Britain's Prince Charles had a private meeting with a controversial American complementary medicine guru last week.
The 67-year-old royal - whose Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health charity was closed down in 2012 - is a "passionate advocate" of alternative healthcare and invited Dr. Andrew Weil to visit him at his Clarence House residence ahead of them both attending a conference called 'Food: The Forgotten Medicine'.
A source told the Daily Mail newspaper: "Although His Royal Highness no longer has a health charity, he remains a passionate advocate of complementary treatments.
"He believes they should play a much bigger part in health care in this country."
Dr. Weil has previously been criticised by medical professionals for promoting ineffective or unverified treatments and his company, Weil Lifestyle, was sent a warning letter in 2009 by the US. Food and Drug Administration over "Unapproved/Uncleared/Unauthorised Products Related to the H1N1 Flu Virus."
A spokesperson for the prince confirmed the meeting had taken place.
They added: "The Prince of Wales is a keen advocate of an evidence-based integrated approach to healthcare."
Charles' Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health campaigned for greater acceptance of natural and alternative health remedies but was closed down in 2012.
It had previously been mired in controversy when auditors discovered £253,000 was missing from its accounts and its finance director, George Gray, was subsequently jailed for embezzlement.
Professor Edzard Ernst - a controversial scientist and leading critic of alternative medicine - previously claimed he lost his job at the University of Exeter because of Charles' influence.
The German-born professor set up the UK's first chair in complementary medicine at the academic institution in 1993 but was met with criticism following his outspoken views on alternative therapies such as homeopathy.
Ernst publicly attacked a draft report by economist Christopher Smallwood, that had been commissioned by Charles, in 2005, resulting in the vice chancellor of the University receiving an official letter of complaint from Clarence House citing a "breach of confidence".
The professor claims the following year saw him subjected to interrogations, "dozens of cross-examining emails and letters" and "treated as guilty until proven innocent".
Ersnt said of the story in his book 'A Scientist In Wonderland': "I was innocent, but all support broke down. My unit of 20 co-workers was systematically destroyed."
However, he refused to bow down to the alleged suppression and openly criticised the heir to throne in a chapter titled 'Off With His Head'.
He writes: "Prince Charles has continued to promote alternative medicine indefatigably, often showing himself unwilling or unable to distinguish between real health care and blatant quackery, between medicine and snake oil, or between the truth and some half-baked obsessions of his own."
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