I am sure many of us have seen the repetitious commercial for HeadOn on TV which shows a woman happily rubbing what seems to be a glue stick across her forehead. What most people do not realize what is actually being advertised. Most people assume it is a remedy for headaches, although it is not stated in the commercial itself, so we are left to believe that the product is used for headache relief. However, no published studies have been able to show that HeadOn or any of the active ingredients help alleviate the symptoms of headaches. Speaking of active ingredients let us take a look as to what HeadOn is actually composed of. The four active ingredients listed on the box, as well as the Miralus website for the product name are as follows: White Byrony 12X H.P.U.S., Blue Flag 12X H.P.U.S., Potassium Bichromate 6X H.P.U.S. and Golden Seal 30X H.P.U.S. Now you might be wondering to yourself what exactly the numbers mean after the ingredients as well what H.P.U.S. is. Well to begin with, the 6X of Potassium Birchromate means that the ingredient has been diluted one part per million parts of water. Miralus states that the reason for such a high dilution rate is to eliminate any safety concerns regarding the use of homeopathic remedies, and that by diluting the ingredients, their medicinal properties can be released. Now as for the H.P.U.S., this stands for the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States. The active ingredients have been determined by the H.P.U.S to be safe and effective. Effect for what exactly, is not specified.
My question, which has been voiced by other people as well is how exactly this product works. According to the vice president of sales and marketing, Dan Charron, was stated as saying that HeadOn works by “stimulating your body to overcome a headache or migraine”. He was also asked by a curious customer how it worked, he was simply answered “It works through the nerves”, with no more explanation then that. Mainstream doctors like Seymour Diamond are not so easily placated. Seymour Diamond is the director of the Diamond Headache clinic in Chicago and the inpatient headache unit at St. Joseph Hospital. Diamond believes that any positive reaction to the product is likely due to the placebo effect. Charron fired back stating that “We respect every doctor’s opinion, but they are not exposed to homeopathy, and they don’t understand how this works”. In March 2006 the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, recommended that the company discontinue product performance and efficacy claims because they lacked sufficient evidence.
So, why is it that people spend money on a product that has no evidence to support its’ claims? Well, they use previous customers’ testimonials to show that if it could work for them, well it might as well work for you too. The product is also sold in pharmacies which lend it an air of legitimacy, with the apparent seal of approval from the pharmacy that is selling it. Miralus also claims that they are using state of the art technology to improve homeopathic remedies, but they never quite get around to saying what the technology is.