Prince Charles is 'dangerous, dodgy quack who exploits the vulnerable'

THE Prince of Wales was yesterday accused of financially exploiting the public with a detox product based on "outright quackery".

Professor Edzard Ernst branded the 10 detox tincture, part of the prince's Duchy range, "a dangerous waste of money" and said Charles was misleading people and ignoring science.

The leading academic, professor of complementary medicine at Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, said detox went against the "tablet of medical history" and there was no evidence such products worked.

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The body was more than capable of detoxing itself, he said, adding that the prince was financially exploiting "a gullible public in a time of financial hardship".

The tincture, which is part of the Duchy Herbals range of products, is on sale via the Duchy website and in selected Boots stores and Waitrose.

The website says the tincture, which contains dandelion and artichoke, is "a food supplement to help eliminate toxins and aid digestion".

Users are advised to take the tincture twice a day as a 2.5ml dose in a glass of water.

"It is important to follow a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle," the website adds.

Prof Ernst said there was no evidence detox programmes worked, and he accused the prince of presiding over "Dodgy Originals".

He went on: "The body has a powerful mechanism to deal with itself and there's no evidence that dandelion or artichoke will improve these functions. If a patient has a diseased kidney and cannot eliminate toxins via their kidney, then they need serious medical help.

"Products like this are a dangerous waste of money. Charles is exploiting people during hard times."

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Prof Ernst said the word "detox" undermined the treatment of people with drug addiction– getting them off narcotics represented a "real detox".

He said: "It also gives a bad name to the respectable side of herbal medicine, which has a lot of good in it.

"If people are led to believe they can overindulge on food and drink and put that all right with a Duchy detox tincture, then that, to me, is endangering public health.

"It is almost cynical to put such a product on the market."

Prof Ernst said the prince and his advisers "seem to deliberately ignore science and prefer to rely on 'make believe' and superstition".

He added: "Prince Charles contributes to the ill-health of the nation by pretending we can all over-indulge, then take his tincture and be fine again.

"Under the banner of holistic and integrative healthcare, he thus promotes a 'quick fix' and outright quackery."

Andrew Baker, the chief executive of Duchy Originals, said the Duchy Herbals Detox Tincture was traded as a food supplement in accordance with both UK and European food laws, and had never been described as a medicine, remedy or cure for any disease.

"There is no 'quackery', no 'make believe' and no 'superstition' in any of the Duchy Originals herbal tinctures," he said.

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"We find it unfortunate that Professor Ernst should chase sensationalist headlines in this way rather than concentrating on accuracy and objectivity."


THE number of detox products available to consumers has increased massively in recent years.

But controversy surrounds the whole issue of detox, with the scientific community united in the view that the body is able to rid itself of toxins.

Earlier this year a study complied by Voice of Young Science, part of the Sense About Science group, said consumers were being misled into believing that detox products worked.

No two companies used the same definition of detox and their claims were "meaningless", the report said.

The scientists found that, while manufacturers used the word detox to "promote everything from foot patches to hair straighteners", they were unable to provide reliable evidence or consistent explanations of what the detox process actually means.

That study came soon after the British Dietetic Association, which represents 6,000 dieticians across Britain, said there was no "potion or lotion" which could "magically" rid the body of chemicals.

The idea that dangerous toxins build up in the body was dismissed by the health experts, who said the body was capable of cleaning itself.

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But detox is not the only area of alternative and complementary therapies which has been questioned by scientists.

Last year, Prof Edzard Ernst, of Peninsula Medical School, said he would award 10,000 to the first person who could show that homeopathy worked.