MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

Today, Price Charles celebrates his 69th birthday. Gun salutes will mark the occasion but he is said to celebrate in private. As in previous years, I take this occasion to update my tribute to him. Charles is one of the world’s most outspoken proponent of alternative medicine and attacker of science. He therefore has a prominent place on this blog.

His love affair with all things alternative started early in his life.

As a youngster, Charles went on a journey of ‘spiritual discovery’ into the wilderness of northern Kenya. His guru and guide at the time was Laurens van der Post (later discovered to be a fraud and compulsive fantasist and to have fathered a child with a 14-year old girl entrusted to him during a sea voyage). Van der Post wanted to awake Charles’ mind and attune it to the vitalistic  ideas of Carl Jung’s ‘collective unconscious’, and it is this belief in vitalism that provides the crucial link to alternative medicine: virtually every form of alternative therapies is based on the assumption that some sort of vital force exists. Charles was so taken by van der Post that, after his death, he established an annual lecture in his honour (the lecture series was discontinued after Van der Post was discovered to be a fraud).

Throughout the 1980s, Charles lobbied for the statutory regulation of chiropractors and osteopaths in the UK. In 1993, this finally became reality.

Osteopathy has strong Royal links: Prince Charles is the President of the GOsC; Princess Diana was the President of the GCRO; and Princess Anne is the patron of the British School of Osteopathy (statement dated 2011).

In 1982, Prince Charles was elected as President of the British Medical Association (BMA) and promptly challenged the medical orthodoxy by advocating alternative medicine. In a speech at his inaugural dinner as President, the Prince lectured the medics: ‘Through the centuries healing has been practised by folk healers who are guided by traditional wisdom which sees illness as a disorder of the whole person, involving not only the patient’s body, but his mind, his self-image, his dependence on the physical and social environment, as well as his relation to the cosmos.’ The BMA-officials ordered a full report on alternative medicine which promptly condemned this area as implausible nonsense.

In 1993, Charles founded his lobby group which, after being re-named several times, ended up being called the ‘Foundation for Integrated Health’ (FIH). It was closed down in 2010 amidst allegations of money laundering and fraud. Its chief executive, George Gray, was later convicted and went to jail. The FIH had repeatedly been a little economical with the truth.

In 2000, Charles wrote an open letter to The Times stating that…It makes good sense to evaluate complementary and alternative therapies. For one thing, since an estimated £1.6 billion is spent each year on them, then we want value for our money. The very popularity of the non-conventional approaches suggests that people are either dissatisfied with their orthodox treatment, or they find genuine relief in such therapies. Whatever the case, if they are proved to work, they should be made more widely available on the NHS…But there remains the cry from the medical establishment of “where’s the proof?” — and clinical trials of the calibre that science demands cost money…The truth is that funding in the UK for research into complementary medicine is pitiful…So where can funding come from?…Figures from the department of complementary medicine at the University of Exeter show that less than 8p out of every £100 of NHS funds for medical research was spent on complementary medicine. In 1998-99 the Medical Research Council spent no money on it at all, and in 1999 only 0.05 per cent of the total research budget of UK medical charities went to this area…

In 2001, Charles worked on plans to help build a model hospital of integrated medicine. It was to train doctors to combine conventional medicine and alternative treatments, such as homeopathy, Ayurvedic medicine and acupuncture, and was to have have up to 100 beds. The prince’s intervention marked the culmination of years of campaigning by him for the NHS to assign a greater role to alternative medicine. Teresa Hale, founder of the Hale Clinic in London, said: “Twenty-five years ago people said we were quacks. Now several branches, including homeopathy, acupuncture and osteopathy, have gained official recognition.” The proposed hospital, which was due to open in London in 2003/4, was to be overseen by Mosaraf Ali, who runs the Integrated Medical Centre (IMC) in London. But the hospital never materialised. This might be due to Mosaraf Ali falling in disrepute: Raj Bathija, 69 and from India, went for a massage at the clinic of Dr Mosaraf Ali and his brother Imran in 2005 after suffering from two strokes. However, he claims that shortly after the treatment, his legs became pale and discoloured. Four days afterwards, Mr Bathija was admitted to hospital, where he had to have both legs amputated below the knee due to a shortage of blood. According to Mr Bathija, Dr Ali and his brother were negligent in that they failed to diagnose his condition and neglected to advise him to go to hospital. His daughter Shibani said: “My father was in a wheelchair but was making progress with his walking. He hoped he might become a bit more independent. With the amputations, that’s all gone.” Dr Ali was sued (if anyone knows the outcome of this case, please let me know).

In 2003, Prince Charles’ FIH launched a five-year plan which outlined how to improve access to alternative therapies.

In 2004, Charles publicly supported the Gerson diet as a treatment for cancer and Prof Baum, an eminent oncologists, was invited to respond in an open letter to the British Medical Journal: …Over the past 20 years I have treated thousands of patients with cancer and lost some dear friends and relatives to this dreaded disease…The power of my authority comes with knowledge built on 40 years of study and 25 years of active involvement in cancer research. Your power and authority rest on an accident of birth. I don’t begrudge you that authority but I do beg you to exercise your power with extreme caution when advising patients with life-threatening diseases to embrace unproven therapies.

In 2005, the ‘Smallwood-Report’ was published; it had been commissioned by Charles and paid for by Dame Shirley Porter to inform health ministers. It stated that up to 480 million pounds could be saved, if one in 10 family doctors offered homeopathy as an “alternative” to standard drugs for asthma. Savings of up to 3.5 billion pounds could be achieved by offering spinal manipulation rather than drugs to people with back pain. Because I had commented on this report, Prince Charles’ first private secretary asked my vice chancellor to investigate my alleged indiscretion; even though I was found to be not guilty of any wrong-doing, all local support at Exeter stopped which eventually led to my early retirement. ITV later used this incident in a film entitled THE MEDDLING PRINCE, I later published a full account of this sad story in my memoir.

In a 2006 speechPrince Charles told the World Health Organisation in Geneva that alternative medicine should have a more prominent place in health care and urged every country to come up with a plan to integrate conventional and alternative medicine into the mainstream. But British science struck back. Anticipating Prince Charles’s sermon in Geneva, 13 of Britain’s most eminent physicians and scientists wrote an “Open Letter” which expressed concern over “ways in which unproven or disproved treatments are being encouraged for general use in Britain’s National Health Service.” The signatories argued that “it would be highly irresponsible to embrace any medicine as though it were a matter of principle.”

In 2008The Times published my letter asking the FIH to withdraw two guides promoting alternative medicine, stating: “the majority of alternative therapies appear to be clinically ineffective, and many are downright dangerous.” A speaker for the FIH countered the criticism by stating: “We entirely reject the accusation that our online publication Complementary Healthcare: A Guide contains any misleading or inaccurate claims about the benefits of complementary therapies. On the contrary, it treats people as adults and takes a responsible approach by encouraging people to look at reliable sources of information… so that they can make informed decisions. The foundation does not promote complementary therapies.”

In 2009, the Prince held talks with the health Secretary to persuade him to introduce safeguards amid a crackdown by the EU that could prevent anyone who is not a registered health practitioner from selling remedies. This, it seems, was yet another example of Charles’ disregard of his constitutional role.

In the same year, Charles urged the government to protect alternative medicine because “we fear that we will see a black market in herbal products”, as Dr Michael Dixon, then medical director of Charles’ FIH, put it.

In 2009, the health secretary wrote to the prince suggesting a meeting on the possibility of a study on integrating complementary and conventional healthcare approaches in England. The prince had written to Burnham’s predecessor, Alan Johnson, to demand greater access to complementary therapies in the NHS alongside conventional medicine. The prince told him that “despite waves of invective over the years from parts of the medical and scientific establishment” he continued to lobby “because I cannot bear people suffering unnecessarily when a complementary approach could make a real difference”. He opposed “large and threatened cuts” in the funding of homeopathic hospitals and their possible closure. He complained that referrals to the Royal London homeopathic hospital were increasing “until what seems to amount to a recent ‘anti-homeopathic campaign’”. He warned against cuts despite “the fact that these homeopathic hospitals deal with many patients with real health problems who otherwise would require treatment elsewhere, often at greater expense”.

In 2009, it was announced that the ‘College of Integrated Medicine’ (the name was only later changed to ‘College of Medicine’, see below) was to have a second base in India. An Indian spokesman commented: “The second campus of the Royal College will be in Bangalore. We have already proposed the setting up of an All India Institute of Integrated Medicine to the Union health ministry. At a meeting in London last week with Prince Charles, we finalized the project which will kick off in July 2010”.

In 2010, Charles publicly stated that he was proud to be perceived as ‘an enemy of the enlightenment’.

In 2010, ‘Republic’ filed an official complaint about FIH alleging that its trustees allowed the foundation’s staff to pursue a public “vendetta” against a prominent critic of the prince’s support for complementary medicines. It also suggested that the imminent closure of Ernst’s department may be partly down to the charity’s official complaint about him after he publicly attacked its draft guide to complementary medicines as “outrageous and deeply flawed”.

In 2010, former fellows of Charles’ disgraced FIH launched a new organisation, The College of Medicine’ supporting the use of integrated treatments in the NHS. One director of the college is Michael Dixon, a GP in Cullompton, formerly medical director of the Foundation for Integrated Health. My own analysis of the activities of the new college leaves little doubt that it is promoting quackery.

In 2010, Charles published his book HARMONY which is full of praise for even the most absurd forms of alternative therapies and even bogus diagnostic tests used by alternative practitioners.

In 2011, after the launch of Charles’ range of herbal tinctures, I had the audacity to publicly criticise Charles for selling the Duchy Herbals detox tincture which I named ‘Dodgy Originals Detox Tincture’.

In 2011, Charles forged a link between ‘The College of Medicine’ and an Indian holistic health centre (see also above). The collaboration was reported to include clinical training to European and Western doctors in ayurveda and homoeopathy and traditional forms of medicine to integrate them in their practice. The foundation stone for the extended campus of the Royal College known as the International Institution for Holistic and Integrated Medicine was laid by Dr Michael Dixon in collaboration with the Royal College of Medicine.

In 2012, Charles was nominated for ‘THE GOLDEN DUCK AWARD’ for his achievements in promoting quackery. However, Andrew Wakefield beat him to it; Charles certainly was a deserving runner-up.

In 2013, Charles called for society to embrace a broader and more complex concept of health. In his article he described a vision of health that includes the physical and social environment, education, agriculture and architecture.

In 2013, Charles’ Highgrove enterprise offered ‘baby-hampers’ for sale at £195 a piece and made a range of medicinal claims for the products it contained. As these claims were not supported by evidence, there is no way to classify them other than quackery.

By 2013, the ‘Association of Osteomyologists’ were seeking to become regulated by statute, with the help of Prince Charles as their patron. The chairman and founder of this organisation was knighted for services to alternative medicine.  Osteomyologists encourage the use of techniques including cranio-sacral therapy and claim that “we all know that Colleges, Institutions, and Medical Practitioners, are brain washed from the very outset into believing that their discipline is the only way to go.”

In November 2013, Charles invited alternative medicine proponents from across the world, including Dean Ornish, Michael Dixon, chair of College of Medicine, UK and Issac Mathai of Soukya Foundation, Bangalore, to India for a ‘brain storm’ and a subsequent conference on alternative medicine. The prince wanted the experts to collaborate and explore the possibilities of integrating different systems of medicines and to better the healthcare delivery globally, one of the organisers said.

In June 2014, BBC NEWS published the following text about a BBC4 broadcast entitled ‘THE ROYAL ACTIVIST’ aired on the same day: Prince Charles has been a well-known supporter of complementary medicine. According to a… former Labour cabinet minister, Peter Hain, it was a topic they shared an interest in. He had been constantly frustrated at his inability to persuade any health ministers anywhere that that was a good idea, and so he, as he once described it to me, found me unique from this point of view, in being somebody that actually agreed with him on this, and might want to deliver it. Mr Hain added: “When I was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in 2005-7, he was delighted when I told him that since I was running the place I could more or less do what I wanted to do.*** I was able to introduce a trial for complementary medicine on the NHS, and it had spectacularly good results, that people’s well-being and health was vastly improved. And when he learnt about this he was really enthusiastic and tried to persuade the Welsh government to do the same thing and the government in Whitehall to do the same thing for England, but not successfully,” added Mr Hain. On this blog, I have pointed out that the research in question was fatally flawed and that Charles, once again, overstepped the boundaries of his constitutional role.

In 2015, two books were published which are relevant in this context. My memoir A SCIENTIST IN WONDERLAND recounts most of my dealings with Charles and his sycophants, including how an intervention from his first private secretary eventually led to the closure of my department. The book by Catherine Meyer CHARLES, THE HEART OF A KING is far less critical about our heir to the throne; it nevertheless severely criticises his stance on alternative medicine.

In October 2015, the Guardian obtained the infamous “black spider memos” which revealed that Charles had repeatedly lobbied politicians in favour of alternative medicine (see also above).

In 2016, speaking at a global leaders summit on antimicrobial resistance, Prince Charles warned that Britain faced a “potentially disastrous scenario” because of the “overuse and abuse” of antibiotics. The Prince explained that he had switched to organic farming on his estates because of the growing threat from antibiotic resistance and now treats his cattle with homeopathic remedies rather than conventional medication. “As some of you may be aware, this issue has been a long-standing and acute concern to me,” he told delegates from 20 countries “I have enormous sympathy for those engaged in the vital task of ensuring that, as the world population continues to increase unsustainably and travel becomes easier, antibiotics retain their availability to overcome disease… It must be incredibly frustrating to witness the fact that antibiotics have too often simply acted as a substitute for basic hygiene, or as it would seem, a way of placating a patient who has a viral infection or who actually needs little more than patience to allow a minor bacterial infection to resolve itself.”

In 2017, the ‘College of Medicine’ mentioned above was discretely re-named ‘College of Medicine and Integrated Health’

In the same year, Charles declared that he will open a centre for alternative medicine in the recently purchased Dumfries House in Scotland.

As I am writing this update, Prince Charles is facing a backlash over a letter he wrote in 1986 in which he urged the US to “take on the Jewish lobby” and blamed “the influx of foreign Jews” for the unrest in the Middle East. The chairman of the Campaign Against Antisemitism has called the letter “disturbing” and the comments as “unmistakably anti-Semitic”. But that is, of course, another story.

CONCLUSIONS

Prince Charles’ dedication to quackery is remarkable. As every year, on his birthday he deserves credit for the hard work he has put into it. The late Christopher Hitchens repeatedly wrote about this passion, and his comments are, in my view, unsurpassable:

We have known for a long time that Prince Charles’ empty sails are so rigged as to be swelled by any passing waft or breeze of crankiness and cant. He fell for the fake anthropologist Laurens van der Post. He was bowled over by the charms of homeopathic medicine. He has been believably reported as saying that plants do better if you talk to them in a soothing and encouraging way… The heir to the throne seems to possess the ability to surround himself—perhaps by some mysterious ultramagnetic force?—with every moon-faced spoon-bender, shrub-flatterer, and water-diviner within range.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS

32 Responses to Happy Birthday YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS

  • We know that the man is essentially a bullying idiot elevated to an unearned position of power, but firing field guns at him? On his birthday? This is political correctness gone mad, and a perfect example of the organised campaign now being conducted against alternative medicine.
    As the current Health Secretary pointed out, it’s funded by the NHS because ‘ it’s popular, and people want it’.
    Why on Earth the do-gooders won’t fund child pornography and pogo sticks on the same basis escapes me, but then I’m only a simple man.

  • When someone says something, which is contrary to the norms of the status quo, he will be shot down immediately. Every time he gets up to do so again, he will feel more and more pressure to shut up and to conform. People will call you stupid. They’ll insult you. They’ll say, “You’re out of your depth / league.” They might even threaten you with violence. Prince Charles has been the non-conformist for many years, and of course, the Establishment and their supporters call him crazy and mock him.

    The day will come when alternative medicine will become an accepted part of the norm in medicine. For now, though, anyone who supports any form of alternative treatment, even if it is food-oriented, will be torn to shreds. This Blog is an excellent example of this tendency. Indeed, soon, people on this Forum will jump to the support of the Establishment’s representative, Dr. Ernst, to “shoot” me down for not conforming to the paradigms of the status quo.

    • ‘The day will come when alternative medicine will become an accepted part of the norm in medicine.’

      Right-ho.

      Q: Do you know what they call ‘alternative medicine’ that has been scientifically proven to work?

      A: Yes, that’s right, ‘medicine.’

      • Right on! 100%!

        Complementary medicine, condimentary medicine, alternative medicine, CAM, camistry, integrative medicine, integrated medicine, functional medicine, natural medicine…whatever name is given, if there is no plausible reproducible, evidence for whatever schemes are used, practitioners should move on.

        If they do not, what else are we to call them, but ‘quacks’.
        I have written to HRH and asked him for the evidence on which he bases his opinion that homeopathic remedies provide any benefit.
        His secretary replied promptly, but said Prince Charles does not enter into debate on the matter.

        If he has no evidence, he should not be seeking to influence the vulnerable, gullible or sycophantic, that he has.
        And should not allow his personal views (to which he is entitled), to enter the public domain.

        If he has evidence, he must publish promptly for the benefit of mankind.
        Failing to do so is reprehensible. No wonder he is subject to criticism.
        To have this critical, vital and important knowledge, but to deny humanity of it, is surely unacceptable to all.

        Modern medicine, which constantly changes (that being in the nature of science), is the alternative to anachronistic systems based on superstitions and hyper-fertile imaginations.

    • Only the most deluded of this world would speak of alternative medicine with such fervor and passion, as if they want revenge for… who knows what. I wonder how much brainwashing one has to go through to become so deluded…

      Sorry for the nonexistence of the superb conspiracy you like to believe in, Peter. You should forward your complaints to mother nature, really. Molecules, microorganisms, cells, tissues and stuff… People here stand up for nothing more than simply how nature works. We don’t define that, it was ready-made, we just discover it. We would love it to work the fancy way that you desperately hope it does, but it was shown so many times to, emphatically, not work like that, that we have finally decided to swallow it and get on with life.

      By the way, you miss the fact that the status quo in medicine has been the equivalent of today’s charlatanism for centuries on end… Your beloved side of the story, i.e. the parody, has had its share of duration in history, and a devastatingly long one no less. Now, people of all eras had a great excuse, beyond gullibility… They didn’t have technology of the modern sort.

      Don’t fool yourself Peter, alternative medicine has been the status quo forever and a day… Just the way you love it. You were unfortunately born in the wrong era, which is sad. Now, you will have to suffer throughout the Rationality revolution. Hang in there, you’ve got everybody’s support and compassion from here.

  • @Peter: I think your “spirit” is stuck in the time before the industrial revolution….”when someone says something contrary to the status quo….”? Are U kidding? Have you not taken note iconoclasts rule the world? Free thinking in the Western Hemisphere is at an all time high and that in fact the ‘allowance’ of non-status-quo thinking is the norm virtually everywhere? If not, how could illogical, fallacy driven apologists like you perpetuate their rhetoric…?
    Don’t forget It took real, honest and fact-driven science millennium to usurp the dark-ages “status quo” of which you seem so anxious to reemploy.
    And of course NOTHING in the lifestyle you claim is yours would be scoffed at by anyone here…but the aspects which give you your robust-health have NOTHING to do with “alternative medicine”.
    “What” you believe is your choice….trying to promote it with fallacious and non-fact arguments based purely on your own arrogance is where you get your detractors.

  • It has got to be at least 50 years since the mind opening era of the 1960’s. So many new and exciting “alternative” modalities introduced to the public. My question is given that time span, (or in the case of homeopathy or acupuncture hundreds or thousands of years) where are the results? What are the results? Is it even conceivable that perhaps the vast majority of woo has been shown to be just that? On a comparable level could anyone show something from the CAM world that is comparable to the results science and the allopaths have delivered? Something on the order of hygiene , antibiotics, vaccination, anesthesia, anthelmentics etc…

  • Professor Ernst wrote: “Charles worked on plans to help build a model hospital of integrated medicine. It was to train doctors to combine conventional medicine and alternative treatments, such as homeopathy, Ayurvedic medicine and acupuncture, and was to have have up to 100 beds. ..The proposed hospital, which was due to open in London in 2003/4, was to be overseen by Mosaraf Ali, who runs the Integrated Medical Centre (IMC) in London. But the hospital never materialised. This might be due to Mosaraf Ali falling in disrepute: Raj Bathija, 69 and from India, went for a massage at the clinic of Dr Mosaraf Ali and his brother Imran in 2005 after suffering from two strokes. However, he claims that shortly after the treatment, his legs became pale and discoloured. Four days afterwards, Mr Bathija was admitted to hospital, where he had to have both legs amputated below the knee due to a shortage of blood. According to Mr Bathija, Dr Ali and his brother were negligent in that they failed to diagnose his condition and neglected to advise him to go to hospital. His daughter Shibani said: “My father was in a wheelchair but was making progress with his walking. He hoped he might become a bit more independent. With the amputations, that’s all gone.” Dr Ali was sued (if anyone knows the outcome of this case, please let me know).”

    At the time of the lawsuit Dr Ali’s solicitors were Capticks http://www.capsticks.com/

    Ref:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1053240/Celebrity-healer-stars-sued-patient-needed-double-leg-amputation-treatment.html

    I’m sure they’d have an update.

  • All my fans on this Blog do not realise that they have bought into the corporate thinking that conventional medicine is the only way to treat illness. You have accepted the paradigm that “Conventional Medicine Rules!” and that alternative treatments are quackery! You are all obedient conformists in the System, which will please the corporate world, which profits from this conformity. So, when you get your cancers, as so many people do in the West nowadays, you can queue up to get on the socially respectable conveyor belt to get your chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, which is the conventional treatment, totally disbelieving that the statistics for survival are extremely, extremely low, and totally disbelieving that there are successful alternative treatments. But, that is the respectable, socially acceptable, and conformist way to be treated.

    Come on, my fans! Tell me that you are not wittingly or unwittingly conformists to the corporate paradigm that “Conventional Medicine is the Only Way! It Rules! OK!”!

    • “…conventional medicine is the only way to treat illness…”
      no, the best way to treat illness is with therapies that have been shown to work.

      • Exactly, my “alternative” point! There are alternative therapies, which do work. Take what my wife did yesterday, for example. She had knee pain, so she blended spinach for 30+ seconds (so that it goes into the blood efficiently), mixed it with fruit because liquid spinach doesn’t taste very nice, and voila! No pain anymore! Very quickly at that. If I had gone to a doctor with her, she’d have ended up with loads of expensive pills, which would not have removed the nutritional cause.

        Chest pain? I sometimes get it. The cause? Stress. 3 or 4 rounds of EFT tapping for the cause of the stress later on, and the pain goes away. Would a pill have helped? Yes, but it would only have removed the symptoms, not the energetic cause.

        I hope that all my fans here will take note of this. “Alternative” treatments do work!

        • “…which would not have removed the nutritional cause.”

          Please do tell us the nutritional cause of knee pain. You may be on the verge of a brilliant medical discovery.

          How do you think your wife’s knee pain would have responded if she didn’t take blended spinach? Might blended carrots have worked equally well? Have you ever considered there are ways to test the comparative effectiveness of the two treatments (or none)?

          Have you never had a pain (chest, knee or elsewhere) which simply goes away on its own? Or are you obsessive in your view that foods are the entire answer to (and, by extrapolation, the ‘energetic causes’ of) all diseases and discomforts? If so, please advise what food should be taken and by which route to remove the energetic cause of syphilis.

          • A glass of water works for me, shaken not stirred.

          • Björn Geir said:

            A glass of water works for me, shaken not stirred.

            Indeed. As homeopathy’s guru, Dr Peter Fisher, stated in his oral evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee:

            Q155 Dr Harris: The shaking is important?

            Dr Fisher: The shaking is important.

            Q158 Dr Harris: A random amount of shaking?

            Dr Fisher: You have to shake it vigorously but exactly how much you have to shake it, no. If you just gently stir it, it does not work.

            Q159 Dr Harris: Does the MHRA check how much it has been shaken before it approves it for treatment?

            Dr Fisher: You would have to ask the MHRA, I do not know.

            Q160 Chairman: Dr Harris, I am going to leave the shaking at that point. Professor Ernst, you just wanted to have a last word on that.

            Professor Ernst: Just a quick comment. Even if the water is different it leaves totally unanswered the question of how it exerts any health effects in human bodies. The water in my kitchen sink is also different from distilled water yet it is unhealthy and not healthy.

            Chairman: Okay, we will ponder on that.

            Oh, and never, never ask a homeopath how hard or how many time it has to be shaken. They tend to get awfully annoyed.

        • She blended raw spinach… What if she missed a gout knee? Take a look at the levels of oxalic acid in spinach Peter. This is what reaches the blood more quickly. You might simply be needlessly perpetuating a situation there.

          • Thank you, James. That is possible. In her case, the occasional knee pain is caused by picking jasmine flowers from the many rows of jasmine bushes in the garden. She sits down on a small, Thai-style stool, while 2 cats insist on sitting on her shoulders or lap while she picks the flowers on each bush. But when she drinks the blended spinach-fruit concoction, the aches go away in a few hours at the most.

    • “They do not realize”….but of course you DO, through your Supra-mundane, revelations and unabashed arrogance. How often do frauds and dictators claim only ‘they’ have the insight necessary to see the truth?
      Funny about the truth….it doesn’t discriminate, it simply languishes amongst the nonsense and fallacies until it’s discovered. I suspect you fancy yourself the smartest-guy-in-the-room…the sententious holier-than-thou.
      There’s your winning paradigm.

  • Wow! My fans are very touchy and defensive today! Explosive even!

    Frank: Of course, food will not cure syphallis. But many foods are proving more effective than pharmaceutical drugs, in curing and reversing even the most serious illness, and there is plenty of research to explain why. Of course, the research isn’t by Big Pharma, which is probably what you would want to see before you would believe it. I wonder why Big Pharma would not fund such research.

    For example, doctors have been told what drugs to prescribe to cure autism. But broccoli is much more effective than any drug. The sulforaphane found in broccoli sprouts is found to benefit autism in a way no drug ever has in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. But would a doctor ever prescribe broccoli? … There’s not much money to be made in prescribing broccoli, I suppose. If your child had autism, would you give the politically respectable drug, which is not effective, but comes from a doctor in a professional white coat, or would you give a daily plate of “alternative” broccoli, which is more effective?

    If my fans are open-minded to food being used as an effective treatment for illness, watch this video at: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/food-as-medicine/ Don’t watch it just so you can shoot me down, but do it for yourself and your family.

    By the way, broccoli and some green leaf vegetables are very effective in removing the pain of arthritis and joints. You can either choose the drugs with side-effects or the safe, cheap, “alternative treatment”.

    • …”broccoli and some green leaf vegetables are very effective in removing the pain of arthritis and joints.”
      I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT IS A BOGUS CLAIM!
      if you disagree, provide the evidence, please.

      • Edzard, I think that you would be quite shocked about how simple fruits and vegetables are curing illnesses, which drugs can’t. How Big Pharma would love to patent Nature! Go to http://www.nutritionfacts.org, please, and you can tear to shreds all the scientific research there to your heart’s content.

    • Impossible…

      • James, I liked your reply. It reminds me of when someone on this blog said that talking lovingly to plants couldn’t possibly make plants grow better. Even without the research into the awareness of plants, which is ancient knowledge, we know instinctively that love makes plants grow better. I can think of 4 universities in India which carried out 3 years of research about how sending love energy to crops and meditating in the fields increased the crop yield and crop quality beyond what chemical farmers were getting. Perhaps you might like to go to YouTube and watch the videos on Masaru Emoto’s rice experiment as a similar example or how the energy of our thoughts affect Nature. Love is a high frequency energy, and yes, this can be measured. Love is also a kind of supportive, alternative treatment to illness.

        I think that you would be quite shocked about how simple fruits and vegetables are curing illnesses, which drugs can’t. Go to http://www.nutritionfacts.org, please, and you will find the scientific research there, which perhaps your conventional doctor is unaware of.

    • “…would a doctor ever prescribe broccoli? … There’s not much money to be made in prescribing broccoli, I suppose.”

      In the UK (and elsewhere) physicians earn their money in proportion to their availability to treat patients. They don’t get a penny from ‘Big Pharma’ and indeed are under constant government pressure not to spend money unless it’s really justified. So if broccoli were a valid cure for autism, you can bet your life doctors would prescribe it enthusiastically.

      Of course, there’d have to be little niceties about which variety of broccoli, which part of the whole plant, how much, how often and so on, otherwise you’d have people eating broccoli florets when it’s really the leaves that effect a cure. How is the broccoli to be cooked? Or should it be eaten raw? Since broccoli is a variety of cabbage, how do you know it’s the ideal for autism treatment? Have you ever experimented to discover whether savoy, red cabbage, spring greens or Dutch cabbage might be superior to broccoli? And why not?

    • Yesterday I took you to task over your claim that doctors would be reluctant to prescribe broccoli because they wouldn’t make so much money; which is, of course, total nonsense for most of the world.

      Today, let’s deal with the more substantive problem you raise. You said: “Of course, food will not cure syphallis [sic].” Why “of course”? Syphilis is a disease — an infection — and we know the cause: the bacterium Treponema pallidum. We know a lot about the sexual transmission of this spirochaete and the specific, detailed reactions to it by components of the immune system, which result in multiple phases of different symptoms interspersed with symptom-free periods. It’s a very serious illness, particularly if it remains untreated until the tertiary phase.

      After stating that “of course” (again, why should it be obvious?) food won’t cure syphilis, your next sentence read: “But many foods are proving more effective than pharmaceutical drugs, in curing and reversing even the most serious illness, and there is plenty of research to explain why.” If the serious illness caused by T. pallidum is not curable by foods, then you are obliged to tell us — make a list — of exactly which most serious illnesses are cured or reversed more effectively by (which) foods than by drugs, and to cite the evidence supporting each item on the list. Otherwise readers of this blog are going to suspect your claims are merely hot air. Links to YouTube videos are emphatically NOT, by the way, evidence. For more than a century scientists have accepted a system of formal publication of evidence in peer-reviewed journals. Nothing less will do for a matter of huge importance like advising people to abandon their drugs and switch to foods for treatment.

      You may characterize this response as ‘touchy’, ‘defensive’ or ‘explosive’. I characterize it as a reasonable and rational request for robust information to back up your irresponsible and inaccurate claims. You’re welcome to enjoy your the belief systems you outlined in another thread on this blog, imagining that the organically grown herbs, fruit and vegetables are made of some matter other than chemicals. You are perfectly free to pray and meditate as much as you wish. But when you start making sweeping statements about cures of all or most illness that may have the ring of truth to those without the knowledge to criticize, you need to have your feet held to the fire. Put up the evidence, or shut up!

      • Frank, I did invite Bloggers here, such as yourself, to watch the video whose link I provided. I assume that you haven’t watched it. I’m not going to waste your time with pointless arguing back and forth. My comments on this blog only serve to try to prise open the many seemingly closed minds here about the efficacy of alternative medicine / treatments.

        The leading causes of death can be prevented by food and lifestyle changes, and they can be treated in the same way. Treatment is not always “Eat this and eat that”, for example. It’s also “Don’t eat this, don’t eat that.” Meat, dairy products, processed foods and drinks (including processed and “fast” food meats and sugary foods and drinks) cause so many illnesses that one is asking for trouble by consuming them. Just look at the size of Westerners in general!

        If people wish to go to a white coat, conventional doctor when they have diabetes, for example, or their son has autism, for example, and take the latest pills, then that’s their choice. But if they stop eating and drinking certain food and drink products, and eat a plant-based diet instead, they will probably find that the illness, including the insulin-dependency, will go away.

        Is there the research to show that cow’s milk is a factor in causing autism and that broccoli is effective in treating it? Yes. Are there evidence and scientific explanations about why diet can cure insulin-dependency and cure diabetes when the best drugs don’t seem to be able to do so? Yes there is. But don’t look for it in Big Pharma sponsored forums, journals, and books. Medicine is all about money nowadays. Just as the food industry, the meat industry, the milk industry, etc. are.

        Start off by watching that video, please, Frank, and take it from there, but only if you are willing to be open minded. As I’ve said, I’m not trying to Win-Lose anyone; merely encourage the bloggers here not to dismiss alternative treatments as “nonsense”. However, I do encourage people to look at food as a factor behind the main causes of death, and to look at food as an effective alternative treatment to Big Pharma drugs.

        And, once again, Frank, of course a plant-based diet won’t cure a bacteria-caused illness. That will require a lifestyle change and a drug of some kind, which can kill the bacteria. There are effective drugs out there, just as there are effective alternative treatments to illness as well.

        • Peter, this is a truly weak, disappointing response. I did link to your video, but when I saw it lasted for and hour and a quarter I decided I had better things on which to spend my time. Videos do not fall on even the first rung of the scale of evidence. Anyone can say anything they like or show anything they like in a video. They can be a medium for education or brain-washing, depending how and by whom they’re made.

          Websites run by people with an agenda to hawk are only marginally better. If they make claims without referring to fully documented studies presenting data that can be properly scrutinized, analysed with care and, if appropriate, replicated, then they’re worthless. Your ‘nutritionfacts.org’ website is a case in point. It’s run by the same person who appears in your linked video, provides not a jot of evidence for anything, but links to “our free videos on more than 2,000 health and nutrition topics with new videos and articles uploaded every day”. No data whatsoever.

          The fourth paragraph of your comment today is highly revealing. ‘Big Pharma’ certainly sponsors a few journals (I wonder if that’s as many as ‘Big Snakeoil’?) and it pays for some medical research, but the bulk of science is done by disinterested professionals who are not working to enrich themselves. It’s published in journals that are independent or belong to learned societies. Medicine is not “all about money these days” (with the possible exception of the USA). To say that is a gross insult to the many people around the world who have devoted themselves, often for little or no reward, to improving the lives of others.

          To emphasize my point, let me pick at a couple of things on the ‘nutritionfacts.org’ website. First, it’s run by one Michael Greger, MD, FACLM. The latter qualification is ‘Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine’ — which he himself seems to have co-founded with a colleague, David Katz. The ‘MD’ should show up with a registration in the American Medical Association directory. To search the AMA doctor finder you need a State where the doctor is registered. From this source Dr Greger’s state is given as Maryland. A search in the AMA directory for Michael Greger in Maryland produced zero results. So Dr Greger is not registered with the AMA. Perhaps he no longer sees patients and earns money from Big Food (I couldn’t resist that, sorry!). From my research Greger’s data-free website and videos don’t come across as shining sources of true information.

          The second thing is the material on the website. One topic that caught my eye was turmeric, currently beloved of food faddists. The detail begins “In recent years, more than five thousand articles have been published in the medical literature about curcumin, the pigment in the Indian spice turmeric that gives curry powder its characteristic golden color. Many of these papers suggest curcumin can benefit a multitude of conditions with a dizzying array of mechanisms.” But Dr Greger feels no need to cite even one of the 5000 articles. He goes on to say “Since 1987, the National Cancer Institute has tested more than a thousand different compounds for chemopreventive, or cancer-preventing, activity. Only a few dozen have made it to clinical trials, and curcumin, turmeric’s bright-yellow pigment, is among the most promising.” Once again, no publications from the NCI are cited, but I already know from my own reading that curcumin has shown therapeutic promise in a number of preclinical studies and that it’s an exciting area of research. But to start deliberately ingesting turmeric to treat or prevent disease is putting the cart before the horse. There’s nothing new at all about pharmaceutical discovery from natural products (it even has its own name, ‘pharmacognosy’). But it takes years of research to discover precisely what a naturally occurring compound is useful for in medicine, what is its toxicity, and so on.

          The third and final nail in Dr Greger’s coffin comes from the title of one of his books: “How Not To Die”. An MD who imagines it is possible not to die is unfit as an authority figure.

          You end your comment with “And, once again, Frank, of course a plant-based diet won’t cure a bacteria-caused illness. That will require a lifestyle change and a drug of some kind, which can kill the bacteria.” What ‘lifestyle change’ do you recommend for an infant with bacterial meningitis or overwhelming sepsis, or an adult with gangrene or tetanus? By the way, many antibiotics don’t kill bacteria, they inhibit their growth and it’s up to host immunity to eliminate them finally. But I bet you know a plant food that ‘boosts the immune system’ without having the first clue what that might actually mean.

  • If conventional scientific medicine works so well, backed by ‘proper research’, then why do so many people seek ‘alternative’ therapies. Maybe there is a flaw in the research? Maybe it doesn’t work as well as you’d like to think it does? And just how much of conventional medicine IS backed by sound scientific research? Why is my clinic filled to the rafters with happy, healthy people who have all been let down by the so-called ‘evidence based’ approach? When will you wake up?

    • Many people choose cowboy builders and dodgy accountants, too.

      • Frank: When ‘real builders’ and ‘accountants’ are provided free of charge at the point of service by the NHS, why do some patients go to the ‘cowboy builders’ and ‘dodgy accountants’ and pay the fairly high fees for the service?

        (Don’t get me wrong Frank, I know that the NHS do a fantastic job)

    • I think that quite a few posters on this Blog believe that drugs are approved on the basis of long-term, critical, etc., etc., research. Perhaps they are unaware of the corruption in the FDA, such as that Big Pharma donates a very high percentage of the FDA’s expenses in order to have drugs approved quickly and hastily. One of the all-time classic examples of a drug being approved wrongly by the FDA is how aspartame got to be approved.

    • If reality is so valid, then why do so many people gather up in churches? Maybe there is a flaw of perception? Maybe reality doesn’t work as you like to wish it did? And so on…

      You know, most serious failures of alternative medicine don’t make it out through the front doors of clinics, and are certainly not able to tell their side of the story.

      Alternative clinic: healthy in, happy out. Unhealthy in… Throw dice…
      Do something useful for a change! Instead of solely for conventional medicine, apply the same strong criticism principles to alternative medicine with the same rigor, too. See what comes up!

  • That’s true! And then they seek a properly qualified ‘alternative’ therapist to do the job properly

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