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Naturopathy: Using homeopathic saliva from a rabid dog to cure growling, aggression, and a fear of werewolves

Whenever I think I’ve seen the most ridiculous quackery ever in homeopathy or naturopathy, homeopaths and naturopaths go above and beyond to prove me wrong. This time around, I learn of Lyssinum, a homeopathic remedy claimed to have been made from the saliva of a rabid dog, and how it “cured” a child of his fear of werewolves.

You might be wondering why there was no Insolence here the last couple of days. The reason is simple. I was away at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Given that I’m much more comfortable occasionally letting a couple of days go by without my usual pontifications and brain droppings, I simply didn’t bother to try to blog while I was gone, other than for Monday’s post. I even thought about going one more day without a post. Then I recalled that while I was away an incredible story hit the press, a story that, better than any I can remember in quite some time, illustrates just how ridiculous not just homeopathy is, but naturopathy too. Of course, given that you can’t have naturopathy without homeopathy (or antivax, for that matter) because homeopathy is an integral part of the education and practice of naturopaths, so much so that it is part of the NPLEX, the naturopathic licensing examination), it’s not surprising that a naturopath would believe what must be believed to do what this naturopath did, particularly the use of a homeopathic remedy known as Lyssinum.

Meet Not-A-Doctor Anke Zimmermann, who claims to have cured a restless, growling child with rabid dog spit:

A British Columbia homeopath who boasted of curing a child’s behavioural problems with a remedy made from the saliva of a rabid dog has prompted calls for greater oversight of alternative medicine.

Writing in the “successful clinical cases” section of her blog, Anke Zimmermann of Victoria described treating a four-year-old boy last fall who was restless, aggressive to other children, afraid of werewolves and growled at people.

After hearing the boy had been bitten by a dog at age two, Zimmermann said the prescription was clear.

Googling led to Dr. Jen Gunter, who had taken note of this case before it went international, including this Facebook post:

Yes, amazingly, Not-A-Doctor Zimmermann hasn’t taken her FB post down since she started making the news. It also led me to Zimmermann’s blog post two months ago about under—believe it or not—her “successful cases” section, in which she describes a four-year-old boy with sleep and behavioral problems, including aggression and violence towards classmates and hiding under tables and growling that “improved nicely” with a homeopathic remedy made from the saliva of a rabid dog, Lyssinum. Here’s the history:

Jonah, a nearly 5-year-old boy, was brought in because of sleep and behavioural problems on October 6, 2017.

“It takes him 2-3 hours to fall asleep at night. He is restless and irritable and thrashes around in bed. It’s a battle every night and has been for the past 3 years”, his mother reported.

“We go through the same routine every evening, bath, brushing teeth, stories, bed at 7:30 – 7:45, but he’s still up by 9:30 – 10 pm, flipping around, blankets everywhere. Then he is so tired on waking the next day.”

I ask him why he can’t sleep and he tells me: “I’m afraid there are wolves outside, werewolves.”

“Yes, he’s been complaining about this for the last six months and wants the curtains drawn real tight every night because of that.”


There are problems with his behaviour. His preschool is complaining that he hides under tables and growls at people. Apparently this can happen several times a day. The teachers think he may have Oppositional Defiant Disorder because he is defiant and also has trouble focusing. At home the parents are using de-escalation techniques to help him cope but the school is not as proficient at this.

The parents can’t take him to birthday parties or go out with him because he gets too excited and becomes hard to control.

At this point I asked his mother if Jonah had ever been bitten by a dog. Indeed, the answer was yes, he was bitten by a dog on a beach when he was two years old. The dog accidentally bit his hand because he wanted the food Jonah had. The bite broke the skin slightly.

“How do you feel about dogs now?” I ask him. “They growl”, he answers.

His mother tells me that he has been growling for about 1.5-2 years now. It has been an issue at his preschool since that time.

“How do you feel when you growl?”

“Like there is a tornado inside me. My spirit is a hurricane!”

So let’s see. What would a real doctor think if a boy with these symptoms and issues were brought into her office for evaluation? Certainly, these are potentially difficult behavioral issues that could lead to problems in the future. The child would likely benefit from counseling, therapy, and possibly pharmaceutical intervention, depending on what the workup showed. In any case, a workup would need to be done, a full history and physical examination, and possibly some diagnostic tests, after which a diagnosis would likely be made.

Of course, this is a naturopath who likes to practice homeopathy, not anything resembling a real doctor. So instead we get this:

This is a 4-year-old boy who is suffering from an inability to fall asleep at night, a fear of the dark, of wolves, werewolves, ghosts and zombies and who frequently hides under tables and growls at people. He is overly excitable and has a tendency to defiance. He was normal as a baby, not affected by sleep or temper problems.

There is a history of a dog bit which drew blood. I decided to give a homeopathic remedy made from rabies.

The dog that 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 in homeopathy.

The wag in me can’t help but wonder how, given all the antivaccine nonsense I see on Not-A-Doctor Zimmermann’s website, how she would think that vaccines would do anything. On the other hand, given that she is antivaccine, I suppose it’s not surprising that she might think that the rabies vaccine would somehow imbue the dog that bit the child with rabid behavioral characteristics. It’s ridiculous, of course, but then so is homeopathy.

But what is rabies miasm? At first, I was a bit confused and assumed that Not-A-Doctor Zimmermann was referring to miasma theory. You might recall that miasma theory was an old medical notion that predated germ theory and purported to explain why diseases were communicable. After all, even before scientists knew anything about bacteria or viruses, it was obvious that certain diseases appeared to be communicated from one person to another. Miasma theory postulated that such diseases were caused by a miasma (μίασμα, ancient Greek: “pollution”), a form of “bad air.” Homeopaths, however, appear to have a different definition of “miasma,” though. For instance, this veterinary homeopathy (yes, unfortunately they exist) describes miasma as “when the body/mind/emotions of an individual manifest signs of the disease without actually having the disease.”

The National Center for Homeopathy quotes the originator of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann, as saying, “Chronic diseases arise from dynamic infection by a chronic miasm.” That, of course, doesn’t help, but miasms are actually a cornerstone of homeopathy:

A shorthand definition of a miasm is that it is a force within a person or an animal, creating a predisposition to certain kinds of illness. The miasm defines our susceptibility. Long before modern science identified genetically-linked diseases, Hahnemann noted that certain families tended to develop certain illnesses. Moreover, he observed that certain illnesses were related to each other, so that even if family members did not mimic each other’s diseases exactly, their illnesses shared similar characteristics and patterns. He also noticed that some diseases, even if “cured” by medicines and other treatments, left people ever after vulnerable to particular clusters of afflictions—families of ailments that, while seemingly unrelated, could be traced to a common root in that “cured” disease. These observations led to his understanding of the miasms, the forces that create particular disease characteristics.

Hahnemann described three miasms, psora, syphilis, and sycosis, and his disciples described two more, tubercular and cancer miasms. Now, here’s where it gets even more ridiculous. Miasms are named for diseases, but bear only a “loose relationship” to the diseases for which they are named. Even more bizarre, homeopaths say that miasms do not predict the disease. To show you how utterly divorced from logic, medicine, and science the concept of miasms is, I think it worth citing this rather long passage in full:

For those who are under homeopathic treatment, it is important to remember that having a particular miasm does not predict that you will develop any particular disease. It may be frightening, for instance, to be told that you harbor the cancer miasm, until you understand that this is merely a name and not a reflection of any predisposition to that disease. Miasms are named for diseases from which they originated and with which they share some characteristics, but they are not the disease itself.

Moreover, having a particular miasm does not mean that you have ever had the disease associated with it. Few people today, for instance, have had active syphilis, but the syphilitic miasm is very common in our population. This is because the miasm can be established in the ways I described above. The syphilitic miasm can appear in someone who has an ancestor who suffered from syphilis, or an ancestor who was treated for another disease in the same way as syphilis was treated at the time, or an ancestor who was married to someone with those experiences. It has no moral meaning and no implications about the individual person.

To confuse matters further, every miasm can create susceptibility to any disease. Miasms express themselves not in the identity of the disease but in its characteristics. Cancer, for instance, comes in many different forms; it can be slow-growing or aggressive, it can be combined with a vast variety of other complaints, and it can affect any part of the body. Any miasm can produce cancer, and only the individualizing characteristics of the particular case can express the miasmatic basis for the disease in that person.

Got that? Not only do miasms not predict that any given individual will develop any given disease. You can acquire them from an ancestor who had the disease or was treated for another disease in a manner similar to how that disease is treated, or an ancestor who was married to someone with the disease. Moreover, any miasm can create susceptibility to any disease! And here I had thought that the ideas that you treat symptoms by using something that causes those symptoms and that you make a homeopathic remedy stronger by serially diluting it away to nothing. Indeed, I’ve referred to how homeopathy is based on magic, citing Sir James George Frazer’s Law of Similarity as described in The Golden Bough (1922) as one of the implicit principles of magic. If anything, though, miasms are clearly representative of another law of magic, the Law of Contagion, which is basically what homeopaths are invoking when they claim that water has “memory” of what it’s been in contact with. Basically, miasms are the Law of Contagion put on massive doses of steroids, so that even ancestors who lived decades or longer ago can have bestowed on you a miasm without even having to have transmitted it through inheritance. Of course, homeopaths make miasms sound so very, very complicated, such that you can’t just learn how to treat them in a book. Amusingly, even though they can’t seem to tell you how any given miasm (if you even accept that miasms exist, which you should not) will produce any given disease, they invoke miasms as a reason why home homeopathic treatment might not work and why you should consult “an experienced professional who “can set things right by identifying the miasmatic basis of the problem and finding an appropriate remedy.”

In the case of dogs and the rabies vaccine, it’s a common claim among homeopaths who treat animals that rabies vaccines cause aggression in dogs, even though there is no evidence to support that claim, and that the rabies miasm, transmitted from the rabies vaccine, causes that aggression.

So that’s the background of Not-A-Doctor Zimmermann’s conclusion that this child must have rabies miasm:

A bite from an animal, with or without rabies vaccination has the potential to imprint an altered state in the person who was bitten, in some ways similar to a rabies infection. This can include over-excitability, difficulties sleeping, aggression and various fears, especially of dogs or wolves. This child presented a perfect picture of this type of rabies state. Most homeopaths would have easily recognized the remedy required in this case.

Plan: Lyssinum 200CH, 2 pellets. (Please note, this is a homeopathic remedy, prepared by a licensed homeopathic pharmacy in the UK, Helios Homeopathy.)

Yes, Helios does claim to make Lyssinum 200C.

Not surprisingly, what people have been focusing on in this story is whether or not the Lyssinum really did come from saliva from a rabid dog. If we’re to believe homeopaths, the first saliva obtained was in 1833 by C. Hering. Of course, a 200C dilution is the equivalent to a 10-400 dilution, and the estimated number of atoms in the known universe is only on the order of 1080, which means that it’s incredibly unlikely that, even if the starting material were saliva from a rabid dog, there would be one molecule of starting material, much less one virus particle left. But who knows? Actually, who knows what homeopaths are actually using? Maybe some homeopath decades ago managed to get some saliva from a rabid dog without getting bit and infected, or maybe the origin of the starting material used to make Lyssinum is lost in the mists of time and just assumed to have come from a rabid dog. Also, either way, even if it would be incredibly unlikely for any virus particles to survive dilution many orders of magnitude greater than the number of atoms in the known universe, if the starting material really was saliva from a rabid dog, the workers making the homeopathic remedies would be at risk for contracting a disease that is almost always fatal if not treated early. Also, homeopaths are just nutty enough to have actually used such saliva, though. After all, there were homeopaths trying to use Ebola virus as a starting material to treat bleeding.

Now here’s the amazing thing. Health Canada has approved Lyssin as a natural health product The online database entry for Lyssin even says, quite unremarkably, that the source material is the saliva of a rabid dog or, for those in Quebec, “salive d’un chien atteint de la rage.” Lest you think that you can make fun of those wacky Canadians for having approved this nonsense, be aware that the source cited by the Canadian entry is the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of United States. You might recall that, when Congress passed the Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act in 1938, its principle author was Senator Royal Copeland. Copeland, it turns out, was physician who practiced homeopathy. In passing the law, he managed to include all articles monographed in the HPUS in the definition of drugs within the FDCA. As Jann Bellamy puts it, the HPUS is a “source for monographs, identity, methods of manufacture, standards and controls and potency levels of homeopathic products, both prescription and OTC” and “if the product is in the HPUS, it’s legal.” Yep, we have Lyssin in the US too, and veterinary homeopaths claim to be able use it as a nosode to protect against rabies. I kid you not.

For her part, Not-A-Doctor Zimmermann seems to be loving the attention:



More exposure for homeopathy? I suppose so, but the exposure for homeopathy is a mix of horror at the stupidity and mockery of the stupidity. Not-A-Doctor Zimmermann also claims that the ends justify the means, that her treatment “worked.” Of course, if you read the account it’s not at all good evidence that the homeopathic Lyssinum “worked.” Basically, his growling and aggressive behavior, according to his mother, has been in essence waxing and waning. For instance, his mother reported three months after initiation of homeopathic treatment:

“There have been pretty big improvements”, his mother reported. “The fears of wolves and werewolves is completely gone, now he is complaining more about the dark and cracks in a dresser. His sleep has been great, but the last two weeks he seems a bit more unsettled. Things at school calmed down but for the past two weeks or so he is more aggressive again with kids there and is hitting and kicking. The school connected us with a special ed coordinator.”
“Not much growling at all, only once last week. Before he did it every day to alternate days and it would stay like that. We would tell him to stop growling but he would not stop. He’d also refuse to talk and just growl.”

“He stopped hiding under the tables at school, but that also has just come back a bit and the teachers are worried again.”

“He’s still pretending to be a puppy dog. Last night he wanted belly rubs. He just loves dogs. The only time I see him really give affection is when he is with a dog.”

In fairness, the most recent report was that he is doing better and is not currently aggressive. Zimmermann notes that “children usually need several doses of the correct remedy over a period of months to years to completely recover,” which is awfully convenient, given that development and maturity alone can account for much improvement. Also, any increase in the behavior would provoke another dose of Lyssinum, after which regression to the mean and confirmation bias would lead the mother to believe that the treatment worked. As for the fear of werewolves, did it ever occur to Not-A-Doctor Zimmermann to ask the child if he had seen werewolves in a movie? Seeing too scary a movie at that age can lead to nightmares and fears that can last a long time.

Hilariously, after the controversy erupted, Zimmermann added this to her blog post:

This blog post has generated some controversy and should be understood in the greater context of homeopathy and as part of my entire website. It is meant for educational purposes and not intended as advise or treatment. Interested parties should consult with a professional homeopath in their area or with another health care provider as needed.

Ah, yes, a variant of the quack Miranda warning! Of course!

I said at the beginning that this case demonstrates the utter ridiculousness of both homeopathy and naturopathy. Coming to the end of the tale, I now realize that that was an understatement. It will be of great interest to see what Health Canada does as a result of this case. Whatever it ends up doing, it won’t change the utter pseudoscience and mystical BS that is at the heart of both naturopathy and homeopathy.

It’s delicious that this incident occurred during Homeopathy Awareness Week, too.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

81 replies on “Naturopathy: Using homeopathic saliva from a rabid dog to cure growling, aggression, and a fear of werewolves”

Next up: A homeopathic dilution of venom from a radioactive spider cures wall-climbing and crime-fighting.

I wish that were possible, but Not-A-Doctor Zimmermann’s post dates back to mid-February, and the story wasn’t noticed until two weeks after April Fools Day.

ZOMG what passes for case histories on her website. That rabbit hole was an interesting, horrifying/amusing (horramusing?) window into the naturopathic thought process.

One of her CEASE therapy “vaccine injury” cases was treated with Tuberculinium, among other things. She explains it in terms of homeopathic constitution and later reveals that the patient’s grandsire received a BCG vaccine, creating the miasm… and the vaccine injury. She then speculates about epigenetics (surprisingly, with no mention of quantum anything). I’m no more clear on what distinguishes miasm from constitution after reading her posts, but think she may be using the terms interchangeably. Plus it’s always the vaccines.

Unless its the antibiotics. Do read that cringe-worthy case, too.

I also noticed that parents seeking treatment for their children’s ASD were already, if she’s to be believed, committed curebies. And she may be using MMS, if her glowing report of intestinal worms is any indication.

That’s the newest antivaccine “argument”, or “hypothesis” if you prefer.
You know how antivaxxers were adamant that vaccines caused autism? And that several completely unvaccinated children are autistic? To explain that, the claim was made that the vaccines the parents received were what caused the unvaccinated child’s autism. It’s since been expanded. It’s complete rubbish, but the antivaxx ideology insists on it.

This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “hair of the dog that bit you.”

I’m always concerned with what a child is being exposed to on TV/Internet when they come in this young with these fears. It’s not like the concept of a werewolf just pops into their mind de novo.

Zimmerman’s claim are utter nonsense. Additionally, I sure as heck wouldn’t trust homeopaths with a solution made from a rabid dog when they can’t handle their dilutions correctly for belladonna in their bogus teething tablets.

Not-a-doc Zimmerman should be required to greet her marks wearing a black pointy hat have them watch her mix her snake oil in a bubbling cauldron whilst muttering moronic incantations. That would be a cure for the swindling she does.

Yes, I was wondering throughout how this child even knew about werewolves and such? Any questions should have gone to the parents about media exposure.

Still, it is concerning that homeopathy is so widely misunderstood that anyone would be concerned about the source of the “remedy “–unless the concern is to be certain that is really has been “properly” diluted.

That was my thought. Did the child see a werewolf movie (or the bloody parts of one) inadvertently and get so scared that it traumatized him? I know from a child I’ve known that even being chased by a dog, not even necessarily being bit, can directly lead to a phobia of dogs in young children. Also, what’s the big deal about a child getting under the table and pretending to be a dog? It could just be a very active imagination. The whole “case history” stinks.

In a different world, the cure for her swindling would be to shove her face first into that bubbling cauldron of snake oil. But then I am not always so forgiving.

The really, really sad part of all this is that a little boy who apparently needs helps from a qualified professional is not going to get it because his parents are idiots.

What quackery!

This child obviously needed the services of a qualified exorcist.

Ironically, had the child’s parents had tried to go to the local Roman Catholic diocese and asked for an exorcist, they would most likely have told her to have her child examined by qualified medical professionals first, to rule out the possibility of mental or physical illness, with which demonic possession is frequently confounded:

It is advisable that every diocese establish a protocol to respond to inquiries made by the faithful who claim to be demonically afflicted. As part of the protocol, an assessment should occur to determine the true state of the person.Only after a thorough examination including medical, psychological, and psychiatric testing might the person be referred to the exorcist for a final determination regarding demonic possession. To be clear, the actual determination of whether a member of the faithful is genuinely possessed by the devil is made by the Church, even if individuals claim to be possessed through their own self-diagnosis or psychosis.


They would have likely wound up getting proper medical treatment instead if they tried to do that!

My thoughts about the kid’s phobias were that at least in that regard, the kid was within the normal range, especially if he had been exposed to scary movies at too young an age, and especially since this kid suffered a dog bite at the age of two. The latter makes his fears of dogs and dog-like animals quite rational, and would contribute to his fear that it was a werewolf rather than a dog that bit him.

The difficulty falling asleep part of his history is also something that comes with kids that age, though usually not to the extent of this case. Recall that Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes, who is a bit older than this kid, had similar issues, to the point that one of the Calvin and Hobbes anthologies is actually called Something Under the Bed Is Drooling.

True, his growling and hiding under tables are not normal behaviors. But those, too, may have been acquired from seeing scary movies.

I wonder whether referral to special ed would come with the counseling the child needs.

Would some of the boy’s changes in behavior be attributable to placebo effects? He’s likely to be old enough to understand what what he’s given is supposed to do?

A young child that loves dogs and acts like a dog. Let me show you my surprised face. I spent a large part of my pre-school years pretending to be a cowboy, it’s what children with healthy imaginations used to do. Now I guess it is a sign of some mental illness.

I was relieved to see the dilution level precluded the chance of infecting anyone with rabies, until I remembered a couple years back and the belladonna teething medication with toxic levels of belladonna in it. Naturopath quality control is as big a joke as their medical theory. I’ve only seen one case of rabies in a human in my life, and that sucked badly enough that I would not wish it on my worst enemy, much less a child.

I used to pretend I was a dinosaur. One of my pre-mammalian ancestors must have been bitten back in the mists of time.

I used to play with my mum pretending I was a cat. Curiously, instead of freaking out mum pretended to feed me imaginary sardines.

Maybe they were homeopatic enough, because when I got older I stopped. 😉

And to think I pass by Not-A-Doc Zimmerman’s office everyday on my way to work and the cure for Werewolfism has been there the whole time!
I watched enough Buffy The Vampire Slayer as a teenager to prepare me for this exact moment. ???

I thought the cure for Lycanthropy (being a Werewolf) was a silver bullet….. Where is the Lone ranger when you need him???

When we get home, she’s three floors straight down. But she’s also moving to Sooke soon. Who says things don’t get better?

I’m heartened to see the comments on the WaPo article are nearly all incredulous that anyone would buy into this nonsense. What is most frightening about this case is that the parents wouldn’t take their son who was obviously suffering to medical professionals.

I’m thinking that I could use a dose of homeopathic sloth saliva.

BTW, what 4 year old child says something like this?

“Like there is a tornado inside me. My spirit is a hurricane!”

My response to homeopathy is usually, to quote Douglas Adams, “mostly harmless.” I am thinking I will need to revise that a bit. The idea of willingly exposing my child to rabies, even in a (hopefully) vastly cosmically diluted form is absolutely nauseating.

I am confused, which is not surprising. I thought I was roughly familiar with the way homeopathy was supposed to work, but had forgotten the details of “provings.” I thought they used stronger concentrations of the substance being tested and then this was diluted to the working solutions. Poor, ignorant, silly, senile me.The proving solution starts off at about 30C! I guess this is consistent with the idea that the greater dilutions are stronger or more potent. Doesn’t that imply that to have a milder, non-symptomatic effect, dilutions should be more concentrated, not less? The whole idea makes quantum mechanics look like child’s play.

I need a double of either bourbon or espresso to help with this.

You, sir, are a blasphemer whose taste buds have been damaged by drinking formaldehyde! A good bourbon should be sipped and only diluted with some water (soda water or seltzer are acceptable). A good espresso should be sipped, too, although a so-called Americano is also acceptable. Mixing these two or having them too proximate in time ruins the quality of both. Have you no shame?

Let me introduce project number 4: a distillery. Sad detail is that I’ll be near retirement when I’ll be able to ship an excellent batch.


I expect that you combine this with the Data Enrichment Method (explained in a long-ago issue of the Journal of Irreproducible Results). If a 30C dilution cures the condition, then obviously a higher dilution would have cured it as well.

The Data Enrichment Method is obviously a joke. I’m not so sure that this application of the method is a joke.

Bourbon is okay if you’re only using it for medicinal purposes. For any other less urgent need it should be replaced with Gentleman Jack,
As for coffee, there’s a placebo effect . Everyone thinks that a dark roast has more caffeine because of the stronger flavor, but dark roasts and light roasts actually have very similar caffeine levels. That said, if you measure your ground coffee by volume or scoops, light roasts have more, but if you measure it out by weight then dark roasts win out, but the difference is effectively minimal.

Before I read the rest of this article, I have to say that I had three children, and took care of several grandchildren and none of them, at age 4, would have responded to “How do you feel when you growl,” with “Like there is a tornado inside me. My spirit is a hurricane!”

My SPIRIT is a HURRICANE? Oh….no adult influence there at all. Now, I’ll go pick up my eyes from where they rolled, and read the rest of the article.

Just be thankful it wasn’t an Arctic Blizzard. That’s when this sh*t gets real.

I missed that the first time through, but yes, there’s something amiss about that. You do sometimes get hurricanes in Nova Scotia and tornadoes in the prairie provinces. But this kid is supposedly from Victoria, BC. If he knows anything about tornadoes it’s probably on the level of The Wizard of Oz, and how would he know enough about hurricanes to compare his spirit to one?

Someone in the comment section of an Ars Technica article on this topic pointed another angle of this story:

Here is someone pretending to be a real doctor who sees a child, concludes that his symptoms are somehow similar to those of an active case of rabies, and then decides to prescribe an useless nostrum.
Had it be a real case of rabies, the child would likely have died, and may also have infected other people before his demise.

True, depending on where the child is living, rabies may be rather unlikely. But one can wonder how this ND would have reacted to a real case of rabies. Just a more severe case of ghostly rabies-vaccine injury, here is more dog saliva?
Could thinking of imaginary horses gets in the way of noticing that, for once, the source of these hoof-beats was a real zebra?

Actually, this dog saliva nostrum is given as anti-rabies preventative and treatment, it’s one of these famous homeopathic nosodes. So I guess that yes, prescribing this hydrophobinum is precisely that this NDs would do.
(given? I meant sold, of course)

I’d read somewhere that these were homeopathic “vaccines”.

Yep. They call them “nosodes”. Advertised as being as efficacious and safer than real vaccines.

Treats “excessive sexual excitement”? Who would want to cure that?
(And who decides what’s excessive?)

Using metaphors and simile is not exactly average for a preschool child: they’re examples of abstraction which comes much later – if at all. Sounds more like parental exaggeration to me.

Also: I think too much evening television shows about werewolves etc.

Health Canada register individual products, not ingredients. Helios Lyssinum is not registered – other manufacturers’ products are. Whilst personal importation is permitted, commercial importation isn’t. It’s not, per se, illegal for Helios to have exported the product (although regulations aren’t totally clear).

Potentially Zimmerman could face legal and regulatory action. Zimmerman offers the bogus CEASE therapy – as do other Canadian naturopaths/homeopaths. The homeopathic medicines this typically involves do not seem to be registered.

British Columbia has very lax regulation of naturopathy – eg it allows chelation. There really needs to a legal challenge to scope of practice BC government granted naturopathy.

Am working on this. blog mentions it.

I just looked over the OP again: wow, this is an insane story! SRSLY

I wonder what Orac has in store for us tomorrow on 420**

Oddly enough ( or not) the loons I survey are particularly nuts today (,

** you know, pot, Columbine, Hitler’s birthday, student protests.

My guess would have involved the medicinal use (whether or not data actually support such use) of a certain herb which has been the subject of much anti-drug propaganda. The other stuff may involve peripheral interests of our host, but square grouper fall well within his main interest of medical pseudoscience.

OK, as a Canadian I have as much trouble understanding the economics of this story as I do the pseudoscience. Although conventional medical care isn’t mentioned as an option pursued, this family lives in the 15th largest metro area in the country, and it is replete with family physicians and pediatricians because it is such a fantastic city. So why would they pay for ineffective (and possibly risky) care from an ND with cold, hard-earned Loonies out of their own pockets rather than seek effective help that they’re entitled to by paying their taxes?

While I liked sirhcton’s suggestion of a double bourbon or espresso to aid in understanding, I think I need a few liters of Crown Royal for this to make any sense…

Best guess? They were either 1) told to try behavioral interventions, when what they wanted was a magical pill that would make everything better with no effort in their part or 2) medication was suggested and they freaked at the potential side effects.

This idiot tablet keeps closing the tab when I try to submit a comment, so rather than reconstructing the one I just lost, I’m just going to suggest that Zimmermann seems not to have arsed her way through the Organon itself.

In addition, there are homeopathic “remedies” called Thallium metallicum (for alopecia !), Plumbum metallicum and Hydargurum metallicum (a.k.a. Mercurius vivus or Mercurius solubilis Hahnemanni). Homeopaths truly love toxic metals !

A comment about quantum entanglement. It works if you are a photon, otherwise you are out of fun. Experiments involve diffraction. Photons are diffracted by slits, electrons by atoms and neutrons by nuclei. Diffracting biomolecules (thousand times heavier than neutron) would require a particle thousand times smaller than nucleus.
Another problem is that quantum entanglement ends when a particle interacts with another. Detectors always see a pointlike photon. Dilution is intaction of particles.

OK, I exxagerated. El.ectrons have a little fun, too. Actually, your fun depends on your mass

I can see how what passes for logic among practitioners of homeopathy would lead to the first of those three being prescribed for that condition: since macroscopic amounts of it cause hair loss[1], homeopathic amounts would supposedly prevent hair loss. I haven’t a clue what the other two (lead and mercury, for those whose Latin may be a bit rusty) might be used for.

[1]Legend has it that one of the CIA’s supposedly never-implemented plans for overthrowing Fidel Castro involved planting thallium salts at one of Castro’s favorite diving sites, causing him to lose support as his beard fell out. I have no way of knowing whether the plan was 86’ed due to its obvious ridiculousness, or whether they actually did try this and it didn’t work.

Thallium salts were used for rat poison and for murdering people. (Nowadays you would get caught). Agatha Christie wrote mystery “The Pale Horse” about topic.

Agatha Christie knew here poisons. She worked in a pharmacy for a while. There is an interesting book about the poisons she used in her stories:
A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie by Kathryn Harkup

This child sounds like…a four year old child. Four year olds can be little #$%holes. I was afraid of dogs at that age too. It’s not uncommon. Jesus, these people.

I am 100% certain there is no naturopath, anywhere, who is risking his/her life collecting rabid dog saliva to dilute into a cure for the masses. This is most likely tap water.

People really will believe anything, won’t they?


My niece used to growl and pretend to be a dog, barking and all. She loved dogs and wanted one.

It was a phase. She grew out of it after a few months because we ignored it.

The school behavior is an issue, but not that uncommon in kids that age. I’d want to see testing and followup before a diagnosis even of Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

1) The kid was probably traumatized by their experience being bitten by a dog at age 2.

2) The traumatic experience may have been reinforced by seeing werewolf movies etc.

3) Some of the kid’s acting-out signs in school are not typical of imagination; consult a child psychiatrist.

4) Even with dilutions & succussions (sp?) beyond Avogadro’s number, can the makers of this quack BS be certain that not even a single virion slipped through the process intact? How many virions does it take to transmit rabies?

5) How is it not child abuse to expose a kid to that risk?

6) What can we in the US (and y’all in Canada) do to make this stuff illegal ASAP?

The so called science medicine today started and was established via usage of herbs, plants, venoms, bacteria DNA, etc. in anything until today. Majority of antibiotics came from those of bacterial DNA. So the so-called science based medicine today IS A HYPOCRITE on insulting naturopathic physicians. Science-based medicine has killed thousands in their endless long study experimentations that DID NOT CURE ONE but killed the patients later. So many cancer patients go through several types of experimental chemotherapy and then just die later. The LORD WILL CONFOUND your wisdom for being haughty!

There isn’t anyplace in scripture where the Lord said go ahead and inoculate kids with rabies.

Antibiotics dont came from “bacterial DNA”. Herbs have pharmaceutical substances, but these md ust be purified. “I can kill people because others do” is psychopathic thinking. Only numan nazis do human experiments. I think God would dislike more a snake oil salesman.

The LORD WILL CONFOUND your wisdom for being haughty!

You really need a better dictionary.

The Twatter feed is really something to behold, if one is feeling an excess of neurons.

My neurons serve a purpose but I’d admit that I tried looking it up. Alas, I’m not on twatter.


Alas, I’m not on twatter.

Just click on her ‘nym, and you’ll get the general flavor.

Daryll Rowe, the 27-year-old British hairdresser from Edinburgh who intentionally infected five men with HIV, was given a life sentence on Wednesday after being found guilty on five counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Rowe was diagnosed with HIV in 2015 but refused treatment, saying he believed drinking his own urine and taking nutritional supplements would cure him of the disease.

Not-a-Doc Z actively promotes her practice to the autism community in Victoria, and based on the behaviours described autism may well be the case with that child. Not only is it quackery, it is also unconscionable, preying on and exploiting frightened, tired and grieving parents desperate for a ‘cure’.

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