her003Reader Rob commented on this piece that appeared on the BBC website. It seems that Prince Charles has a detractor in one Edzard Ernst, the UK's "first professor of complementary medicine." The scion of the royal family has long supported unproven remedies, and Ernst is appalled at one particular product. The item in question, Duchy Herbal Detox Tincture, is heartily endorsed by Prince Charles. It's also of note that Duchy donates money to Prince Charles' charity.

From Duchy's site:

What is Detox Tincture?

Duchy Herbals Detox Tincture is made from extracts of Artichoke and Dandelion, cleansing and purifying herbs to help support the body's natural elimination and detoxification processes, and help maintain healthy digestion. Duchy Herbals Detox Tincture can be taken as part of a regular detox program.

Globe artichoke, which has the Latin name Cynara scolymus, is a thistle - like perennial plant originating from Africa. It is easily recognised by its large green leaves and attractive purple flowers. Its is a well known vegetable that can be used in a variety of different dishes, and is also a well known digestive aid.

Dandelion, which has the Latin name Taraxacum officinale, can be found growing throughout the English countryside and is easily recognised by its vibrant yellow flowers. Dandelion leaves can be included in salads, the dried roots can be used as a coffee substitute, and it is also used to flavour herb beers and soft drinks.

With tongue firmly in cheek, I tell you that I would buy a product designed to improve my health based solely on how "attractive" the flowers of the ingredient plants are, and the fact that one of the ingredients can be used to make fake coffee.

Why the latin names? Does that somehow make the product more effective? Here's another latin name: Bos taurus, and I believe some of its eliminatory products have found their way into the Duchy's catalog.

There's not need for me to comment further, howerever, as Edzard Ernst sums it up nicely:

Duchy Originals detox tincture was based on "outright quackery".

There was no scientific evidence to show that detox products work, he said.

And then later:

Professor Ernst of Peninsula Medical School said Prince Charles and his advisers appeared to be deliberately ignoring science, preferring "to rely on 'make-believe' and superstition".

He added: "Prince Charles thus financially exploits a gullible public in a time of financial hardship."

But hey, some of it goes to charity.