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Homeopathic Remedies Recalled Because They May Contain Some Actual Medicine

More than 50 products were recalled by US homeopathic remedy maker Terra-Medica after it was found they may contain penicillin.

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When is homeopathic medicine deemed unsafe for public consumption? When it contains traces of real medicine.

Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that homeopathic remedy maker Terra-Medica has voluntarily recalled 56 lines of its products, including the exotically named Pleo-FORT, Pleo-NOTA-QUENT and Pleo-EX, because they "have the potential to contain penicillin or derivatives of penicillin, which may be produced during the fermentation process".

The FDA says this is dangerous because consumers who are allergic to penicillin would not be warned of its presence, and could lead to "a range of allergic reactions from mild rashes to severe and life-threatening anaphylactic reactions".

Homeopaths use highly diluted solutions of natural substances to "trigger the body's natural healing process". Terra-Medical claims its treatments can relive inflammations, combat infection, help with stress and the common cold, among several other things.

There have been no reports of people suffering any such reactions so far, the company says. We have contacted Terra-Medica for comment and will update should we receive any.

So a company that makes homeopathic remedies - which despite widespread usage are little more than placebos - is withdrawing products because they inadvertantly contain real drugs.

terra-medica.com

The US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine says: "There is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition."

In 2010 the UK's House of Commons concluded that homeopathic treatments were effectively placebos and shouldn't be funded on the NHS.

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