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Thursday, June 08, 2006 

Prince Charles Champions Acupunture and Alternative Medicines

Prince Charles told a meeting of the world's health ministers on Tuesday that ancient cures like acupuncture and herbal medicines should be used alongside modern treatments to improve global health.

In a keynote address to the World Health Organisation's annual assembly, Charles said patients ought to seek "the best of both worlds" when treating chronic conditions like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

"It is tragic, it seems to me ... that in the ceaseless rush to modernise, many beneficial approaches, which have been tried and tested and have shown themselves to be effective, have been cast aside because they are deemed to be old fashioned," he told a packed meeting hall at the U.N.'s European headquarters.

He said "increasingly robust evidence" had shown that acupuncture could effectively treat conditions such as osteoarthritis of the knee, and alleviate the nausea associated with anti-cancer drugs.

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