Homeopathic medicine – con or cure?

Homeopathy controversy as sales soar past £200 million a year

Homeopathy - Health News - Marie Claire
Homeopathy - Health News - Marie Claire
(Image credit: Rex Features)

Homeopathy controversy as sales soar past £200 million a year

Once merely the preserve of eccentric individuals who rejected western medicine, homeopathy is now enjoying a surge in sales as Britons fight to stay healthy in the recession.

The market has grown by 18% since 2008, and is now worth a staggering £213 million a year, with experts expecting a rise of up to £282 million by 2014.

Homeopathy, or alternative medicine, includes a wide range of treatments from Echinacea, said to boost the immune system, to arnica, said to help prevent bruising.

Many believe the recession is responsible for the surge with 25% of adults admiting to using some form of alternative therapy over the past year, due to an increase in stress and depression, combined with a reluctance to take time off work.

However not everyone agrees with the claims of alternative medicine. Hundreds of homeopathy sceptics are planning a ‘mass overdose' of alternative remedies in order to prove their ineffectiveness.

More than 300 people have volunteered to take part in the protest, which will take place in high streets across the country at 10.23 on January 30th.

Organising the stunt is a group called ‘10.23' who are using the protest as a way of lobbying the government to reduce the 4 billion spent on homeopathic medicines every year.

They are now targeting chemist chain Boots, accusing the store of profiting from what is an ‘unscientific and absurd pseudoscience'.

Paul Bennett, Boots' profession standards director, said: ‘we know that many people believe in the benefits of complementary medicines and we aim to offer the products that our customers want.'


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