Oscillococcinum® (Anas barbariae hepatis et cordis extractum200CK HPUS), a patented homeopathic preparation manufactured by a French-based company (Boiron Laboratories), is marketed and widely used for the treatment and prevention of influenza symptoms, including "feeling run down," headache, body aches, chills, and fever. It is made from the heart and liver of wild duck and undergoes multiple dilutions (one part in 100, 200 times in a row, i.e., 200C), after which there are reportedly few to no original duck liver or heart molecules in the final product.
There is some preliminary evidence in humans suggesting that Oscillococcinum® may shorten the duration of the flu. However, it has not been found to prevent the flu. Despite its popularity and anecdotal reports of effectiveness, there is currently little scientific evidence that Oscillococcinum® is superior to placebo.
More research is required to determine the efficacy and safety of Oscillococcinum®, especially in young children and pregnant and lactating women.
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