Dear Editor – A petition by Avaaz will be sent to the Under Secretary of State for Health urging the government to proceed with their plans for statutory regulation of herbalists.
In February 2011 the government announced that they would proceed with Statutory Regulation saying, ‘This is the right decision which will benefit practitioners and the public who use herbal medicines’.
This did not happen and now changes to European medicines law dictate that herbalists must be authorised (by being statutorily regulated) to continue supplying herbal medicines. Consequently, herbal practitioners have lost the right to prescribe many commonly used herbal medicines and the public have lost access to a wide range of herbs.
Periodically, herbalists have been persecuted throughout history. During Tudor times Henry VIII produced his now famous ‘Charter of King Henry VIII’, which protected the rights of Herbalists and provided a safeguard for the continuation of herbal healing for many years.
Plants cannot be patented, thus there can be no profit after market introduction; therefore it is not in the interest of commercialism to encourage the present popularity of plant medicines. The pharmaceutical companies have acquired enormous power to influence the market for their products and influence governments to sway legislation in their favour. Little by little public access to vital herbs is being removed, this slow and insidious method has prevented an outcry from the public.
Today the evidence base for herbal medicine is excellent and the majority of pharmaceutical preparations originate from plant based substances. Statutory regulation will ensure that patients have access to a full range of medicines from practitioners who are trained to high standards. This is a right that should not be denied.
The Herbal Clinic – Swansea
Meilyr James BSc (Hons) DBTh DAcu AcuC DIr MGNI.
Registered Medical Herbalist, Iridologist and Acupuncturist
Sent to Evening Post, Western mail, Guardian, Daily mail & Telegraph
The Herbal Clinic in Swansea provides natural healthcare with the use of organic herbs, acupuncture and iridology.