As it is still British Homeopathy Awareness Week, and as I genuinely do want to become more
wary aware, I’ve conducted a little more web-searching to see what is going on in terms of wariness awareness-raising. Aside from the fallacious resort to celebrity name-dropping (also picked up on elsewhere), I still cannot find much underway in Britain. Which ought to please – although I’m sure plenty of them are likely up to their soothing ways. Wonder how much arnica they’re shifting.
However, searching also brings up links to last April’s World HAW, the theme of which – infertility – I found perplexing and somewhat disturbing. And, continuing back down that path, my search brought forth this company‘s ‘Natural Remedies’, offering a whole range of stuff, including under the sub-heading ‘Conception’:
‘Homeopathic fertility treatment for healthy conception and free advice on conceiving’
Two products feature here, named: Conception Flower Essence and Bringforth Life Flower Essence. If I click on the link for details of the former, its dedicated page is headed:
‘Homeopathic remedies and flower essences for conception’
We’re informed that this product, now fully named Conception Flower and Gem Essence, ‘Prepares the Mind and Body for New Life’. Hmmm. Reads like wonderful stuff. As I’m thinking, ‘What’s in it?’ they’ve read my mind. Scrolling down under ‘ What is NaturalEco Conception Essence?’, I see that:
‘ Conception Essence is a unique combination of flower and gem essences in pure, undiluted stock strength.’ (My emphasis in bold.)
You spot the paradox? Homeopathic? Undiluted? Could it be that I’ve been misunderstanding something about homeopathy all along? Well, being genuinely confused, I decided to make use of the site’s ‘ask us’ page, and rattled off the following:
I am interested in acquiring further information for your ‘Conception Flower Essence’ and ‘Bringforth Life Flower Essence’ products.
I am unclear as to whether either or both of these is a homeopathic product. If so, could you comment on their potency: ie on the C dilution of their respective ingredients?
Which I think is fair enough. Actually, the Bringforth Life Flower Essence dedicated page is headed:
‘Herbal remedies for infertility and flower and gem essences for healthy conception’
and as this one is also filed under ‘ – Conception Difficult’, as distinct from ‘ – Conception Typical’, it could be that it does possess some oomph in actually having stuff in it, whereas the ‘Typical’ product doesn’t need any, relying merely on homeopathic ‘memory’ of listed ingredients. (If so, I wonder whether it thus comes with instructions to succuss before use.) But this would seemingly contradict ‘undiluted stock strength.’
technical ignorance experience, I do not always get replies to messages sent via website e-mail facilities. So, having not received a response, I don’t know whether my message got there or not. As such, the stipulated 48 hours response time having elapsed, I can but only take the website at its words. So, let’s have a look at some of those words…
I’ll just focus on the Conception Flower and Gem Essence, as that is the one less ambiguously listed under ‘homeopathic’. Whatever, it sure reads like a powerful cocktail. And after all, plenty of plant products do have very tangible effects, including alleviation of stress and anxiety (or so I gather, for some people). And stress and anxiety may well interfere with the body’s procreative functions from time to time. But can the ingredients listed here alleviate such problems? The marketing language at work assures us so.
For example, we learn that Pomegranate ‘contains harmonizing qualities which bring clarity of thought and emotion’. Wild Iris opens ‘the creative channels… freeing the individual of self-doubt and wariness of their creative potential.’ (Wariness? Hey – perhaps this is what I need.) Think what could be achieved; plus it reads as though life is rendered one long party: it ‘raises the feelings of joyful anticipation and deep connection with the universe.’ Wow – a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Amsterdam with a crate of this stuff!
But Flowering Cherry Essence makes me (even more, if that’s possible) incredulous: it ‘brings out the gentle nature of the soul.’ Ahh, you see, it won’t do you any good unless you believe you have a soul. This is not the only example of religious-lite language here. Not dissimilarly, Pink Camellia Essence ‘nurtures the mothering spirit within all women… Helping to heal the spirit of the lost mother within.’
Nevermind the contra-homeopathy polypharmacy here. I’m afraid I then become further confused. The final three ingredients on the list are ‘gem essences’. Uh? You can get ‘essence’ from a gem? A stone!? Nevermind imagining some grinding and extraction process that purifies and concentrates a stone’s supposed characteristic nature in material form (which I think I prefer to consider over some emanating ‘field’ – an ethereal essence – which can be captured by immersing stones or crystals in the liquid during preparation). Just take their word for it that Aquamarine is ‘helpful in steadying and clearing the spirit’; that Citrine ‘integrates the physical and spiritual’ (regardless of whether it carries the rays of the sun or not); that Tourmaline ‘helps to release and dispel negative and painful emotions.’ Fascinating stuff.
Well, I am not an authority on any supposed healing properties of these flowers, nor of any capturable essences that solid gemstones might possess. For all I know there may be copious scientific literature, the citing of which the site’s authors confidently consider superfluous and/or irrelevant. A lot of people believe this kind of stuff, so… (… err… I’m not sure how to finish this sentence). I guess it might smell nice (although that would suggest it is not homeopathic), which is handy because, as it can be applied undiluted to external areas, it can double up as perfume. Smelling more rat-like, however, is the statement:
‘Conception Essence, like all our Flower and Gem Essences, is a vibrational healing medium and can therefore be introduced to the aura energy field in a variety of ways.’
‘Aura energy field’? Yep, we’re into crystal/Reiki/chakra/homeopathy wacko territory alright. ‘Vibrational’? What, on account of the piezoelectric effect as possessed by one or two of those gems? Surely the real vibration of a spin-cycle washing machine would be more conducive to conception.
So what ‘evidence’ is provided? Well, will a few satisfied customer Testimonials suffice? (I am always suspicious when this device appears in any promotional material, regardless. Where are the dis-satisfied ones?) Again, let’s take it that these are real unsolicited statements by real people. So, has no one thought it worth pointing out to ‘Nikki V.’ that, for all she knows, her pregnancy would have been trouble-free anyway, irrespective of her sister’s experience? Or would that be spoiling the fun? Read the others, if you need convincing.
If you think this all annoyingly patronising, just continue on to read ‘What else is important at this time?’ Although the site is seemingly pitched at consumers bereft of common sense, one might reasonably presume that the company believes in its products; and the flowery emotive language it uses to promote them. Yet reading the lengthy disclaimer at the bottom of the pages, I’m not too sure. And I’m still unclear, despite the overlap in some of the fuzzy pseudoscientific terminology (‘natural’, ‘energy’, ‘healing’, ‘vibrational’, etc), as to whether Conception Flower and Gem Essence is a homeopathic product or not. I’ll let you know whether they get back to me on that one. Enjoy the rest of the ‘week.’