I stopped in at that chain drug store that I mentioned yesterday – Bartells – to see if they still carry OTC homeopathic asthma “treatments.” I could find only one thing (and didn’t feel like asking anyone). There’s only one and it’s not right next to other asthma meds; I couldn’t find any other asthma meds. They have everything with pseudoephedrine behind the counter now (because meth, ya know), and maybe all the asthma meds have pseudoephedrine so that’s why I didn’t see any. If that’s the explanation that’s an improvement on the last time I looked at this.

But still there is one item: safecare AsthmaCare for temporary relief of minor asthma symptoms.

In big letters in the middle:

Shortness of breath


Tightness in chest

So it’s saying this stuff is treatment for that. But it’s not. But it says it is.

There is a small red strip at the bottom (so much less noticeable than the list of things it gives “temporary relief” for) that says “Not a rescue inhaler.”

But you know, some people won’t notice that, some won’t believe it, some won’t be sure that it means, some will think it’s just Big Pharma.

On the side, looking super official and technical, it gives instructions on how to take it and says “approximately 100 adult doses.” That makes it sound like real medicine. It’s a small box with an even smaller bottle in it, so if a thing that tiny has 100 doses it must be really powerful. In some way. has it for the low low price of $23. For a tiny bottle of nothing.


It’s hard to see, but there in the top right corner it says HOMEOPATHIC – right on top of GLUTEN FREE

$23 for 2 fluid ounces of nothing.


  1. NitricAcid says

    I was browsing the remedy section at a grocery store a while ago, and was looking mockingly at a batch of homeopathic flu remedy for kids. The pharmacist came up to me and started telling me how great it was, how it had no side effects. i snapped at her that of course it had no side effects- it had no effects at all.

  2. says

    I know. It’s horrific. That thing looks like real medicine. You have to know something about all this nonsense to realize it’s not. People who don’t know could easily think that’s real medicine as opposed to nothing.

  3. Blanche Quizno says

    I was at a playdate in a park about a dozen years ago, and this one youngish mom’s toddler got stung by a bee. So the mom whips out this bottle of tablets and gives her, like, 5 of them, to relieve the bee sting symptoms, I guess. I said “Are you *sure* about that?? It seems like an awful lot!” Remember, this was a *small* child of about 18 months. She popped a few in her own mouth and said, “Oh, it’s safe – it’s homeopathic, you know. She could take the whole bottle and it wouldn’t hurt her.

    Won’t help her either, I thought O_O

    In similar news, a young woman who bought diet pills online died because they turned out to be poison:

    We REALLY REALLY need proper regulation of pharmaceuticals (and pseudopharmaceuticals)!

  4. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    What they don’t mention is that gluten is just one of the trillions of things it doesn’t contain.

  5. Trebuchet says

    Bartells also carries Zicam, which is a fake homeopathic product containing enough zinc to be harmful. Because the US congress has decided, in its infinite wisdom, that homeopathy shouldn’t be regulated. Just label it “homeopathic” and you can sell any damn thing you like.

    A bit off topic: “Bartells” is actually Bartell Drugs. No “s” on it. But EVERYONE says it that way, including their own commercials.

  6. Trebuchet says

    Oh, and also in the alt-med quackery front, Doctor Oz is OUTRAGED that his first amendment rights are being violated by those doctors calling for Princeton to disassociate from him It’s blatant censorship, according to him.

  7. Al Dente says

    Trebuchet @9

    those doctors calling for Princeton to disassociate from him

    Actually it’s Columbia.

  8. johnthedrunkard says

    And why disguise the ‘remedy’ so it looks like a real drug spray? The whole notion of treating a respiratory symptom with an inhalant is alien to homeopathy.

    All of Hahnemans potions were in lactose pill, or alcohol/water solution. Since all illnesses were caused by ‘psora’ there would be no need for any other delivery system. So much for ‘homeopathic’ ointments too.

    And as some one else noted: potions labelled as ‘homeopathic’ may well contain dangerous doses of real drugs. The ‘homeopathic’ label serves to immunize the maker against responsibility. Even homeopathic standards don’t apply.

  9. says

    its been ages since I’ve seen a Safeways , I think Morrisons have assimilated them all.

    Its also funny that yes, we do add an “s” to the end of supermarkets names: Tescos, Sainsburys Asdas.

    Lidl and Aldi are two recent arrivals from Germany (i think) but all though the signs clearly say “lidl” we go to “lidls”.

    A possible reason might be a hangover from when all the shops were local and we knew the proprietor personally.
    When I was a kid the local newsagent was a Mr Shah and his shop was called The Newscounter or some-such, but I was always sent to pick up a newspaper from “Mr Shah’s” and among the kids this was often rudely shortened to “Shah’s”.

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