Brisbane homeopath Cyena Caruana selling vaccinations and boosters made from refined sugar

De Master Yoda


Brisbane homeopath Cyena Caruana selling vaccinations and boosters made from refined sugar

Rose Brennan, The Courier-Mail
July 23, 2016 12:00am

A BRISBANE woman selling homeopathic vaccinations or boosters for diseases including whooping cough, polio, meningococcal and malaria has been found to be selling nothing but refined sugar.

Homeopath Cyena Caruana markets her “homeopathic medicines” on Facebook and online and sells them as vaccination alternatives for overseas travellers, adults, children and even newborn babies for serious diseases such as whooping cough and measles.

The Courier-Mail obtained Ms Caruana’s vaccination and booster pilules for adults travelling to Morocco, Egypt and Europe from her Homeopathy at Home business. Expert pharmacists at the Queensland University of Technology then tested them, revealing them to be sugar.

Health professionals have slammed her as grossly misleading and dangerous.

This week, a post on the Facebook page claimed to have sold “homeopathic prophylaxis medicines” for Zika virus to a man in Melbourne who was to travel through South-East Asia. There is no reputable treatment for Zika on the market.

The business has advertised on Facebook treatments for herpes and preventative medications for whooping cough in pregnant women and whooping cough and rotavirus for babies.

Australian Medical Association of Queensland president Dr Chris Zappala slammed the sale of the sugar products and called for an investigation by the health ombudsman.

“I actually think this is so unconscionable. If it’s done knowingly, then that is tragic in the extreme,” Dr Zappala said.

“If it’s done unknowingly, than the ignorance and lack of care about the quality that you’re providing to your patients is equally concerning and I would have thought this should go before the health ombudsman — not only is this dangerous and factually incorrect, but it’s a money rip-off. It is crazy and it’s very dangerous.”

The products obtained by The Courier-Mail cost more than $250 and were labelled for the diseases they claimed to afford protection against, including whooping cough, polio, meningococcal and malaria.

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The paperwork acknowledges the “pilules” are made of sucrose, but says they’ve been “medicated with medicinal-grade … homeopathic medicines” sourced from a Melbourne laboratory and prepared by Ms Caruana.

QUT’s head of Clinical Sciences Professor Lisa Nissen said in light of their findings the matter will be referred to the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

“It’s dangerous for punters out there who don’t know any better and are vulnerable. There are people swayed by pseudoscience and it puts them at risk,” Prof Nissen said.

A report by Ms Nissen’s colleague Dr Esther Lau concluded: “From these preliminary results, there is nothing to suggest the vaccines are different from sucrose.

“These vaccines would be useless at guarding against the diseases on the labels, and there is no biologically plausible explanation as to how these vaccines could possibly work. It is frightening to think that these products are on the market and that they are being sold as ‘vaccines’,” the report said.

Homeopathy vials.
Health Minister Cameron Dick slammed the practice as endangering lives and stressed that “there are no alternatives to vaccines”.

“Vaccination is a critically important public health strategy, which protects children from potentially deadly disease, but it is only safe and effective when conventional vaccines are used,: he said.

“There are no alternatives to vaccines, and we don’t need them because we know vaccines work.”

“Anyone offering these alternative products is not only deceiving the community, they are endangering lives.”

Mr Dick said any parent with vaccine concerns should speak with their GP.

“Families should not be tricked into thinking they are protecting themselves and their children by using these products. I strongly urge any parents or individuals with questions or concerns about vaccinations on offer to speak with their GP or immunisation provider,” he said.

When contacted by The Courier-Mail, Ms Caruana said there was “a lot of field evidence, a lot of clinical evidence” of homeopathic medicines working, including in Cuba.

“It’s a funny thing with homeopathy because it’s almost like — you can see the results from the medicine, but scientists don’t understand the mechanism of the action,” she said.

“That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work — it’s just that we don’t know how it works.”

“I’m sure in 10 years, 20 years’ time we will find that there is a evidence base for it — it’s just it hasn’t been discovered. Homeopathy is such a simple medicine, you could make homeopathic medicine at home ... it’s not rocket science.”

Ms Caruana said that the Zika remedy she is selling is not a vaccine, but a medicine that can treat symptoms similar to Zika.

Homeopath Cyena Caruana’s products.
‘Ineffective at protecting a person’

AN expert team at the Queensland University of Technology tested multiple balls from each of the vials and concluded they contained sucrose and would be ineffective at protecting a person from communicable diseases.

If the balls contained the products the instructions claimed, the dilution level was so high the product would be minuscule and again be useless.

The work was overseen by the university’s Head of Clinical Science and pharmacy expert Professor Lisa Nissen and facilitated by Dr Esther Lau.

Dr Yasmin Antwertinger (left) and Dr Esther Lau from the Health Sciences School at QUT tested homeopathy products that claimed to offer vaccinating properties. Photo: Claudia Baxter
“For each vaccine, we took 10 ‘vaccine’ pilules and dissolved them in one millilitre of distilled water. The groups of 10 pilules ranged in weight from approximately 280mg to 310mg,” Dr Lau said. “For these preliminary studies, we did a UV scan of the ‘vaccines’ and compared them to white sugar (sucrose). From these preliminary results there is nothing to suggest the vaccines are different from sucrose. The premise of homeopathy is that the original material contained within the preparation is diluted over and over again, often to the point where none of the original material is contained within the preparation.”

“Every time there is a dilution there is supposed to be a phase ... which some believe imparts some kind of energy ... into the water molecules. Of course, our analytical equipment would be unable to measure any such energy.”

No proof therapies prevent ills

HOMEOPATHIC medicine has been repeatedly discredited by Australian health authorities.

After a thorough review of research papers, the National Health and Medical Research Council announced in 2015 that there is “no good-quality evidence to support the claim that homeopathy is effective in treating health conditions”.

Bond University’s Professor Paul Glasziou led the review which did not include homeopathic vaccine alternatives, which he labelled as “dangerous”. “It’s one of the most dangerous areas of homeopathic treatment, persuading people they can prevent disease like whooping cough,” he said.

“It’s the problem (homeopathy presents to) herd immunity.

“For most vaccines, what you need to do is get up to pretty high rates of population coverage and stop the whole spread of it. Any modest drop in those rates and you drop past that critical number where you start to get those epidemics again — we have had those epidemics of measles and whooping cough, which are all preventable diseases.”

Cyena Caruana’s products.
Source of vial ruse

THE products were obtained by a former The Courier-Mail journalist using their real name, who paid $251.50 for a Homeopathic Travel Kit for trips through Morocco, Egypt and Europe, with a corresponding dosage calendar.

The journalist gave the kit to The Courier-Mail to arrange for its testing because of public health concerns.

The “pills” — round, white balls in small vials — came in a container wrapped in foil to “protect them from X-rays at customs”. The vials were labelled for each disease they supposedly protected against.

The products were sourced from a homeopathic laboratory in Melbourne and “prepared and dispensed” by Cyena Caruana.