Putting aside the health concerns
that could put patients at risk, the European Government has decided to proceed
with the statutory registration for all practitioners of acupuncture, herbal
medicine and traditional Chinese medicine.
The earlier law which was due to effect from April this year would have made it illegal for practitioners to supply unlicensed herbal medicines. Despite concerns raised by several doctors that it would lend credibility to therapies which could pose health risks, the government has decided to go ahead with this move.
This decision will let health food shops to continue supplying pills and supplements which were initially due to be taken off the rack by April end. Horny goat weed (herbal Viagra), cascara bark (used as a laxative) and St. John's wort (used to combat depression) are among the medicines which will escape the ban. Supply of these unlicensed products will be permitted as long as suppliers register with the Health Professions Council. The 126 million pound herbal medicine industry said this decision would offer more choices to the patients.