As a protest march against the use of homeopathic remedies to treat pets descended on Westminster earlier this week, professor Edzard Ernst ignited a 13-year row with monarch-to-be Prince Charles over the latter’s support of homeopathy.
Prof Ernst said: “You can’t have alternative medicine just because Prince Charles likes it because that is not in the best interest of the patients.“The quality of the research is not just bad, but dismal. It ignores harms. There is a whole shelf of rubbish being sold and that is simply unethical.”
So, what does this homeopathy business actually entail? And does it work?
The alternative medical practice of homeopathy is normally said to have been founded in 1796 by German physician Samuel Hahnemann (although some claim that Hippocrates started the ball rolling over 2,000 years ago). Hahnemann coined the mantra “like cures like” – the belief that a substance that causes certain symptoms can also help to remove those symptoms.
Historically, the medical profession has had a hard time grappling with this logic. David Robert Grimes, a physicist at Oxford University, wrote in 2012 that Hahnemann’s dilution decree was “the antithesis of what is observed in nature, where the potency of any solution is proportional to the active ingredient in that substance.”
Read more at The Telegraph UK