Herbal Medicine Gets Regulated

A lot has been going on in the field of herbal medicine. By April 2012 we will be statutory regulated which means that there will be set standards in the industry and guidelines for product production.  It has taken over 10 years of persistent hard work to get to this stage. It certainly is a history in the making moment. The industry as a whole will have its own standing (in the uk anyway).

As with all these things there are the good and not so good things as a result. Firstly an immediate necessary will be practitioners will be fully accredited to set levels and regulated under the Health Professionals Council. Secondly the production of herbal formulae will be profoundly affected. The biggest difficulty for many suppliers is going to be getting their herbal products licensed. For single formula's it is straighforward although a costly process. But the big question mark is on whether you are going to be able to purchase mixed formulae, products containing more than one herb. It looks seemingly unlikely and therefore it means hundreds of products will be wiped off the shelves, unless there have been trials conducted on them, which of course is an extremely expensive undertaking which few companies will be able to afford. Individual herbalist practitioners will be able to supply you with mixtures through one to one consultations but you may not get them over the counter. 

Thirdly the knowledge base is going to be affected. We cannot claim herbs can do anything without evidence based research regardless of the thousand of years traditional records we may already have. Although there is plenty of research on herbs already, it is the principle that the remedy has not gone under specific trials that becomes the issue. Drug companies may have the money to spend and charge exorbitant fees in return but herbal suppliers are not able to do so.

Much more change and debates to come, but for starters herbalist will be able to lead the industry rather than those with power and little knowledge of herbs trying to tell us herbalist what's best.

So watch this space for more as the industry changes.


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