This was a question asked by my ex-wife Sally after popping into my surgery last week. While I answered this by saying “prevention is better than the cure”, implying that she might consider ceasing after-hours drinks with a certain local publican, the question does raise the hoary old issue of homeopathy versus conventional medicine.
Now you might think that as a local GP of long standing I’m biased, but what people need to realise is that conventional medicine’s placebos have been tested for hundreds of years. When I hand out two aspirins for that headache or broken leg, you can be assured your problem will eventually self-resolve. It’s a placebo you can trust.
But can you be so sure if you pop into Harold Homeopathy and get one of Mr Tredinnick’s preparations? How do you know he has diluted the placebo enough? You might have a broken leg when you go in there, but have three legs when you come out.
Everyone says homeopathy is harmless, but you just don’t know what that water will remember which could be a real issue if you are fumbling around at the Squirrellicker’s Arms after closing time.
So back to those pesky genital warts, of course I still had to treat Sally – I have taken a hypocritic oath and ex-wives are no exception. Two aspirins should see her little issue quickly clear up of its own accord. The itching will take much longer to go away but I plumb forgot to prescribe her the soothing cream.