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Lauren D'Silva's Blog

Herbal medicines law a complete nonsense

I've just been along to a Holland and Barrett wholefood store and had a chat with the store manager about the impact the EU's directive on Herbal Medicines will have on their shelves. Less than a fortnight away from it coming into full force and he couldn't yet tell me what would happen. He didn't know which herbs would be staying and which would go.

I asked whether there was a list of the herbal medicines that had been approved and he pointed out that it would differ from store to store. So you might go to Holland and Barrett and buy one herbal preparation that you couldn't buy in Boots and who knows whether you'll be able to find anything in an independent store? The few licenses that have been granted are solely for the brand, not the herb itself. 

How ridiculously absurd to say that for example 'X branded' Echinacea is approved, but 'Y' brand of the same product must be taken from the shelves. The herb in this case has been deemed safe, but no-one else is allowed to sell it, only the company that applied for the license. Ludicrous in the extreme!