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Hundreds of Herbal Remedies Now Outlawed Across Europe

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's The Nutri-Con Campaign page and our Health Issues page.


Live in Europe? Get your herbs while they last. New rules put forth by the European Union (EU) will ban the sale of certain herbal remedies that have been used for centuries.

Traditional herbs such a St. John's Wort or Echinacea must now meet strict licensing guidelines in order to be sold, while other lesser-known herbs that haven't been "traditionally" used in the last 30 years won't even make the cut to reach consumer shelves. Only those products that have been "assessed" by the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will be available for purchase. The real kicker? Even approved products will only be recommended for minor ailments such as the common cold, which means that product labeling may no longer be allowed to convey the potent health benefits of widely-used herbal remedies.

According the the EU, the laws were put in place to protect consumers from the "damaging" effects of traditional herbal remedies. The subtext of that statement, of course, is that herbal remedies can sometimes have dangerous interactions when taken with prescription drugs. Used alone, however, herbal supplements rarely pose a problem. With so many people taking prescription drugs, it's clear that the EU's move to ban herbal products is a monopolistic attack on the alternative health movement. While they can't admit the dangerous and deadly side effects of manufactured drugs, they can shift the blame to herbs.