To curb the rising problem of antibiotic overuse and dependence, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales recently shared that he uses homeopathic treatments on his farm animals.
In a recent international conference, Prince Charles explained this alternative solution in front of delegates from 20 nations and organizations, including Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer who once said that homeopathic treatment in humans was "rubbish."
"It was one of the reasons I converted my farming operation to an organic - or agro-ecological - system over 30 years ago and why we have been successfully using homeopathic - yes, homeopathic - treatments for my cattle and sheep as part of a program to reduce the use of antibiotics," said the prince.
While Prince Charles was not able to entertain any questions or give any further details, a spokesperson from Clarence House gave a later statement that homeopathic treatments are used on a case-to-case basis in Home Farm, an organic farm that is operated by the Duchy of Cornwall.
Clarence House specified that homeopathy is used along with other conventional treatments to help curb antibiotic dependence. Prince Charles has been a supporter of homeopathy in the National Health Service (NHS).
Homeopathy was developed more than 200 years ago in Germany. This alternative medical system theorized that a disease can be treated by a substance that coaxes similar symptoms among healthy individuals.
It also believes in the "law of minimum dose," suggesting that a lower dosage of the medicine can produce greater results.
Homeopathic medicines come from natural sources such as plants, animals and minerals. These include mountain herbs, bees, poison ivy and even belladonna.
A majority of these homeopathic medicines are thinned out to the point no molecules of the initial substance survives.
However, there is very little scientific proof that supports the claims that homeopathy treatments can cure a specific disease.
Dependence and resistance to antibiotics have become a huge problem. According to Lord Jim O'Neill, the chairperson who oversaw the 2015 antibiotic resistance review, Caesarean sections or cancer treatments could no longer be offered because of the high risk of infection.
"One our recommendations is to propose a major global awareness campaign because these things are being handed out like sweets," said Lord O'Neill.
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