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SKEPTOID BLOG:

Curing Jet Lag the Natural Way

by Jeff Wagg

December 18, 2012

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Donate Jet lag is no fun. If you fly more than three or so time zones (east or west), you may experience symptoms such as fatigue, confusion, and a general sense of unease. Why? Your body cycles through things on a 24 hour basis, and you've just experienced a day of a significantly different length. It has nothing to do with how long you're in the air—the problem is that your body is expecting it to be one time, and it's in fact another. You won't get jet lag flying from New York to Buenos Aires, though travel fatigue is possible.

This is the very definition of a "first world problem," as until the invention of the jet, it wasn't possible to travel fast enough to experience the condition. Different people experience it to a different degree, and pilots and flight attendants have shifts regulated to combat its effect.

However, I have a good news. There is an all-natural and safe way to to treat jet lag.

While browsing a luggage store in an upscale part of Chicago, I came across a product called NO-JET-LAG. I'm not sure why it's in all caps and hyphenated, but I took a look at the package. It said "Safe • Natural • Effective • No Side Effects or Drug Interactions." Made in New Zealand, it's the perfect travel companion. Oh, did I mention it was homeopathic?

I took a look at their site and found that the treatment was "Clinically Proven Effective." I even found the study, er the "scientific test," that was performed. You can read it for yourself here.

There are some pretty charts, a pharmacist's name, and some statistical notation. Seems legit! But I was troubled by the words introducing the test. You know, the words that most people won't read. "...No-Jet-Lag, was developed to counter jet lag, and informal testing and anecdotal reports indicated a significant reduction in the symptoms."

Informal testing? Anecdotal reports? And indeed, a closer look at the results show that they were very informal and completely anecdotal. Here are just a few of the problems I noted:
  • Very small number of participants (19)

  • Results were self-reported (why no testing?)

  • No replications

  • Only one author, a pharmacist

  • The "study" was not published

There are many more issues which you'll see, but I think my point is made: this is a far cry from the claim that the substance was "scientifically tested."

Ingredients? Well, it's basically candy without any flavoring—Pretty standard for homeopathy. All "active" ingredients are found at 30C concentrations. That's one part in 10^60, guaranteeing that there are no molecules of active substance in the preparation.

But hey, for only $12 a box, why not try it? There are oodles of customer testimonials that attest to its efficacy. If you're the type of person who can take advantage of the placebo effect, you might feel better. But if you are that type of person, you'll feel 10x better if you drink one glass of tomato juice on your flight. Just ask the flight attendant for some but remember: no ice. You don't want to dilute the effects of lycopersicum in the glass.

Why will this work? It's the same principle that No-Jet-Lag uses. It works because I said so, and you believed me.

So tomato juice is now a cure for jet lag, and I've fulfilled my promise to you. It's all-natural (just like everything else) and it's safe (unless you are allergic to tomatoes, have some form of sodium intolerance, or you're drowning in it.)

If you'd like a more standard treatment for jet lag, I recommend you start here. And if you want some Tic-Tacs for the flight, I recommend the orange ones. They're tastier and significantly less expensive than homeopathy.

by Jeff Wagg

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