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What doesn't kill you ... probably doesn't do much anyway

December 7, 2009 | 10:06 pm

Singer Billy Joel's daughter, Alexa Ray Joel, lit up the blogosphere today after reportedly swallowing eight pills of Traumeel, "distraught over the ending of a recent relationship," according to Us Magazine

Traumeel, marketed as anti-inflammatory medication, contains a mix of herbs and other ingredients in low doses, and can come as a pill or an ointment.

The 23-year-old, who allegedly called 911 in a panic, needn't have worried -- there's no overwhelming proof that the homeopathic alternative to ibuprofen does much of anything

"If it is a homeopathic preparation, that means it is given in very low dose," said Paul Lofholm, a pharmacist based in Marin County. "It’s pretty hard to overdose on any homeopathic drug, because it has such a low potency."

Those of you eyeing your medicine cabinets can breathe easier -- Traumeel probably won't hurt. But it's probably wasting your valuable shelf space.

-- Amina Khan

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Comments (7)

Actually, Traumeel works really well if you have an injury from falling down or bruising. It speeds healing, and takes some of the aches and pains out of the injury. Homeopathic and herbal preparations of arnica (a major component of Traumeel) have a long history of use and effectiveness. Luckily, Ms. Joel didn't pick an allopathic medication, even one as seemingly benign as ibuprofen or aspirin, or her injuries could have been worse.

Good thing she took all those pills. Just imaging the tragedy if she took 1/4 a pill and diluted it with 100 gallons of water and took a drink. She would have been dead for sure.

So does water.

Well played, Amina!

The sooner people realize that homeopathy is a scam, the better off they'll be.

Actually, John in CO, Traumeel doesn't do anything but lighten your pocketbook. Don't argue with me about this. Don't go on about personal anecdotes. Post a link to a single peer reviewed medical journal article showing that it had any effect at all.

No, John. Homoeopathy is pure placebo. Look it up in the science journals.

I wouldn't mind seeing the studies that demonstrate this effectiveness, John.


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