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What is happening to herbal remedies?

By Alison Cullen

The phrase “EU legislation…†has the power either to turn your mind to mulch or cause a surge of fury that threatens the integrity of your blood vessels. So it is with some trepidation that I attempt to tackle the subject of the approaching deadline for non-licensed herbal remedies, involving as it does that fatal phrase.


What will be happening to herbal remedies after 30th April 2011?

After 30th April 2011, all herbal products judged by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (a Government body—the MHRA for short) to be medicinal will have to be registered with the MHRA by the manufacturer before being supplied to retailers or consumers.

The registration can best be described as an approval process, and will allow products to state clearly what they can be used for. Safety data, such as when not to use the product, will be available for each registered remedy.

Why has this herbal legislation been brought in?

(Brace yourselves) The EU required the UK and some other countries to close the legal loophole that allowed unlicensed herbal remedies to be sold. The requisite herbal legislation was actually passed in 2005, but we were given time to get products licensed before it was put into effect. 30th April 2011 is the cut-off point after which we have to toe the line.

Do you have questions?

We have compiled a list of the most common questions we are asked. We will keep this list updated, so please check back to our FAQ page from time to time.

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