This is one of the most insane “alternative medicine” stories I’ve seen in my life.
A Canadian naturopath apparently used a homeopathic “remedy” made from the saliva of a rabid dog to treat a four-year-old boy’s sleep and behavior problems.
So-called “doctor” Anke Zimmermann, a naturopath who’s been in “clinical practice” for 26 years, admitted in a blog post to using the rabid dog saliva derivative on the young boy. (The post has since been revised but the original can be found here.) Her “logic,” if you can call it that, was that the rabies-based “medicine” would work because the boy would sometimes growl at people.
There is a history of a dog bit[e] which drew blood. I decided to give a homeopathic remedy made from rabies.
The dog who bit him may have recently been vaccinated with the rabies vaccine or the dog bite in and of itself may have affected the boy with the rabies miasm. Either is possible and the phenomenon is welll-known [sic] in homeopathy.
An animal bite, especially one who may have a history of rabies or rabies vaccination may imprint a rabies type of state which can include over-excitability, difficulties sleeping, aggression and various fears, especially of dogs or wolves. This child presented a perfect picture of the rabies state.
What stands out to me about this doctor — aside from the typos — is the confidence with which she writes about complete nonsense. No, bites from dogs that don’t have rabies can’t cause a “rabies state,” and this boy did not have rabies. In fact, he had been diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder.
Her remedy, however, isn’t too surprising since it fits right in with the ridiculous notion that like always cures like, and that undetectable traces of medicine are stored in the “memory” of water.
But this is dangerous. It needs to be called out.
While homeopathy’s watered-down treatments are typically only deadly when people use them exclusively and avoid actual medicine, this particular case could be dangerous regardless, because the product, known as lyssin, isn’t meant for children and it’s unclear what effect it might have on them. The testing hasn’t been done because… why would it?
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said she will be writing to Health Canada to protest its approval of a treatment known as lyssinum after reading a blog post written by naturopath Anke Zimmermann of Victoria.
Henry wasn’t aware of the substance before reading Zimmermann’s post, but said she has already expressed concerns to the federal government about the regulation of homeopathic products.
“I will be writing to Health Canada about this preparation again,” Henry told CBC News. “There’s no way I can understand why we would have anything that was meant to be saliva of a rabid dog approved for use in this country.”
I couldn’t agree more. This isn’t just a sugar pill for an earache; this is a dangerous disease that inexperienced people are administering to kids in lieu of actual medicine.
Canadian officials should realize the error and potential for harm and take this fake medicine — along with other clinically unproven “remedies” — off the shelves.
(Image via Shutterstock)