Britain's chief medical officer has slammed homeopathy as "rubbish" and revealed she is "perpetually surprised" that natural remedies are available on the NHS.
Giving evidence at a committee of MPs, Professor Dame Sally Davies suggested the success of homeopathic remedies was simply down to a placebo effect, and described homeopaths as "peddlers".
Currently, the NHS spends in the region of £4m a year on funding for homeopathic hospitals, prescriptions and referrals.
Despite the apparent lack of conclusive proof of their effectiveness, around 400 GPs in the UK use homeopathic remedies to treat 200,000 patients, and homeopathy has been available on the NHS for 65 years. According to the Daily Mail, some 15 per cent of Brits have used a homeopathic remedy at some point in their lives.
But many scientists argue that such remedies - which involve treating with dilutions of natural plants, herbs and minerals that produce symptoms similar to those of the health issue - are too diluted to have any significant effect.
Asked for her views on the subject by the Commons science and technology committee, Dame Sally - formerly a consultant haematologist at the Central Middlesex Hospital - said: "I'm very concerned when homeopathic practitioners try to peddle this way of life to prevent malaria or other infectious diseases.
"I am perpetually surprised that homeopathy is available on the NHS." In conclusion, the chief medical officer concluded that the practice "is rubbish".
What do you think? Do you advocated the use of homeopathic remedies, or do believe the NHS money currently used for such treatments could be better spent elsewhere? Leave your comments below..