theory behind it – and I will explain this to the patient and offer alternatives, only to have the patient go to the naturopath for this same “fad” diet. I feel frustrated beyond belief that while I have to protect the public and uphold science (and care about my license as a registered dietitian!), it is somehow acceptable for a naturopath to provide this info (and get paid for it) if it comes with a “natural” spin on it and is classifed as “alternative medicine”. This kind of publicity for non evidence based practices just furthers confusion in the public and makes my blood boil.

    • Kim Hebert says:

      Yes, it is unfortunate that our science-based health professions have been diluted (har har) and somehow the “alternative” approach has been successfully marketed as more caring, knowledgeable, and open-minded than the mainstream despite a copious lack of supportive evidence.

      I know people care about ensuring they get what they pay for – electronics, cars, houses, clothes, etc. Yet these same people will take a poorly-regulated dilution of a plant as a vaccine, cure, or prophylactic rather than medicine. Perhaps engaging a frugal client’s skepticism in other areas (such as these other consumer decisions) would be helpful for promoting better health choices.

  6. skeptical about skeptics says:

    Kim Hebert,

    You may know Justin Torttier. You also may know that Justin Trottier – a blogger with the National Post – who got ‘cold feet’ going head-to-head with my colleague Bryce Wylde on the Michael Coren show and had to cancel last minute. Before you spew your venom, you should really have some kind of idea as to how many people he has helped, how evidence based he is in practice, and lastly how lacking of any hard facts you really are before posting nonsense on the internet.

    Live for REAL, not as a shadow.

    • Kim Hebert says:

      What Justin Trottier (executive director of CFI Ontario) does or does not do with his time is irrelevant to my post. Your word is not evidence for his motivations.

      As for “venom”… it’s interesting that criticism, both ordinary and expected in the scientific community, is treated by the alternative medicine community as a personal attack. How nice Wylde is and how honourable his intentions are, are irrelevant to the accuracy of his claims. His media presence gives the impression that he is less concerned with science-based practice (i.e., products that objectively work, regardless of origin or association) than he is with promoting “natural” products, regardless of objective efficacy. So, what hard facts am I lacking? I welcome any specific and relevant feedback you would like to provide.

  7. Heather C says:

    As a student of medical anthropology, I have no problem with scepticism or a demand for empirical evidence; however, I do disagree with the notion that “alternative” health care practices are bogus if they are not supported by mainstream medical trials.

    For one thing, empirical evidence can be found outside of a lab. We may be tempted to dismiss other people’s observations and experiences as anecdotal – but without trials showing the inefficacy of a particular practice, the only scientific claim we can reasonably make is ignorance. Why should we expect our ignorance to outweigh others’ empirical experiences?

    I support your call for critical journalism and informed patient engagement – but in the case of alternative healthcare, our reservations too often veer into the realm of certainty.

    The “not supported by medical research!” mantra should be used with caution, with an acknowledgement of its power to support monopolies on healthcare dollars and professional authority. These economic and social issues demand our honest attention, not our casual dismissal. Many alternative health care practices that have been dismissed as bogus have later been appropriated by the mainstream medical and pharmaceutical industries, with some ambivalent consequences following for patients as well as alternative practitioners.

    • Kim Hebert says:

      Not all ideas are created equal. That we can conceive of something does not mean that it’s possible until we prove it wrong. Let’s take Lisa Simpson’s “this rock keeps tigers away” example. Superficially this is possible, but if investigation after investigation shows it to be ineffective, how much longer do we need to flog the horse before we reasonably conclude that there is no effect and devote resources to something else?

      That other “alternative” treatments have made it into mainstream medicine is not evidence that homeopathy will eventually do the same. Treatments that have eventually become mainstream are those that showed promise upon continued clinical testing. They may start with an anecdote (i.e., “outside the lab”) and then are tested further with encouraging results. Homeopathy does not demonstrate this pattern. There’s been 200 years to provide some concrete evidence of efficacy for homeopathy, with dismal results.

      So, I do not “casually dismiss” homeopathy. It would be awesome if people could be treated with just a molecule (if that) of medicine in water – think how many third world countries could get cheap medicine. But there’s no evidence of benefit and when taken to the extreme (such as homeopathic malaria prophylactics) people’s lives are at risk based on good marketing, rather than good evidence.

      Homeopaths have put the cart before the horse and are making claims far beyond what the evidence allows, and it’s a shame that Health Canada allows this to go on both from a consumer rights perspective and from a safety perspective.

      • Bryce Wylde says:

        Hey all!

        Bryce Wylde here. Just stumbled across this… Quite the awkward thread! But, entertaining nonetheless. Keep doing what you’re doing – scepticism is necessary – but also take another good look at what Heather C says above. Also, I’ll admit here that there is currently no known exact mechanism of action behind many homeopathic dilutions (although many ‘guesses’ and silly ones at that). But, clinical efficacy without confirmed mechanism of action does not mean homeopathy doesn’t work better than placebo. Furthermore, in practice, where my focus is to help people overcome their health concerns and stay free of ailments they may be predisposed to, I use a very eclectic approach and employ more than just homeopathic dilutions. My style of practice is functional medicine with a focus in nutrition, and supplementation using herbs, nutraceuticals, vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that less than a respectable percentage of practitioners in my field are evidence based. But there isn’t a case that I take on that I don’t assess through laboratory analysis or physical examination in order to ascertain full objective criteria. Just so you have some context appropriate understanding, I will explain to you all that media is no easy thing. It’s very difficult, and mostly inappropriate, to share the details of available scientific literature in a 180 second segment early in the morning on Canada AM! Especially when very few people – other than sceptics – would care. I am however happy to share it with you if you were to ask. My emails are widely available online. I am directly accessible. Given the time and genuine interest of the request, I’m happy to provide any of you with what I see as good and plausible evidence for what I ‘promote’ (wrong choice of words by the way) and discuss in the media and in my practice. And, where it seems you all were SO hyper aware to every single word that I uttered on this program, you all seemed to miss when I said something like “even if what we do for our kids is nothing but placebo….” And I think that placebo IS what it boils down to on the odd occasion whether its homeopathic, herbal, or a conventional antibiotic cream intervention. But, I will suppose that there aren’t many parents here that would understand that ANY cream is better than no cream when it comes to a screeching, ailing, child with a skinned knee. Lastly, someone here has to brush up on their understanding of primary and secondary intention in context of healing. Anyway, here below are just a few of my favourite scientific documents for you to peruse through should you care to. They are organized by category. In the mean time, be well.

        - Bryce

        Clinical trials

        Jacobs J, Jonas WB, Jimenez-Perez M, Crothers D (2003). Homeopathy for childhood diarrhea: combined results and metaanalysis from three randomized, controlled clinical trials. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 22:229–234.

        Vickers A, Smith C (2006). Homoeopathic Oscillococcinum for preventing and treating influenza and influenza-like syndromes (Cochrane review). In: The Cochrane Library. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. CD001957.

        Taylor MA, Reilly D, Llewellyn-Jones RH, et al. (2000). Randomised controlled trials of homoeopathy versus placebo in perennial allergic rhinitis with overview of four trial series. British Medical Journal, 321:471–476.

        Frass M, Linkesch M, Banyai S, et al. (2005). Adjunctive homeopathic treatment in patients with severe sepsis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in an intensive care unit. Homeopathy, 94:75–80.

        Oberbaum M, Yaniv I, Ben-Gal Y, et al. (2001). A randomized, controlled clinical trial of the homeopathic medication Traumeel S in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced stomatitis in children undergoing stem cell transplantation. Cancer, 92:684–690.

        Frei H, Everts R, von Ammon K, et al. (2005). Homeopathic treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled crossover trial. European Journal of Pediatrics, 164:758-767.

        Brinkhaus B, Wilkens JM, Lüdtke R, et al. (2006). Homeopathic arnica therapy in patients receiving knee surgery: Results of three randomised double-blind trials. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 14:237–246.

        Adler UC, Paiva PM, Cesar AT et al. (2009). Homeopathic Individualized Q-potencies versus Fluoxetine for moderate to severe depression: double-blind, randomized non-inferiority trial. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: eCAM. doi:10.1093/ecam/nep114

        Cost effectiveness

        Rossi E, Crudeli L, Endrizzi C, Garibaldi D (2009). Cost–benefit evaluation of homeopathic versus conventional therapy in respiratory diseases. Homeopathy, 98:2–10.

        Witt C, Keil T, Selim D, et al. (2005). Outcome and costs of homeopathic and conventional treatment strategies: a comparative cohort study in patients with chronic disorders. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 13:79-86.

        Kneis KC, Gandjour A (2009). Economic evaluation of Sinfrontal® in the treatment of acute maxillary sinusitis in adults. Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, 7: 181–191

        Outcomes

        Witt CM, Lüdtke R, Baur R, Willich SN (2005). Homeopathic medical practice: long-term results of a cohort study with 3,981 patients. BMC Public Health, 5:115.

        Spence D, Thompson EA, Barron SJ (2005). Homeopathic treatment for chronic disease: a 6-year university ¬hospital based outpatient observational study. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 5:793-798.

        Biological models

        Belon P, Cumps J, Ennis M, et al. (2004). Histamine dilutions modulate basophil activation. Inflammation Research, 53:181–188.

        Aguejouf O, Eizayaga FX, Desplat V, et al. (2008). Prothrombotic and Hemorrhagic Effects of Aspirin. Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis, doi:10.1177/1076029608319945.

        Witt CM, Bluth M, Albrecht H, et al. (2007). The in vitro evidence for an effect of high homeopathic potencies – A systematic review of the literature. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 15:128–138.

        Endler PC, Thieves K, Reich C, Matthiessen P, Bonamin L, Scherr C, Baumgartner S
        Repetitions of fundamental research models for homeopathically prepared dilutions beyond 10-23: a bibliometric study. Homeopathy, 2010; 99: 25-36

        Physics

        Rey L (2007). Can low temperature thermoluminescence cast light on the nature of ultra-high dilutions? Homeopathy, 96:170–174.

        Elia V, Napoli E, Germano R (2007). The “memory of water”: an almost deciphered enigma. Dissipative structures in extremely dilute aqueous solutions. Homeopathy, 96:163–169.

        Chaplin MF (2007). The memory of water: an overview. Homeopathy, 96: 143–150.

        Other

        Teixeira MZ (2006). Evidence of the principle of similitude in modern fatal iatrogenic events. Homeopathy, 95:229–236.

      • Kim Hebert says:

        Thank you for your comment, Bryce. I’ll set aside a review of your references for now. However I will respond to the rest of your comment.

        Though mechanism is a noted problem with homeopathy, that is not the basis on which I reject homeopathy as a plausible means of treatment. Certainly the mechanism of action, which has never been adequately explained, would contradict biologic and physical laws as we now understand them. While this not sufficient on its own to reject homeopathy, it is relevant in evaluating the research. Homeopathy lacks prior plausibility. And when homeopathy is studied in well-conducted research, and when we consider the totality of research, the data are persuasive: homeopathy’s effects are no different from a placebo. This is exactly what we expect from products with no active ingredients.

        You seem to suggest that placebo effects are sufficient justification for homeopathy, but this rather patriarchal approach deprives patients of informed consent, and is now considered ethically questionable in the broader health community. I have no doubt that many patients may improve after using homeopathic remedies for minor injuries, but that is not evidence that these remedies altered the natural course of the injury. So regardless of other products that you may recommend in consultation with patients, what’s the clinical justification for recommending homeopathy? Though I appreciate your thoroughness in carefully analyzing your patients’ conditions, collecting data doesn’t make a treatment plan science-based – the recommendations also have to be science-based.

        I have to wonder why homeopathy is relevant to your advice if the medium (i.e., moisturizer) is the important component. If any moisturizer is sufficient, why not recommend any cheap department store moisturizer rather than a comparatively expensive tube of placebo? You have yet to justify why a placebo is even necessary for first aid applications, when scrapes and bruises are usually self-limiting ailments treated sufficiently with a kiss and a band-aid. The most meaningful way health professionals can support patients is to be compassionate and recommend products and interventions that are supported by good objective evidence; not to recommend placebos that people may come to depend on and seek out for more serious conditions.

  8. Bryce Wylde says:

    Kim,

    I was particularly aghast to see you say: “I’ll set aside a review of your references for now. However I will respond to the rest of your comment.”

    You didn’t interpret the rest of my comment correctly. Clearly, I do NOT think homeopathy is a placebo. I went on to infer that worst case scenario, homeopathy (in CERTAIN situations as is the case with ANY medication) can be placebo but at least causes no harm.

    Where I don’t know any great homeopathic remedy for procrastination Kim, you could have saved yourself this rant for the seemed sake of argument and reviewed the science that you were so hungry for and THEN posted a much more logical position. I doubt I’ll be back here, so feel free to email me directly at bwylde@homeopathicdoctor.ca. All the best. And stay critical – its in part due to you skeptics that keep everyone accountable! :) (I’m not patronizing when I say that).

    Be well,
    Bryce

    • Steve Thoms says:

      Bryce,

      As for the, ” was particularly aghast to see you say: “I’ll set aside a review of your references for now. However I will respond to the rest of your comment.” part, why were you aghast? You left a colossal list of citations, and it takes time for someone to review the literature. I think that leaving aside the citations (for the moment, as she said) and addressing your argument is a perfectly valid response.

      Also, you didn’t interpret Kim’s response correctly ;) Kim did not suggest that you think homeopathy is a placebo (a strawman argument on your part), but she did accurately point out that knowingly prescribing a placebo is an unethical justification for treatment, contrary to what your original comment seemed to support.

      Allow Kim (and anyone else who’s interested) to review the literature that you provided, then let her respond.

      I hope you reconsider your “I doubt I’ll be back here” stance, as we can try to resolve these public issues in a public manner, where everyone is truly accountable to the brutal meat grinder that is public scrutiny. I’m very glad you took the time to respond in so respectful a manner, so let’s keep the dialogue going.

      Steve

    • Kim Hebert says:

      You’re aghast that I am taking the time to carefully respond to each reference you provided (that you assume I haven’t reviewed)? A thorough response takes time (hence “for now”). Please have patience.

      Disagreement is part of discussion, not a “rant”. Unfortunately, you did not respond to my inquiries regarding the clinical applications/justifications for homeopathy. Are you not interested in discussion on this topic?

      If I have misunderstood you, could you please clarify what you meant by “And I think that placebo IS what it boils down to on the odd occasion whether its homeopathic, herbal, or a conventional antibiotic cream intervention.”?

    • Where I don’t know any great homeopathic remedy for procrastination Kim, you could have saved yourself this rant for the seemed sake of argument and reviewed the science that you were so hungry for and THEN posted a much more logical position.”

      I hear that you can try Lycopodium, Natrum muriaticum, Medorrhinum, or Sulphur. (Link)

  9. Paul says:

    Steve, Bryce will be back, because he won’t be able to resist popping in to see what people are saying about him. Don’t expect him to announce his presence again, though. He has realized that he’s going to run up against people here who won’t be distracted by his winning smile, and are going to demand ACTUAL science from him in support of his claims. Since he has none, he’ll skulk in and out silently, then complain about you elsewhere.

  10. Tyrel Eskelson says:

    Great discussion Kim
    Keep up the hard work

  11. I see that Bryce Wylde is using the same-old same-old chestnut here. Let’s be clear. At this stage, I don’t care about how homoeopathy works. What I care about is that it has not been shown to work. Why would I care about how it works, if -to the best of our current knowledge accumulated over more than 200 years- it does not work in the first place?

    Why would I care about how a unicorn evolved, if there is not the slightest hint of the existence of its existence?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Kim Hebert from Skeptic North takes on Canada AM’s health coverage. [...]

  2. [...] Homeopathy is on the ropes around the world as calls continue to grow for its ejection from all parts of the health care system. Everywhere it seems, but Canada, where the TV show Canada AM  gave a completely credulous forum to a homeopath advocating various “remedies” for first aid. Kim Hebert says more over at Skeptic North. [...]

  3. [...] Hebert did a great post a few weeks ago about a homeopath that advocated homeopathy as first aid treatments.  The homeopath, Bryce Wylde, responded with “21 of his favourite scientific [...]

  4. [...] at SkepticNorth.com and her crack team of skeptical reviewers. When Bryce Wylde responded to an article on Skeptic North with a list of 21 of his “favourite” papers supporting homeopathy, Kim [...]


  • Kim Hebert

    Kim Hébert is an occupational therapist. She is interested in the promotion of science and reason, particularly regarding therapeutic health interventions. She blogs occasionally about occupational therapy and other health topics at Science-Based Therapy. Her hobbies are art and astronomy. **All views expressed by Kim are her personal views alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of current or former employers, associations, or other affiliations. All information is provided for discussion purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for consultation with a licensed and accredited health professional.