On 26th March 2015 the Department of Health published its ‘Report on the Regulation of Herbal Medicines’, authored by Professor David Walker. You can access the full report at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-on-regulating-herbal-medicines-and-practitioners – but it is summed up thus: –
‘Having taken into account the evidence available and the views of representatives of the sector, I consider that despite strong calls by many for statutory regulation, there is not yet a credible scientific evidence base to demonstrate risk from both products and practitioners which would support this step.’ (p.28).
This effectively puts the whole issue of the statutory regulation of herbal medicine ‘on ice’ for the foreseeable future. Hooray! A victory for clear thinking, common sense and the precautionary principle! Let’s hope this is the end of the top-down dictatorial bureaucracy that has plagued herbal medicine for so long, and heralds a new era for the grass-roots approach to holistic care.