Like me, I am sure that many of you have bought over the counter herbal medicine for all sorts of mild complaints
I actually thought that they were gentler and had fewer side effects
According to research as much as 26% of adults just in the UK have used them.
But up until now there has been no regulation governing herbal medicines even though some plants are actually poisonous.
Well now the EU has introduced a Herbal Medicines directive, which starts this month and will ensure the safety of herbal medicines. Unfortunately it doesn’t cover homoeopathy, which is also going through a hard time at the moment, aromatherapy and flower remedies.
From now on all OTC herbal medicines will have to have a Traditional Herbal Registration licence from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. The ‘traditional’ means that the herb, or a combination of herbs, have been on the market for at least 30 years and 15 of them in Europe.
This should also ensure that manufacturing premises are kept to the same standard as for pharmaceutical drugs, and that all labelling includes full information about contraindications and side effects, safety for children and pregnant women etc.
Apparently some herbal medicines do have research to back them up from countries like Germany and Switzerland, whose herbal medicines are often used by G P’s and in many cases the herbs have been used for centuries without any problems.
But ultimately the benefits of sorting this out should outweigh any teething problems.