Under the new EU rules, all herbal medicines are required to meet safety and manufacturing standards and packaging must now outline any possible side effects.
Practitioners and manufacturers have both expressed concern over the move, saying that registering the remedies is not viable and cost effective and could put them out of business.
A 2009 study from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) revealed that 26 per cent of UK adults had taken herbal medicine during the past two years, most of which was purchased over the counter from health food shops and pharmacies.
The same study also revealed that 58 per cent of respondents believed herbal remedies to be safe, because they are natural, so the agency is hoping that the new regulations will mean individuals will now approach herbal medicines with more caution.
Remedies already on the shelves will not have to be removed, and are allowed to stay on sale until they reach their expiry date. The MHRA has reported that there have been 211 approval applications to date with 105 being granted and the rest still being considered.
View the original Guardian article.