Cure or no cure, we’ll keep taking the tablets

Dalrymple responds to a recent study concluding that long-term, diligent doses of echinacea reduce the incidence of colds by 26-60 percent, though other studies have found no such link:
Let us suppose for a moment that further scientific tests on echinacea show that, contrary to the hopes raised, it really does not work either to prevent or to cure colds: will that be the end of its career?
By no means. We each – man, woman and child – spend about £10 a year on cold remedies, most of which we know perfectly well will not shorten the duration of our colds (which, incidentally, are responsible for about 50 per cent of time lost at work through illness, so that colds are more economically than medically significant). But we are temperamentally incapable of saying to ourselves when ill, “There is nothing I can do about it”, and some of the remedies give us symptomatic relief, if only by making us drowsy.
About a third of people in Britain take vitamin supplements, too; we feel, in our bones rather than with our minds, that there must be a diet that will keep us healthy and free of disease.
H/t Teddy Msigwa

One thought on “Cure or no cure, we’ll keep taking the tablets

  1. Peter Duff


    The grounding principle is strange for sure –
    Not such as intuition would predict
    Ironically it is the cause that cures
    A notion common sense would contradict
    The medicine is odd there is no doubt
    You add the thing that cures then take it out:
    Dilute the mixture by repeated straining
    Dilute again so there is less and less
    Repeat until there is no trace remaining
    For less is more but none at all is best
    And though the curing substances is elsewhere
    The water can remember it being there
    And so is efficacious as a cure
    Although precisely how remains obscure

    more like this at


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.