Hundreds of herbal remedies have been banned as EU directive comes into force

May 01, 2011

Hundreds of herbal remedies have been banned as EU directive comes into force.

The new EU rules cover some commonly used ingredients, such as St. John’s Wort and valerian, and also Indian medications and traditional Chinese medicines. The laws are aimed at protecting consumers from potentially damaging side-effects. Under the new laws, herbal medicines must be registered, or prescribed by a registered herbal practitioner. Products must be well established, meet the safety and efficacy standards, and outline any possible side-effects. According to the 2004 EU directive, a traditional herbal medicinal product must be shown to have been in use for 30 years in the EU, or at 15 years in the EU and 15 years elsewhere before going on the market.

According to studies carried out by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in 2009, approximately one quarter of adults in the UK has bought and used herbal medicine in the last two years, mostly from pharmacies and health food shops.

‘The Government wanted to ensure continuing access to unlicensed herbal medicines via a statutory register for practitioners to meet individual patient needs’, said by Mr Lansley.

Prince Charles, A long-standing enthusiast of complementary therapies, has urged the government to protect the future of alternative medicine and ensure the safety of its patients since 2009. Now he voiced his support for formal regulation of herbal practitioners.

Acupuncture falls outside the EU directive and so remains unaffected.

Resource:—Daily Mail

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