Professor Dame Sally Davies said she was “perpetually surprised” homeopathy was provided on the NHS, and branded homeopaths “peddlers.”

Giving evidence to the Commons Science and Technology committee, she also expressed fears about the prescription of homeopathic remedies to treat malaria and other illnesses.

‘I’m very concerned when homeopathic practitioners try to peddle this way of life to prevent malaria or other infectious disease,” she said.

“I am perpetually surprised that homeopathy is available on the NHS.”

Dame Sally, who is England’s most senior doctor, concluded by remarking that homeopathy “is rubbish”.