This month, the FDA announced that Buzzagogo, Inc. had issued a voluntary nationwide recall of their Allergy Bee Gone for Kids Nasal Swab Remedy. Testing by the FDA found that some of the product contained elevated levels of yeast & mold and may contain the bacteria Bacillus cereus.
The presence of these bacteria can be harmful to anyone who uses the product, but especially to immunocompromised patients. No adverse events have been reported so this recall is strictly a precautionary measure. The recall is for the specific lot #2006491 – any product with this lot number should be discarded by distributors and customers. Buzzagogo is offering a full refund for anyone who has purchased the Allergy Bee Gone product with this lot number.
The active ingredients in Allergy Bee Gone for Kids Nasal Swab Remedy include galphimia glauca, histaminum hydrochloricum, kali bichromicum, luffa operculata, and sabadilla. The inactive ingredients are ascorbic acid, purified water, honey blend with Manuka Honey 15+, lavender oil, and lime oil. This formulation is what may be considered homeopathic. It is advertised as treating common cold symptoms however there is not significant research into the benefits of this particular combination of ingredients.
The Allergy Bee Gone product is a product that is applied with a nasal swab. The reviews on the product are overall good, with mostly 3 to 5 star reviews on Amazon at the time of writing. However about 15% of reviewers gave the product 1 to 2 stars. We could not find any scientific research that shows that using the product benefited patients who were allergy sufferers or who had colds.
Homeopathy for Cold Relief and Sinusitis
Homeopathy is an old practice that is sometimes considered to be controversial. There are limited studies demonstrating the benefits of homeopathic treatments for nasal conditions however there are a few studies that have shown some patients benefit. Classically, homeopathic remedies are individualized based on the patient’s unique physical and mental attributes and their symptoms. A person’s individual makeup according to homeopathy refers to the entire person and not just the particular condition or complaint.
Homeopathic treatments for cold relief and sinusitis often are seen as being synonymous with herbal supplements. It is not necessarily true that it is known that herbal remedies do not work at all. Many patients self-report benefits from these treatments. However there is not a large amount of clinical research on the particular products used that supports them being recommended by a doctors in general.
Ingredients in Allergy Bee Gone for Kids Nasal Swab
The ingredients in Allergy Bee Gone for Kids Nasal Swab are considered homeopathic remedies.
Galphimia glauca – This plant is native to Mexico and is used as a traditional remedy there. It is endemic to only a few states in Mexico. This extract is often taken orally for hay fever (allergic reactions), anxiety, and other conditions. In particular it has historically been used as a sedative. Despite its use for treating ailments for hundreds of years in the area now known as Mexico, there is no scientific research supporting its use for treating colds or allergies.
Histaminum hydrochloricum – Also referred to as histamine dihydrochloride (histaminum hydrochloricum maybe sounds more “homeopathic”), this is an FDA approved over-the-counter ingredient that is in products used as analgesics. It is a salt of histamine – a well known compound involved in immune response. The claim is that this small dosage of histamine will help regulate the histamine that the body makes. In homeopathic medicine it is believed that an illness can be cured by the same substance that causes it. The FDA does not regulate homeopathic remedies although this substance is approved as an OTC product for other indications.
Kali bichromicum – This ingredient is also known as potassium dichromate. Again, the name kali bichromicum makes this product sound more “natural” or “homeopathic” even though it is 100% synthetically produced. You can view the PubChem database to view the numerous names for this compound. Potassium dichromate has a variety of industrial applications – for example it is sometimes used in making cement and in photography and printing. A homeopathic doctor who learned of its toxic effects on factory workers in the 1840s developed its use in homeopathy although there is no research backing up its efficacy.
Luffa operculata – This plant is a form of luffa; the commonly known part of this plant is the sponge-like fruit that can be used for cleaning. The plant is native to South and Southeast Asia and is commonly cultivated in Egypt. There is clinical research showing that l. operculata can be effective at treating bacterial rhinosinusitis, making this one of the more promising ingredients in this formulation.
Sabadilla – A plant that grows in Central America that is used as an insecticide and can be irritating to humans. It causes your mucous membranes to become irritated making you sneeze and itch. According to homeopathy, this helps your body get used to allergy symptoms. According to reliable studies this ingredient does not work to treat allergies or colds.
Thinking of Trying This Product?
Most colds resolve on their own and there are OTC products and saline rinses that can assist in easing symptoms. Some patients report that they are benefiting from the Allergy Bee Gone product however there is limited or no research on its effectiveness. Also be cautious about starting new treatments that are unproven and talk with your doctor before initiating use.
Buzzagogo, Inc. Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Allergy Bee Gone for Kids Nasal Swab Remedy Due to Potential Microbial Contamination – FDA
Some Notes on Homeopathic Pharmacopeia – Quack Watch
Homeopathy in chronic sinusitis: a prospective multi-centric observational study – Homeopathy
Homeopathic treatment of patients with chronic sinusitis: A prospective observational study with 8 years follow-up – BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders
Kalium bichromicum – A. Vogel
Potassium dichromate – PubChem
Preclinical evaluation of Luffa operculata Cogn. and its main active principle in the treatment of bacterial rhinosinusitis – Brazilian Journal of Otolaryngology