EU Setting Stringent Standards for Herbal Remedies

If you’re a fan of herbal remedies, then you may want to look beyond the EU at this point. New EU rules came into practice this weekend banning hundreds of herbal medicines and remedies. The point of the laws is to protect consumers from influencing or hurting traditional medicines.

Getting Your Herbs

In order to get herbal medicines, you’ll have to search for registered medicines. The products have to meet safety, quality and manufacturing standards and they have to list all possible side-effects.

Herbal practitioners and manufacturers are fearful that the new rulings could push them out of the market and out of business. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) conducted a study in 2009 that showed that 26% of adults in the UK had taken some type of herbal medicine in the past two years. The study also found that 58% of respondents believed the products they used in herbal remedies to be safe, since they were “natural.” Now, the agency is hoping to promote more caution in herbal remedy users.

Setting the New Standard

Herbal remedies can actually have many harmful side effects. The MHRA issues a warning this past February about the herbal weight loss product Herbal Flos Lonicerae (Herbal Xenicol) Natural Weight Loss Formula, after tests showed that it has twice the prescribed does of a banned substance in it.

Now, manufacturers are going to have to prove that their products have been produced to strict standards while showing that they have a consistent and clearly marked dose. Remedies that are now on the shelves will be allowed to remain there until their expiration date.

Now, newly approved remedies will have a logo marked THR on them. So far, 211 remedies have applied for approval under the new system, with 105 that have been granted.

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