Edzard Ernst, a former professor of complementary medicine and latterly vocal critic of CAM approaches, has fired a fresh volley of criticism at the Prince of Wales over his support for homeopathy.
Ernst has been involved in a decade long spat with the Prince, whom he accuses of using his royal public profile to advance the cause of “quack” treatments.
Last week Ernst turned his attention to a homeopathic remedy known as Berlin Wall sold by London homeopathic pharmacy Ainsworths, which has a royal warrant from both the Prince of Wales and the Queen.
Breaking down barriers
The remedy, known also as Murus Berlinensis, is described as containing fragments of the Berlin Wall, though diluted to sub-molecular levels in accordance with homeopathic practices. Among the conditions and symptoms the remedy is recommended for are ‘separation’, ‘personal relationship issues’, and ‘helping break down barriers’.
Ainsworth’s sells the remedy with prices ranging from £20 to £72. The remedy is also available from national homeopathy manufacturer Helios.
Speaking at the Science and Media Centre, Prof Ernst said: “People think that homeopathy is based on natural substances. Berlin Wall shows this is not true.” He added: “The lamentable thing is not that shops sell it, the lamentable thing is that people are being misinformed.”
Ernst told The Times that while such remedies were “not only bonkers but also ineffective”, the royal warrants gave them “a sense of credibility”.
Tony Pinkus, director at Ainsworths dismissed the criticism, telling the newspaper that Ernst was “an arch sceptic of homeopathy”.
But not all homeopaths are so sure about the wisdom of affording remedies such literalist powers. The Greek homeopathic practitioner and teacher George Vithoulkas has previously cautioned that “the sake and credibility of homeopathy was not served by using remedies like Berlin Wall”.