Something to Sneeze At

A flu remedy called Oscillococcinum is anything but

Flu season is nearly upon us, and millions of Americans will soon be turning to a dubious "remedy" widely available at health-food stores and pharmacies. It's called Oscillococcinum, a tongue-twister of a potion that, according to its label, provides "temporary relief of colds and flulike symptoms." It is the standard homeopathic treatment for influenza and goes for about $10 a box. But like other homeopathic products, it's basically worthless.

The first clue is the "200C" on the label. What this means is that whatever active ingredient Oscillococcinum began with--in this case, duck heart and liver (no quack jokes, please)--has been diluted...

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