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
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
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

    Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

    £12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

    Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

    £32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

    Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss