This week past, Australia experienced it’s worst peacetime natural disaster in the country’s history. As I write this, the official total for victims is 181. However, police fear the death toll could reach as high as 300 since they have yet to enter some areas. Many people are still classified as missing.

As a country in mourning we have been warned to brace for the death toll to rise steeply. Times such as this, it has been said, bring out the worst and the best in people. In amongst the incredible stories of courage and survival, there will always be the opportunists. These include the arsonists, the despicable looters whom are apparently lurking and the likes of Pastor Danny Nalliah, the leader of the Catch the Fire Ministries, who in a press release, attributed the tragedy to divine retribution for an abortion decriminalisation bill that passed in Victoria in 2008. Nalliah calls Victoria the “baby killing state of Australia.”

Some of the brave firefighters who fought the Victorian bushfires

Some of the brave firefighters who fought the Victorian bushfires, many of whom are volunteers.

I won’t discuss this further except to say; disgraceful reprehensible and completely inappropriate.

And then there is this..

In the light of recent events in Bali and the bush fires in the Eastern States of Australia information about the use of Homeopathy by the ordinary person is knowledge that should be shared.

This appeared on a website selling homeopathic remedies, which then goes on to describe in great detail, how homeopathy can be used to treat burns. But before I share with you some of their wisdom, let me convey to you the shear enormity of the situation facing hospitals and especially the Burns unit at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.

Dr De Villiers Smit, an emergency physician at The Alfred who worked on the Bali bombings and the current bushfires, told reporters these fires were “by far one of the worst disasters I have ever been involved in”.

Heather Cleland, MBBS

The head of the Alfred burns unit Heather Cleland, MBBS, FRACP.

The Alfred Hospital recently opened a new specialist burns unit, staffed by some the best practitioners in Australia.

The head of the Alfred burns unit Heather Cleland said; “The classic burn patterns that we’re seeing are mostly due to people who’ve been forced to run through flames or have been exposed to extremely high radiant heat temperatures, and so….most patients have very significant feet and hand burns as well as involving their arms and lower legs especially”.

All of the bushfire victims at the hospital have burns to more than 30 per cent of their body. Many have burns to their feet and hands inflicted as they ran or crawled through fire to escape. Some also have burnt airways from smoke inhalation. Some may have to have limbs amputated.

Heather Cleland also said; “Burns victims are highly sensitive to infection and must be treated with the highest level of care”.

But according to the homeopathy quacks, you don’t need a top class burns facility staffed by some of the best burns specialists in the world. Here’s what one website recommends for very severe burns.

CANTHARIS (Spanish fly)

(When) There is violent acute inflammation and there may be severe delirium. (When) There is rapid progressive destruction of tissue and the pains are cutting, smarting, burning, and biting. (When) There is also severe kidney involvement, with burning and scalding on the passing of urine. There can be violent burning pain through the whole intestinal tract. There will be a tendency to gangrene with the destruction of the tissue.

It will need to be give frequently at first. External application of Cantharis 1x in ½ litre of water may also be sprayed on the affected site for pain relief.

Cantharis or the Spanish Fly

Cantharis or the Spanish Fly

Cantharis is more commonly known as Spanish fly, which is actually a beetle that produces an irritant so caustic that it makes the skin blister if exposed to it. Whatever Spanish Fly does as an intact beetle is irrelevent in this case, since common preparations of Cantharis are 6C.

In homeopathy terms this means the original concentrated solution has been diluted 100 times repeated 6 times. This translates to a dilution of 10 to the 12 or one trillion times. The end result being indistiguisable from water or whatever else it was diluted into.

Let’s take a look at the scientific evidence for the efficacy of a homeopathic preparation of Cantharis. In a study published in the Archives of Emergency Medicine the analgesic action, that is capacity to relieve pain, of the homeopathic preparation Cantharis in the treatment of minor burns, and I emphasize minor here, was assessed in a series of 34 patients. Under double blind conditions no statistically significant difference was found between Cantharis and a placebo.

Which is because it is placebo. Probably water in fact.

I’m certain that the great skill and care currently being provided to the victims of the worst peacetime natural disaster in Australia’s history does not include spraying water on third degree burns. This is an insult to the skills of the surgeons and doctors working tirelessly across the country.

Testament to this nonsense comes from one website spruiking the benefit of Cantharis;

Please remember though, this homeopathy materia medica is provided for information only, with no guarantee of accuracy; it is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, nor as a claim for the effectiveness of Cantharis in treating any of the symptoms below.

Our thoughts are with the families and victims of the Victorian Bushfires as well as the firefighters from Country Fire Association.

You can assist by donating money and blood for the burns victims to the Red Cross.

In Australia call the Victorian Bushfire Appeal 1800 811 700

Join the CFA Facebook Fan page

Thanks to Michael Vagg for the tip-off to this story.

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