MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

In staunch defiance of the evidence and common sense, Prince Charles has long defended homeopathy. Apparently, he not only uses it himself but also employs it for his animals. Claiming that his cattle don’t know about placebo effects, he seems convinced it works better than a placebo. Homeopaths are naturally delighted to have his royal support, not least the ones from India where homeopathy has been hugely popular for many years.

From the beginning of the pandemic, many Indian enthusiasts have claimed that homeopathy can effectively prevent and treat COVID-19 infections. In parts of India, homeopathy was thus employed on a population basis in an attempt to prevent the spread of the disease. There were voices that warned of a disaster but the  Indian enthusiasm for homeopathy as an effective anti-COVID-19 therapy won the day.Image

When Prince Charles fell ill with COVID-19, Indian officials did not hesitate to claim that his quick recovery was due to the homeopathic treatment he had received. Charles’ officials denied this but in India, the story was reported widely and lent crucial support to the myth that homeopathy would provide a solution to the pandemic. Subsequently, Indian officials began to rely even more on the alleged power of homeopathy.

Today, the consequences of these actions are becoming tragically visible: With more than 15 million confirmed cases, India is experiencing a catastrophic tsunami of COVID-19 infections. Its healthcare system is close to collapse, and the high prevalence of the virus provides dangerously fertile grounds for the development of mutants. One does not need to be a clairvoyant to predict that, in turn, these will cause problems on a global basis.

Why am I telling you all this?

I think this depressing sequence of events shows in exemplary fashion what damage ill-informed VIP support for an ineffective therapy can do. Many people tend to feel that Charles’ passion for homeopathy might perhaps be laughable but is essentially harmless. I beg to differ. I am not saying that Charles instructed Indian officials to employ homeopathy the way they did. I am even emphasizing that Charles’ officials denied that homeopathy had anything to do with his speedy recovery after his illness. But I am saying that Charles’ life-long promotion of homeopathy combined with his quick recovery motivated Indian officials, even more, to ignore the evidence and decide to heavily rely on homeopathy.

This decision has cost uncounted lives and will cause many more in the near future. I submit that the seemingly harmless promotion of unproven or disproven treatments such as homeopathy can be a deadly dangerous game indeed.

 

13 Responses to Homeopathy, COVID, India and Prince Charles: not a good mixture!

  • “… Prince Charles has long defended homeopathy.”

    Not just ‘defended’, but ‘…actively promoted’.

    HRH The Prince of Wales has granted his Royal Warrant to Ainsworths Homeopathic Pharmacists which they use as part of their marketing strategy to sell homeopathic remedies. Ainsworths do not provide homeopathic counselling and patient care directly – they sell remedies.

    Demonstrating that they have Royal support for their remedies no doubt reassures, or is intended to reassure, gullible members of the pubic, many of whom are vulnerable and suffering in one way or another, that homeopathic pillules have some effect in some way on some pathological processes – and not just psychologically as placebos.

    If that was not the intention of Ainsworths, they would not bother to display the Prince’s crest and warrant on their marketing material.
    If it was not the intention of the Prince that his crest should be used for marketing placebos dressed up as ‘remedies’, he would not bother to grant Ainsworths his warrant. Res ipsa loquitur.

    I have written to HRH asking for any evidence he has that homeopathic remedies (from Ainsworths or anyone else) actually do provide benefit. His secretary replied promptly that “the Prince does not enter into correspondence on this matter.”
    So here we have a Fellow of the Royal Society (HRH) content to deny the rest of us vital information which might help us decide whether to use homeopathic remedies (HR) or not. That is to be deprecated.

  • I rather like a lot of what HRH does and says. Years ago. his attacks on British architects and their ghastly new buildings brought applause.

    His support of Homeopathy is horrible

    • arguably, architecture is largely a matter of taste, while medicine is a matter of evidence.

    • I remember enjoying his attacks on architects, and his description of the new british library as looking like a place where books were burned, not read. However, having now spent many hours at the library, it’s a fantastic and wonderful building inside, even if the exterior looks a bit odd.
      So I now think he should just keep quiet about any area where he doesn’t have expertise – which is pretty much everything. And shame on the sycophants around him who fail to tell him he’s being an ass.

      • I regularly drive past Poundbury, the Dorset New Town championed by Prince Charles and built in an architectural style that he likes.

        It is a vile place. An absolute excrescence. Utterly incongruous with its surroundings, it looks like something a bunch of LEGO designers would come up with. Give me decent modern architecture any day.

  • In your blog many of the commentators say that the use and consumption of homeopathy is very low in relation to allopathy. Now you come to say that the increase in COVID cases is due to homeopathy. Your blog is increasingly full of more wild hypotheses to blame everything on homeopathy. But hey, let’s not talk about the increase in COVID cases in countries like the United Kingdom or France where the health system has stopped funding homeopathy and prevention measures are Pfizer Vaccines. That does not matter to Ernst or the critics of Homeopathy, everything to eliminate homeopathy from the whole world even if it is obvious that putting yourself in the hands of a multinational with a huge criminal record like Pfizer is never a good idea.

    • “Now you come to say that the increase in COVID cases is due to homeopathy.”
      India might be different from Europe; have you thought about that?
      “But hey, let’s not talk about the increase in COVID cases in countries like the United Kingdom or France where the health system has stopped funding homeopathy and prevention measures are Pfizer Vaccines. That does not matter to Ernst or the critics of Homeopathy, everything to eliminate homeopathy from the whole world even if it is obvious that putting yourself in the hands of a multinational with a huge criminal record like Pfizer is never a good idea.”
      1) not true for the UK!
      2) I did not put myself or anyone else in the hand of Pfizer!

    • Seagul,

      let’s not talk about the increase in COVID cases in countries like the United Kingdom or France where the health system has stopped funding homeopathy and prevention measures are Pfizer Vaccines

      What increase in COVID cases in the United Kingdom? Three months ago we had nearly 60,000 new cases every day. Now it is about 2,000. So far nearly 33 million people in the UK have received at least one dose of a vaccine (mainly Astra-Zeeca or Pfizer), which is roughly half the population. Putting ourselves in the hands of the likes of Pfizer seems to be working quite successfully, thank-you very much.

      I don’t understand why you have lumped us together with France, where the situation is very different. Only 6.7% of the population there has been vaccinated so far and there is a huge problem with vaccine hesitancy. This is reflected in the increase from about 10,000 new cases per day to 35,000 over the same three-month period.

      You don’t seem to be very well informed about these issues. Have you ever thought about checking your facts before posting?

      • FRANCE: 18,36% [20/4/2021] received at least one dose.
        the figure is similar in Germany.
        both countries initially struggled to get enough vaccines, not least because they were mostly delivered to the UK.

      • And doesn’t Dana keep telling us about how popular homeopathy is in France?

        Seagul appears to be another typical AltMed proponent where ideology is everything and inconvenient things like empirical fact and evidence less of a consideration.

    • Thank you, the press and Drug companies want to put the blame on Homeopathy. I wonder how many of these people effected were vaccinated. I don’t see the report on that/

  • HRH proudly proclaims to be the defender of faiths – however inconsistent or contradictory they may be.

    A cow swallows a placebo and an effect is produced in HRH’s faith-head. Homeopathy is a faith. HRH must defend it.

    HRH doesn’t proclaim to be the defender of sciences. Praise God.

    • Leigh,

      HRH proudly proclaims to be the defender of faiths – however inconsistent or contradictory they may be.

      Strictly speaking as heir to the throne he should only be defending the Church of England, since the Monarch is also the Supreme Governer of the Church. The most important part of the coronation ceremony is the anointing of the new monarch by the Archbishop of Canterbury with holy oil, which creates a direct link connecting the Monarch, the Church and God so that they reign by Divine right.

      In our multicultural society I don’t think everybody is aware of the special position of the Church of England, and how its laws relate to the Law of the Land. For isntance, I remember taking out insurance against Chancel Repair Liability, as there was until very recently legislation in place requiring landowners (i.e. the owner of a house or farm) to pay for repairs to their parish church if their property was on land that was once part of a rectory (essentially if the church was built before the Reformation). You did not have to be a member of the congregation or even a Christian to be legally obliged to contribute. When the law was set to be abolished there were concerns that churches would want to raise the money for new roofs etc. while they still could.

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