Published on May 1, 2011 at 10:39 PM
MHRA revealed that there had been 211 applications for approval of herbal remedies so far, with 105 granted and the rest still under consideration. At least 50 herbs, including horny goat weed (so-called natural Viagra), hawthorn berry, used for angina pain, and wild yam will no longer be stocked in health food shops, says the British Herbal Medicine Association. Approved remedies will come with a logo marked THR. The licensing process costs between £80,000 and £120,000.
Some of the most commonly used products were saved after the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley approved a plan for the Health Professions Council to establish a register of practitioners supplying unlicensed herbal medicines. Mr Lansley, in a written statement, said the Government wanted to ensure continuing access to unlicensed herbal medicines via a statutory register for practitioners “to meet individual patient needs”. Acupuncture falls outside the EU directive and so remains unaffected.
Professor George Lewith, professor of health research at Southampton University, said, “Evidence for the efficacy of herbal medicines is growing; they may offer cheap, safe and effective approaches for many common complaints.”