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May 26, 1997

Homeopathy—The Emperor's Medicine

Author Affiliations

Baton Rouge, La

Arch Intern Med. 1997;157(10):1139-1140. doi:10.1001/archinte.1997.00440310105012

I was entertained and pleased by the erudite historical commentary by Ernst and Kaptchuk1 entitled Homeopathy Revisited—until I read the final paragraph. Their forebears, the quacks of times past, uniformly criticized all studies of their nostrums as inadequate and demanded evermore scientific evaluation. The following are a few examples:

  • Krebiozen was touted to cure cancer by the Durovich brothers and their physician front man, Andrew Ivy. The results of analysis of krebiozen revealed mineral oil and sometimes creatine. At least this one was nontoxic.

  • Amygdalin (Laetrile) was another cancer cure 20 years later. Unfortunately, this extract of apricot pits contains cyanide and is far from harmless. To get around the Food and Drug Administration, the drug's promoters (Ernst Krebs, Sr, MD, and Ernst Krebs, Jr, who had some biochemical training) relabeled it as vitamins B13, B15, and B17 and managed, during a 20-year period, to get it legalized in

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