|Korean Herbal Medicines/Wikimedia Image|
Patients have lost access to hundreds of herbal medicines today, after European regulations came into force.
Sales of all herbal remedies, except for a small number of popular products for ‘mild’ illness such as echinacea for colds and St John’s Wort for depression have been banned.
For the first time traditional products must be licensed or prescribed by a registered herbal practitioner.
Both herbal remedy practitioners and manufacturers fear they could be forced out of business as a result.
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.