Protect herbal medicine
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Back in August, we bought your awareness to Codex Alimentarius which could restrict herbal, vitamin and mineral supplements to prescription only status.
Now herbal medicine is under threat again by the government in the UK.
The Department of Health has issued a consultation which could mean the loss of statutory regulation of herbal medicine and the loss of suppliers who will no longer be able to legally provide herbalists with products or products from Ayurvedic or TCM traditions.
Your Right to herbal healthcare
If you want to protect your and your family’s right to use herbal healthcare, you need to respond to the consultation by 2nd November.
Chris Etheridge who runs London and Hertfordshire clinics shares his three tips on what you can do:
1. Respond to the consultation document via their automated response system or by writing to them at:
Department of Health
Leeds LS2 7UE
Write your own letter in response to the consultation or follow the template letter below – but please make the letter your own by sharing your own experiences, as these carry more weight than hundreds of identical letters.
2. Contact your MP and write them a letter stating your concerns.
3. Make an appointment to see your MP and tell him/her how concerned you are.
For further information see he National Institute of medical herbalists and The Herb society.
Have you had success stories with herbal remedies? Tell me about it in the comments!
Sample response to consultation
Response to : Joint UK-wide consultation on the Report to Ministers from the DH steering Group on the Statutory Regulation of Practitioners of Herbal Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Other Traditional Medicine Systems Practised in the UKLS2
I find the Consultation Document itself to be too lengthy and complex to follow easily. I would therefore like to make my response to this Consultation as follows:
As a frequent user of herbal medicine(s) I wish to see improved quality and safety of herbal medicines which I believe can best be done through the protection of the practice of professional medical herbalists.
I wish to safeguard the right of myself and my family to have the choice of using professional herbal medicine if we wish to do so and would be strongly against any moves which threatened this right. Indeed I wish to see herbal medicine properly integrated into the health care arena making it possible for my GP/Consultant/Medical Herbalist to be able communicate and share professional responsibility for my health care.
I understand that the Governments own House of Lords report started the process of regulation of herbal medicine in 2000. The Steering Group Reported in June 2008 with clear direction as to how and why herbalists should be regulated. I am in agreement with these documents.
It seems to me that all due care and process has been taken – it is now time for the Government to enact the legislation which would allow herbalists to be statutorily regulated.
Sample letter to MP
I am writing to you to express my concern about the current Department of Health joint consultation on the Report to Ministers from the DH Steering Group on the Statutory Regulation of Practitioners of Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Other Traditional Medicine Systems Practised in the UK http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Consultations/Liveconsultations/DH_103567
I wish to preserve the right to access a full range of herbal medicines from a professional qualified herbalist.
It is now a matter of the utmost urgency that the Government bring forward legislation leading to the statutory regulation of herbalists.
I am enclosing a copy of my response to the Consultation for your information and would request that you raise this matter on my behalf with the Department of Health.
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Hi there. I am very glad you have raised this. It was brought to my attention by our practitioner who has helped us with lots of things. The scary thing is that he may not be able to prescribe if the outcome decides there is no need for regulation. Here is a guide if you want to complete the consultation, it makes it easy to quickly go through the online multiple choice questions, I did it in a couple of minutes.
I’m not from the UK but I fear that these kind of ideas may spread to NZ. It’s not the government’s place to be deciding these kind of things. I hope lots of Brits write letters and make a big fuss!
@russell: Russell, that is an excellent resource you have shared – thank you so much; it certainly helped me, as filling in these things can be quite overwhelming.
@Thomas: Hi Thomas, welcome to the site. Thanks for your support – I think you are right; what happens in one country, soon spreads to others. Fingers crossed we can stop this going through.
Dear herbal supporters
You may not have heard about the rally that has been organised for Monday 2nd
November 12.00 until 4.00pm outside the Houses of Parliament to support statutory
This rally is organised by the National Institute of Medical Herbalists but is not an ‘invitation only’ event! You are one and all invited to
come along – whatever your tradition, whether you are a practitioner, patient or just suporter. It would be really good if we had some of
our TCM and Ayurvedic colleagues alongside us as we are al in this together to protect herbal medicine for everyone.
Please do come – you will be
badly affected as well if statutory regulation does not go ahead.
This is a real ‘one of its kind’ opportunity so if you can come along or can
change your schedule on Monday to come for part of the afternoon that would be
We want herbalists to get noticed!
@Laura Stannard: Hi Laura, welcome to the site and thanks so much for sharing this important information.
I hope you have a great turn out and get your voice heard. As you say we will all be adversely affected if this goes through. Do keep us updated with the latest news.