Just what is it that makes so many people so angry about homeopathy? I’ve been using it on and off for years — arnica tablets for when the kids fall over, a magic box of special remedies which helped cure my hay-fever. I’ve always thought it was something harmless, something all of us did now and again.
Apparently not, though. In the past few months, whenever I’ve mentioned my guilty homeopathy secret to friends, it’s as if I’ve confessed to a penchant for child sacrifice.
‘What?’ the general reaction has been. ‘Don’t you realise all homeopaths are charlatans; their remedies are nothing more than sugar pills; they’re a drain on the NHS; they’ve resulted in the deaths of gullible innocents all over the world?’
This surprises and saddens me, for there have been times in my life when I’ve found homeopathy beneficial. I wouldn’t class myself as an ardent believer — I won’t shun coffee or mint toothpaste, or any of those other boring things you’re supposed to do if your remedies are to work properly. But I’m not a virulent sceptic, either.
Probably the greatest success I’ve had has been with my hayfever. It made my childhood summers a misery of itchy eyes, sneezing and almost flu-like debilitation.