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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 May 2006, 09:06 GMT 10:06 UK
93-year-old - 'I know they work'
Jane Gilchrist
Ms Gilchrist works as a volunteer in a homeopathic hospital
A group of Britain's leading doctors have urged the NHS to stop funding the use of complementary therapies and only for medicine "based on solid evidence".

But Jane Gilchrist, 93, who uses homeopathic remedies, says she has seen "great benefits".

Ms Gilchrist had a heart attack in 1976. Since then, she has taken a homoeopathic remedy every day to help her heart muscles.

For the same symptoms, people might have different medications
Jane Gilchrist

She told the BBC: "I know they work.

"I travel up to town on public transport, and I have a voluntary job at a homoeopathic hospital.

"I don't know many 93-year-olds able to do that."

'A fraction of the cost'

But she added: "I do think quite a lot of it is in the genes. I don't claim it's all homoeopathy - but I do believe in it."

And she said: "Of course, there's a placebo effect.

"But that doesn't work for animals or babies - and homoeopathy does work for them - and they don't know what we're doing."

"I understand the difficulty of proving it, because homoeopathy particularly is based on people and not symptoms, and so it is difficult to do data and double-blind testing.

"But it saves an enormous amount of money, as our remedies cost a fraction of orthodox remedies and, secondly, people aren't continually going back."

Ms Gilchrist said the reason it was difficult to provide proof from research that alternative medicines worked was because they worked differently on individuals.

"Everyone is unique. For the same symptoms, people might have different medications."

However, she said that the proof they helped was shown by the number of people who wanted to use alternative medicines.

"More and more want to take these remedies - there must be a reason."

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