Recently, I had an interesting conversation with a doctor about Head Lice. It is obvious that Head Lice are increasingly more difficult to treat because they are becoming immune to the traditional chemical pesticides used to treat them. When I mentioned that Greenbug was quite effective, he immediately poo-pooed it.
His argument was that natural products, although possibly promising, aren’t considered viable by the medical community because they don’t have the testing and scientific data to support their effectiveness. In comparison, pharmaceuticals have copious amounts of testing, data, research, etc. to ‘prove’ their effectiveness.
It is a valid point – especially coming from someone who has been trained extensively to think that way. In the defense of doctors, they are taught without exception that scientific data trumps everything. Data, research, and facts are what practicing medicine is about.
However, this is no longer the 1950s when the public swallowed every bit of information received from ‘experts’ as gospel.
The first argument I brought up was that scientific data and research can be swayed to yield convincing results based on what the researcher is trying to do. Perfect example – Thalidomide was the hyper-researched, wonder drug given to pregnant women to stave off miscarriages. The data was lengthy and compelling – it was safe for the unborn child and the mother, and was incredibly effective for the intended use of preventing lost pregnancies. However, all the data and research failed to show the obvious – Thalidomide caused numerous birth defects that maimed thousands of children in utero. But this passed the criteria for solid research by the upstanding pharmaceutical industry because they wanted to sell this drug.
In other words, data and research are not the only criteria by which to judge a solution.
My second argument was in support of the ancient Chinese Pharmaceutical practices still in use today. In case you don’t know this fascinating truth, if you go to a pharmacy in China, it is not full of pills. It is full of herbs, roots, seed pods, dried body parts of animals and insects in a multitude of bins and they are dispensed using ancient Chinese practices used for more than 2000 years. When you have an ailment, the Pharmacologist creates your ‘prescription’ via a tea, tincture, paste, etc. that you are directed to take in the proper manner – drink, eat, place in a bandage and apply, etc. The success rate of these ‘medications’ is legendary. In fact, many pills available today are synthetic versions of these same ingredients. But here is the kicker – there is NO scientific data on these medicines. Just 2000 years of success using natural ingredients and Pharmacologists who listen to each individual patient’s circumstances.
In other words, just because data and research doesn’t exist, empirical evidence repeated by many over time should not be discounted.
My third argument was that the reason the Head Lice are becoming immune to treatment is due to the scientific phenomenon known as Pesticide Resistance. When using a synthetic pesticide (not naturally occurring in Nature but created in a laboratory), against a specific pest population over time, the pest will eventually become immune. Each application will show a certain percentage of the pest population is not affected. They pass that immunity on to successive generations until eventually, the entire population is resistant. Case in point – Head Lice.
However, the active ingredient in Greenbug is cedar. Head Lice are controlled by cedar. It is a naturally occurring, biological reaction that will not change. Just as we will never live by breathing ammonia, head lice cannot become resistant to cedar.
In other words, Big Chemical can create all the toxic pesticides they want but they’ll eventually stop working. The only solution then is more toxicity. And these unnatural substances are harmful to humans in many ways. Hardly a good solution. Greenbug is harmless to humans, animals and the environment AND will always control Head Lice.
The conversation went well and he heard me out. I wasn’t sure I had convinced him of anything until I asked him a question point blank. If your grandchildren contracted Head Lice in school, would you recommend they use multiple applications of synthetic toxins on their scalp with minimal success or would you suggest they try a $9 bottle of Greenbug first?
“Greenbug seems a compelling option.”