Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Queen, Country and Homeopathy

With the Queen’s Golden Jubilee taking place in early June, marking the 60th Anniversary of her ascension to the throne, it seems highly pertinent that Homeopathy, Healthy Medicine investigates the relationship that the Queen and her family have with homeopathy.

It is well known that the Queen is an advocate of homeopathic treatment which is reflected in her patronage of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital (now re-named the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine). 

It is interesting to note that the relationship between royalty and homeopathy is a long-standing one. The British Royal family has received homeopathic care from 1830, and since then there has always been a royal homeopathic doctor. Dr Peter Fisher currently holds the post.

It began with Queen Adelaide, wife of King William IV, who first made public her interest in this ‘new medicine’ in 1835. Since then, various kings and queens of Great Britain have openly sought medical care from homeopathic physicians.

King George V often used alternative therapies to treat his seasickness, while his wife, Queen Mary, headed the fundraising efforts to move and expand the London Homeopathic Hospital. It is therefore unsurprising that their son, King George VI, who gained world-wide prominence in the recent biopic ‘The Kings Speech’ , continued their good work. 

George VI formally granted the use of the royal title to the London Homeopathic Hospital in 1947. He was known to be an expert user of homeopathic medicine himself and even named one of his prize racehorses ‘Hypericum,’ after a homeopathic medicine often used to treat injuries. Hypericum went on to win the 1,000 guinea race in 1946!

Due to its wide-spread use within the royal, presidential and aristocratic circles, homeopathy was once regarded as a ‘rich man’s therapy’ . The fact that the homeopathic approach is individualised for each person, may have provided the upper classes with a sense that they were being prescribed medicine exclusive to their individual needs. However, individualisation is one of the foundations upon which homeopathy is built, irrespective of who is being treated! 

It is perhaps more interesting to note that royalty and presidents have always had access to the best available medical treatment of their day and, therefore, the number of monarchs and presidents who have chosen homeopathy instead of conventional medicine must reflect the genuine value which they have found in this system of medicine.

Fortunately, homeopathic consultations now generally cost far less than their conventional counterparts, and there are over two thousand qualified, registered homeopaths in the UK. There is even limited availability of homeopathy on the NHS, so homeopathy is no longer a treatment option exclusive for the rich and famous. It can now be used by everyone!

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