The introduction of the EU Traditional Herbal Medicines Directive in April 2011 is set to change the future of herbs and tinctures. It will remove many of the herbal products we have grown used to from shop shelves.
Under the guise of ‘international harmonisation’ this directive is a clear move to deliver traditional herbal medicines into the hands of the Pharmacuetical Industries, who exist only to deliver maximum profit to their shareholders.
Although normal dried herbs, roots, barks and powders are unaffected by the directive, it appears that almost all tinctures, herbal capsules and tablets will disappear from the health store shelves as stocks are exhausted. That is until they are re-manufactured by the pharmaceutical companies under controlled conditions and FDA approval and most likely will only available on prescription from your doctor who is not educated in herbalism. Many health food stores have pre-ordered stocks of these in large amounts so that they can fulfil customer demand until they run out.
It is surprisingly easy to make your own medicines and I would suggest, a great part of the ‘cure’ for simple (and many complex) ailments to go out and find your herbal medicine at source – or grow it in your garden. Many of the problems at work in our culture are a direct result of human separation from nature – so get with the source and turn this ‘limitation of choice imposed by legislative agencies’ into something positive by re-integrating with nature.
Here is a link to my instructions – in Nettle Soup Ezine – on how to make a Valerian Tincture, which is just great as a muscle relaxant.
If you are opposed to the changes the EU directive is causing you can support the campaign direct at: http://www.anh-europe.org/
You can also write direct to your MP and MEP to let them know you want to retain access to herbal medicines and tinctures from your health food store.