Beware Detox Claims From Supplements

Poor Prince Charles. There’s never enough controversy for the Royal family. Now, his herbal line is under attack for unscientific claims. Several months ago, studies were reported which showed that detoxification claims by various supplements were unfounded. Scientists had warned the public of the dangers of using these agents on the grounds that they were ineffective.

In fact, scientists find that many substances are claimed to have detoxification effects, but what is meant by these detoxification effects has never been revealed. Prince Charles has long been an advocate of complementary medicine and a champion of organic agriculture, so it is not surprising to find that he has his own line of herbal supplements, called Duchy Herbals. Although not all supplements in his line are under attack, his Duchy Herbals Detox Tincture is. It is supposedly made from artichoke and dandelion, but it unclear how these two natural products act as a detox agent.

Charles fiercest critic is Dr. Edzard Ernst, who accused the Prince of ‘outright quackery’. He uses strong words to express his outrage that this royal personage would promote something so unscientific to poor unsuspecting victims. (And to charge lots of money for it as well.) He fears that the public may be led to believe they can overindulge on bad things, then be able to clean themselves out with the detox agents. But the prince’s problems do not stop there. His herbal claims are now under investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Though I do not believe the ‘detoxing’ claims by supplements, I doubt that the Duchy Herbals Detox Tincture is downright harmful. That is, if it really is made from artichokes and dandelions. That part is always in dispute once an herbal agent is turned into some supplement. That’s why I would always advocate that anyone wishing to use a supplement should just turn to the real thing. Why not eat real artichokes and dandelions? I’m sure it’s much more nutritious. I know it may sound crazy to eat dandelions, but dandelion leaves are supposed to be delicacies in salads served in posh restaurants.

I see the whole Duchy Herbal row as a comedy. However, I would warn anyone against believing all the claims from herbal supplements. They should always consult with their doctors before using them, and inform their doctors afterwards, as many supplements have interactions with other medications. Most of all, it has been shown that detoxification agents have no basis for their claims.

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