Naturopaths love those few “remedies” they have that get some results; Zicam was one of them. It works by drying out the sinus mucosa which reduces congestion, coughing, etc. Unfortunately, it also has the potential to result in permanent loss of smell. This has also been KNOWN since 2003 and it is not the same as a “side effect” as one would commonly think of it. This is permanent nerve damage as a result of a “remedy” not having a proper regulation and reporting during a highly controlled prescription phase. The FDA finally did something 6 years later. Some presription medications are trials for broader release (Loratadine) which allows for a far better reporting of problems. “Natural” substances require no such regulatiory phase prior to being available over-the-counter.
Other “natural” remedies which are dangerous include:
- Menopause “remedies” such as soy, ginseng, thyme, and liquorice can promote tumor proliferation
- Tea tree oil (look at this list of supposed uses!) even though there is nearly no evidence to support the claims other than its usefulness as an antiseptic. “Boosting” the immune system is similarly something you never want to do. Either one’s immune system functions properly, or it does not. One does not want an overactive immune system.
- Capsicum for hemeroids? I’m just a stupid Cajun, but I know what hemeroids are, and I know what capsicum does… This just doesn’t sound fun.
People, seriously, at least investigate the crap naturopaths and other quacks push. Read about the ingredients in medications you are considering. No matter how corrupt you might think the pharmaceutical industry actually is, it’s better than most of this shit.