Charles tells doctors of the world to use alternative treatments

Herbs and holistic remedies could replace conventional therapies, the Prince of Wales will say next week

The Prince of Wales will urge doctors to start using unconventional techniques such as chiropractic, acupuncture and herbal medicines to treat serious illnesses, in a speech to the World Health Organisation next week.

Prince Charles will claim that such major chronic illnesses as diabetes and heart disease, which affect tens of millions worldwide, could be successfully treated using complementary medicines and a "whole body" approach to healthcare.

His comments, which will invite fresh complaints from his critics, are to be made in a keynote address to the annual WHO Assembly in Geneva on 23 May, where the Prince will set out his case for "integrated healthcare" to a global audience for the first time.

The Prince is expected to argue that doctors should put less reliance on conventional drug-based treatments and take a more "holistic" view by putting greater emphasis on preventive healthcare, diet and healthy lifestyles.

This would help tackle endemic diseases such as strokes, heart disease and diabetes which kill 35 million people annually, and which are the cause of 80 per cent of GP referrals in the UK each year, he will say.

The Prince also believes there is proven evidence that some mental illness can be treated without anti-depressants, for example, using the herb St John's wort for post-natal depression.

Doctors and governments should be focusing on diet, environmental pollution and reducing the use of harmful chemicals in homes and farming, he will say.

In a speech last year when he was made an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, Prince Charles said that modern Western lifestyles played a major role in the rise of allergic diseases such as asthma, various cancers and in obesity.

"The human body has too often been mechanistically reduced to individual parts and treated with limited reference to the whole person," he said then.

"We need to harness the best of modern science and technology, but not at the expense of losing the best of what complementary approaches have to offer. That is integrated health - it really is that simple."

Officials at Clarence House say the Prince is gratified that the WHO has invited him to promote the case for complementary therapies and "integrated health" - a subject which he has championed for several decades, setting up the government-funded Foundation for Integrated Health in London.

He has frequently been attacked by the medical establishment for pursuing "crank" theories on health after he first advocated non-conventional medicine to the British Medical Association in 1982. Critics accused him then of a "flight from science".

His address to the World Health Assembly is a "sign of how far the debate has moved on", said one official. Integrated health was now the "subject of mainstream discussion".

But Prince Charles will avoid mentioning one of his most contentious personal interests - homeopathy, the widely disputed theory that minuscule doses of medicine can cure illness.

Prominent cancer specialists were also aghast when the Prince advocated the Gerson diet method of treating cancers. Michael Baum, emeritus professor of surgery at University College London, bluntly said Prince Charles had "got it wrong" and urged him to "exercise your power with extreme caution" when it came to health matters.

THE PRINCE'S WAY

ACUPUNCTURE The ancient Chinese science of inserting needles in key points on the body can help osteoarthritis, menopause symptoms and nausea in childbirth.

HERBAL REMEDIES Some have proven value - St John's wort for depression, and Chinese medicines for eczema and hay fever.

CHIROPRACTIC Mostly manipulating the spine, this can treat muscle and joint pain, migraine, asthma, menstrual pain and sports injuries.

DIET Prince Charles is a keen fan of organic, pesticide-free foods and supplements such as Omega 3 and fish oils, saying they improve health and cut the risk of illness.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?