Homeopathic remedy claims are disputed
National retail chain Neal's Yard Remedies is claiming that homeopathic remedies they sell can help prevent and treat serious fatal diseases such as malaria, as revealed by Inside Out (Friday 11 April at 7.30pm, BBC One South West).
Leading experts in alternative medicine and homeopathy have hotly disputed the claims, saying there is no scientific evidence that they work and they are putting travellers' lives at risk.
The presenter of Inside Out South West, Janine Jansen, was sold homeopathic remedies by the manager of Neal's Yard in Exeter and was advised that she could use them to help deal with malaria.
Dr Ron Behrens, the Director of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases Travel Clinic in London, says there is no scientific evidence that homeopathic remedies work for malaria.
He said that making claims that homeopathic remedies can prevent or treat malaria was potentially highly dangerous and it puts people's lives at risk.
He says two million people die every year from malaria, and about 2,000 people in this country contract the illness.
For the programme, Janine Jansen interviewed Susan Curtis, Medicines Director for Neal's Yard and author of the book: Homoeopathic (sic) Alternatives To Immunisation.
Susan called an abrupt halt to the interview after about 15 minutes, when being questioned about the scientific evidence that homeopathic remedies worked.
She said during the interview that: "I do say that there is no guarantee that the remedy will prevent malaria. There are no clinical trials that we know of that show that the homeopathic remedies work for malaria. However there is some evidence by extension that homeopathy can be very effective in certain epidemic diseases."
Dr Ron Behrens said: "If you are taking malaria tablets at least you have 98% chance of being protected, whilst the evidence doesn't suggest any protection from taking a homeopathic remedy. I know which strategy I would prefer."
Inside Out South West is on BBC One in the South West region at 7.30pm on Friday 11 April and can also be seen outside South West England using the BBC iPlayer.