Regulations on herbal medicines come into force

What is so interesting about the 'spin' on this article is that there is a focus on some disturbing concerns -

On the one hand people are referred to their doctor or pharmacist for information.  Quite frankly too few doctors and pharmacists are educated in natural remedies and would not be the go to source of choice in my opinion.

The concept that the reason for licensing natural remedies is to protect people is specious. There is no mention of any rule to protect people from the oft deadly and serious side effect causing from pharmaceutical drugs.

Citing blood thinning drugs and blood thinning herbs says that there is little concern about the fact that consumers can get the benefit without drugs.  The profit motive again.

Many real health freedom fighters have been trying to fight this and educate the public about the issues for more than a decade as I have.

The concern is that this will happen in the US as we see the push to get you to accept "integrative medicine" and forgo hundreds of years of safety and efficacy of natural remedies.  These same natural remedies used for so long and the basis of the National Formulary and USP.

Contact us for herbal education and highest quality remedies.

The EU law aims to protect consumers from possible damaging side-effects of over-the-counter herbal medicines.  For the first time, new regulations will allow only long-established and quality-controlled medicines to be sold.  But both herbal remedy practitioners and manufacturers fear they could be forced out of business.
Traditional Herbal Remedy logoHerbal remedies that have been approved for sale under the new regulations will come with this logo

To date, the industry has been covered by the 1968 Medicines Act, drawn up when only a handful of herbal remedies were available and the number of herbal practitioners was very small.
But surveys show that around a quarter of all adults in the UK have used a herbal medicine in the past two years, mostly bought over the counter in health food shops and pharmacies.
The regulations will cover widely used products such as echinacea, St John's Wort and valerian, as well as traditional Chinese and Indian medicines.
But safety concerns have focused on the powerful effects of some herbal remedies, as well as the way they interact with conventional drugs.
For example, St John's Wort can interfere with the contraceptive pill, while ginkgo and ginseng are known to have a similar effect to the blood-thinning drug warfarin.
From now on only products that have been assessed by the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will be allowed to go on sale.
Manufacturers will have to prove that their products have been made to strict standards and contain a consistent and clearly marked dose.
And to count as a traditional medicine, products must have been in use for the past 30 years, including 15 years within the EU.
They will also only be approved for minor ailments like coughs and colds, muscular aches and pains, or sleep problems.
Remedies already on sale will be allowed to stay on the shelves until they reach their expiry date.
Free from contamination
Richard Woodfield, head of herbal medicine policy at the MHRA, says so far there have been 211 applications, of which 105 have been granted registration.

"Crucially, this EU directive and the registration scheme puts consumers in the driving seat so they can identify that a product meets assured standards on safety, quality and information about safe use.
"Safety speaks for itself, but quality means, are they using the right part of the plant? Is it free from contamination? Is the claimed shelf life suitable?
"Product information will include possible side effects and interactions with other drugs, but above all it must make very clear that it is based on traditional use."
And that is a key point for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, which believes the new regime is a step forward in improving safety and quality.
But Prof Jayne Lawrence, chief science adviser to the society, says there are still some concerns about herbal products.
"They certainly haven't been tested on the same basis as a conventional medicine and some of these compounds are very potent.
"Patients might not realise that in some cases they should not take other medicines with them, or if they're going for surgery they should tell their doctors they are taking these particular medicines because there may be complications.
"So we're very concerned that patients appreciate they must be very careful when they take these medicines and, ideally, should talk to their doctor or pharmacist."
The manufacturers of herbal remedies have had seven years to prepare for the new rules after the European Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products was introduced in 2004.
Too onerous?
These regulations apply to over-the-counter sales, which form the bulk of herbal remedies sold in the UK.
But some manufacturers and herbal practitioners have expressed concern, arguing the new rules are too onerous for many small producers.
Michael McIntyre, chairman of the European Herbal and Traditional Medicines Practitioners Association, says there will be a significant impact on herbal medicine practitioners and their suppliers, but admits the rules do need bringing up to date.
"Products that go on the market now will definitely do what it says on the bottle, while we didn't know how good they were in the past.
"But registration is expensive so perhaps there may be fewer products on the market and a smaller range.
"It's difficult to argue that the market should stay as it is, without any regulation, but how many businesses will pack up and walk away? I can't say."  SOURCE
Some old news from the beginning of the decade -  I cannot speak for veracity of the information however it is interesting to consider -

Supreme Court bans medicinal use of aloe plant
Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that people using the aloe vera plant for medicinal purposes are not exempt from federal laws prohibiting use of the naturally occurring herb, which medical experts say can ease the suffering of burn victims.
"It is clear from the text of the [controlled substances law] that Congress has determined the aloe vera plant has no medical benefits worthy of an exception," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the court.
The Supreme Court's decision reversed a 1996 Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that medical necessity can be a legal, "common law" defense to prosecution. Both raw aloe and the aloe vera plant were included in the 1966 U.S. Controlled Substances Act, classifying aloe as a Class II Narcotic alongside cocaine, marijuana, LSD and other substances that invoke feelings of euphoria in the user.
Public controversy surrounding aloe's legal status has escalated since California's 1996 passing of Proposition 215, which authorized doctors to prescribe aloe as a medicinal aid for certain health ailments - an authorization in direct conflict with the Controlled Substances Act. With doctor's orders, patients could legally purchase, use and in some cases even grow aloe vera plants, the leaves of which yield a thick sap that can be used to relieve the pain generated by some skin conditions.
"The Court of Appeals" action cannot be squared with a federal law that bans aloe because of its potential for abuse," Justice Thomas wrote.
Aloe legalization activists, having long questioned the inclusion of aloe in the Controlled Substances Act, say authorities are acting out of drug paranoia in the continued suppression of aloe's legality.
"It's unfortunate the Supreme Court used faulty logic, following along with the drug war, rather than seeing the legalization of aloe for what it is: a health care issue," said Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen, spokesman for Legalize AV!, a pro-aloe activist organization. "Aloe can relieve the pain that accompanies oxidation of a burn wound. Further, there is evidence that aloe can aid digestion and be used as a healing agent for digestive problems."
"No one's asking for full-blown aloe legalization - not in this case, anyway," added Uelmen.
Pro-aloe activists insist that since aloe plants occur naturally in the environment, use of the plant and its extract should not be - and in theory, cannot be - controlled. It is believed that as much as 40 percent of the nation's populace illegally uses aloe in their homes.
Legalize AV! volunteer and pro-aloe activist Kendra Kelly said she disagrees with the government's position that it is legal to use manmade antiseptics like hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol - which often incite hostile reactions in the user - while aloe remains a controlled substance.
"It's like, aloe comes right from the earth, like it's nature's gift to humanity; that it's illegal just blows my mind," said Kelly, who admits to occasionally purchasing aloe for her personal home use. "Aloe is like the mildest [of antiseptics]. When I use aloe, it's like, 'Ooh, yeah.' It totally mellows me out. Not like [hydrogen] peroxide. That shit makes me scream."
Kelly refused to elaborate on the events surrounding her two arrests for medicinally using aloe vera, having been cited for aloe possession in 1977 when police searched Kelly's car after suspecting she had recently used aloe, and again at a college party in 1983 when "a whole bunch of [students] were out back getting burned."
November 2001


UPDATE: 30 April -  

Pro golfer targets diabetes

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Professional golfer Notah Begay III is fighting the growing problem of diabetes among Native-American youth, saying the disease could ultimately cost tribes their future leaders if nothing is done.
Begay took his wellness message to the airwaves Friday during the national Native America Calling radio program and in a television show that was broadcast via satellite to students in nearly 200 schools across Indian Country.
Part Navajo and part pueblo Indian, the 38-year-old golfer said diabetes has become an epidemic among his people but he wants people to know it's a disease that can be prevented.
"We're in a fight, literally, to save our kids' lives," he told The Associated Press in an interview. "The reassuring thing about this entire thing is that this is a fight we can win, but it's not going to come without some monumental change."
Native Americans are more than twice as likely to have diabetes compared with other groups, and they are three times more likely to die from the disease, according to the Indian Health Service.  Complete Article

27 FEBRUARY - This event began 14 February, 2011.  Walkers on both the northern and southern routes will reach Washington DC by July 8, 2011.  Support and encourage themas they walk through your community.

Follow The Longest Walk 3 Reversing Diabetes

Diabetes Diary: Daily posts on weekdays about diabetes and natural health in support of The Longest Walk 3. Follow us as most of our work is focused on this event and the need to prevent and reverse diabetes for all affected people. Now published in book form (2012), see link above to purchase. 

Too Much Thyroxine Boosts Fracture Risk

You will note as you read towards the bottom of this BBC News article that the fracture risk with thyroid has been known for over a century.

Also note that if you search the history of Synthroid you will find that there was collusion many decades ago to move Armour Natural Thyroid out of the marketplace and allow Synthroid to move in.  This had to do as well with a change in the lab tests done around this same time to foster the use of the synthetic hormone.

The other day I was speaking with a nurse educated in the PNW.  We were talking about my work (Health Forensics) and how it seems there will be more pressure for nurses to be more thorough in their responsibilities and drug awareness.

I found this an odd statement because this has ALWAYS been the responsibility.
And in fulfilling my responsibility I have been education people about Synthroid and osteoporosis risk for 30+ years or more.

Now it seems science wants you to know too.

28 April 2011  Thyroid drug 'boosts risk of fractures in the elderly'
Many elderly people may be taking "excessive" medication for their thyroid problems, increasing their fracture risk, researchers warn.

A synthetic hormone, thyroxine, is given to people whose thyroid glands produce too little naturally.
normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px;">But writing in the British Medical Journal, researchers say having too much boosts fracture risk and doses may need to be reduced as people age.
A British expert said there was not enough research into the condition.It has been estimated that 20% of older people are on long-term treatment for an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).Patients are supposed to be checked regularly to ensure they are on the right dose, but for many it often remains unchanged into old age.This can lead to people developing the opposite problem, an over-active thyroid - caused by having too much thyroxine - which can increase the risk of fractures, particularly in older women.In this study, a team from the Women's College Research Institute in Toronto looked at 213,500 people aged 70 and over who had received at least one prescription for levothyroxine - the synthetic version of thyroxine - between 2002 and 2007.'Unexpectedly low'
Participants were grouped into people who were currently on the medication, those who had stopped taking it between 15 and 180 days prior to study and those who had stopped taking it more than 180 days prior.Just over 10% - 22,236 people - had had at least one fracture during the study period.Those who were currently taking thyroxine, or who had recently stopped were at a significantly higher risk of experiencing fractures.Writing in the BMJ, the researchers led by Dr Lorraine Lipscombe, said it suggested medication levels should be more closely monitored "in this vulnerable population".In the same journal, Professor Graham Leese at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, said ideal thyroxine doses may vary with age and be "unexpectedly low" in elderly people."It is 120 years since the effect of excess thyroid hormone on bone was first described, yet research in this area still lacks funding," he said."With the prevalence of treated hypothyroidism increasing, and the annual economic burden of fractures in the United Kingdom currently estimated at £5.1bn ($8.4bn), such research warrants a higher priority." SOURCE
Selections from Natural Health News
Jan 05, 2009
I surely hope she isn't on Synthroid and I wonder how it is that who ever is her doctor overlooked her adrenal stress. One thing she has "right" is that it isn't so much the food, it is really the emotions behind what is going on in ...
Sep 23, 2008
Treating hypothyroid patients solely with T4-only meds (synthroid) 2.Dosing solely by the TSH and the total T4, or using the outdated "Thyroid Panel" 3.Prescribing anti-depressants in lieu of evaluating and treating the free T3 ...
Mar 27, 2009
On the other side of the coin is a group of people with hyperactive thyroid conditions who are "radiated" to "kill" the gland and then require supplementation, usually Synthroid. This group of people should know that there are effective ...
Mar 24, 2009
... JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) reported that if women experience Iodine deficiency and are prescribed T4 thyroid medication (Synthroid & Levoxyl), T4 medication further increases their risk for Breast Cancer. ...
Mar 05, 2011
PURPOSE: In the present study we investigated the possible histopathological effects of pulse modulated Radiofrequency (RF) fields on the thyroid gland using light microscopy, electron microscopy and immunohistochemical methods. ...
Jul 03, 2010
Larry Frieders, the compounder, THYROID MADNESS DEFINITION: 1.Treating hypothyroid patients solely with T4-only meds (synthroid) 2.Dosing solely by the TSH and the total T4, or using the outdated "Thyroid Panel" ...
Jul 22, 2008
Especially risky to people with diabetes, an endocrine disorder linked to thyroid and other endoctine imbalances. Few human studies of safety have been published on sucralose. One study of diabetic patients using the sweetener showed a ...
Mar 27, 2009
Thyroid concerns are perhaps a greater health concern that realized. This may be related to low selenium levels in food, the thyroid suppressing effect of water fluoridation, the rise in the number and use of fluoride based ...

Big Insurance and Health Care Control

This is certainly a telling revelation.  And if you've been following Natural Health News and Creating Health Institute you've been well aware for decades that Big Insurance does control the health care delivery system.

Certainly it controls the fact that unless you pay on your own, you won't get thermography, the earlier detection system fro breast cancer by a decade.   It certainly limits your access to care of your choice, even natural health care options.

While this article refers to breast cancer therapy, please understand that Big Insurance has its greedy fingers in every health care diagnosis.

It also is chafing at the bit to control the new and hybrid health care approach, scathingly referred to as "integrative", "complementary", "alternative", "holistic", and even the newly created form called "naturopathic medicine" (not the real naturopathy of my work since the late 60s and that many of several of my colleagues).

And you can be sure this control will have nothing to do to control health care costs and improve delivery.  It will surely aim to lower reimbursement rates and more out of pocket costs for you.

Insurance affects breast cancer therapy

HOUSTON, April 29 (UPI) -- Breast cancer therapy is affected by where a woman lives and whether certain treatment is included in Medicare reimbursement, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Benjamin D. Smith of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and colleagues used Medicare data for 26,163 women with localized breast cancer who had undergone surgery and radiation therapy from 2001 to 2005.

Smith says they focused on intensity-modulated radiation therapy -- a radiation delivery technique that modulates the radiation to maximize the dose of radiation to the tumor while minimizing the dose to adjacent normal tissues, reducing radiation side effects.

The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that billing for intensity-modulated radiation therapy in regions of the country where local Medicare carriers covered intensity-modulated radiation, was more than five times higher than in regions where it was not covered.

The average cost of radiation within the first year of diagnosis was $7,179 without intensity-modulated radiation therapy and $15,230 with intensity-modulated radiation therapy, Smith says.

The study authors conclude the data "suggest that with respect to breast radiation therapy, much of the variation in cost can be directly attributed to inconsistent treatment definitions and reimbursement rates authorized by Medicare and its intermediaries."
© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Herb Day 2011

This year celebrate herbs once again, on Herb Day - Saturday May 1; Herb Week during May's first week, and Herb Month, all month long.
Sep 22, 2008
2010 HERB DAY - SATURDAY 1 MAY. HerbDay Moves to Spring Date = Requests from herb lovers all over the country, HerbDay will officially be celebrated on the first Saturday in May going forward, starting with Saturday, May 1, 2010. ...

Learn more about what herbs can do for your health by following Natural Health News and

Phytosterols: ‘little value’ for metabolic syndrome, toxic to heart cells

UPDATE: 27 April, 2011 - Phytosterols Toxic to Heart Cells
‘Phytosterols’ are compounds that can impair the absorption of cholesterol from the gut. In this way, ‘sterols’ (as their name is often abbreviated to) can reduce cholesterol levels in the bloodstream, which conventional wisdom dictates is always a good thing. Sterols are added to ‘functional foods’ including special margarines that promise cholesterol-reducing and, therefore, health-enhancing properties.
However, the reality is that the impact a drug or foodstuff has on cholesterol levels is quite irrelevant – it’s its impact on health that is important. This distinction is critically important: Arsenic and cyanide might reduce cholesterol levels, but that does not make them healthy things to consume.
I was interested to read about a recent study in which the effect of sterols on rat heart cells was assessed [1]. The cells were exposed to levels of sterols commonly found in the bodies of individuals ingesting sterols. The cells ended up incorporating the sterols at the expense of cholesterol. However, at the same time, the metabolic activity of the heart cells decreased, as did their capacity for growth. In short, exposing heart cells to sterols appears to, err, poison them.
The authors point out, that the results of this study cannot necessarily be translated into conclusions about the effect of these compounds on heart health, but add that the findings “raise[s] concerns about the safety of long-term exposure to physiologically relevant PS [phytosterol] concentrations.”
1. Danesi F, et al. Phytosterol supplementation reduces metabolic activity and slows cell growth in cultured rat cardiomyocytes. British Journal of Nutrition 20 April 2011


It is cold and wet today where I am but I am happier than a clam.

Someone finally decided to look at an issue I've been talking and writing about for quite a few years and they are finding cause for concern.

I hope you take this as seriously as I do because plant sterols are sourced from GMO soy and canola oil. Outside the fact they are GMO, neither are good for your health.

By Nathan Gray, 19-Apr-2011
Related topics: Phytochemicals, plant extracts, Cardiovascular health, Research

The cholesterol lowering effects of phytosterols may have little effect on the lipid profile of people with metabolic syndrome, according to new research.

The study, published in Clinical Nutrition, suggests that the reduced cholesterol absorption that is characteristic of metabolic syndrome (MetS) may interfere with the mechanisms of phytosterols cholesterol lowering action – thus reducing their efficacy as a cholesterol lowering agent.
The team of Spanish scientists found that whilst phytosterol enriched foods were able to efficiently lower blood lipid profiles of healthy volunteers, they had no effect on the lipid profiles of volunteers with metabolic syndrome.
“The results of this study demonstrate that MetS subjects with hypercholesterolaemia who consume phytosterols […] do not exhibit any improvement in their lipoprotein profile, suggesting that phytosterol therapy is of little value,” said the authors, led by Dr Antonio Hernandez-Mijares from the University of Valencia, Spain.
MetS risk
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a combination of metabolic disorders that promote the development of cardiovascular disease.
“The core components of dyslipidemia in MetS, which are likely to provoke atherosclerosis, are the ‘lipid triad’ of high plasma triglycerides, low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and a preponderance of small, dense low-density lipoprotein particles,” explained Hernandez-Mijares and colleagues.
They noted that nutritional modification and lifestyle changes are “the cornerstone of dyslipidaemia therapy.”
Previous research has suggested daily consumption of foods rich in phytosterols may reduce the plasma concentration of LDL-cholesterol.
“Phytosterols are known to reduce intestinal cholesterol absorption, which leads to a significant reduction of serum LDL-cholesterol concentrations (about 10%) without altering HDL-cholesterol or triglycerides when administered at a dose of 2 g/day,” said the authors.
However the effect of the daily consumption of phytosterols for metabolic syndrome is yet to be established, they added:
“There is a lack of relevant data, and the few studies carried out to assess the impact of phytosterols supplementation on MetS subjects are contradictory.”
Hernandez-Mijares and co-workers explained that people with metabolic syndrome often have higher levels of cholesterol, which is accompanied by reduced cholesterol absorption. They suggested that the lower absorption of cholesterol observed in people with metabolic syndrome may interfere with phytosterols’ mechanism of action, therefore reducing their efficacy as cholesterol reducing agents.
The new research investigated whether the addition of low-fat milk enriched with phytosterols in the diet improved cardiovascular risk factors in a group of 24 people with moderately high cholesterol levels and MetS.
Study details
Hernandez-Mijares and colleagues reported that neither a dietary intervention nor enrichment of foods with phytosterols brought about any improvement in the serum lipoprotein profile of metabolic syndrome patients.
In contrast, non-metabolic syndrome participants were found to have reduced levels of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, non-HDL-cholesterol and Apolipoprotein B-100 after both a dietary intervention and enrichment of foods with phytosterols.
“Supplementation produced a significant increase in phytosterol levels only in the non-MetS population,” said the authors.
“The results of the present study show that neither dietetic guidelines nor enrichment with phytosterols improved lipid profile in a hypercholesterolaemic population with MetS. This lack of response appears to be associated with low intestinal cholesterol absorption,” explained Hernandez-Mijares and co-workers.
“This suggests that the cholesterol-lowering effect of phytosterol was undermined when cholesterol absorption was low,” they added.
Source: Clinical Nutrition

Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2011.03.00

“Low intestinal cholesterol absorption is associated with a reduced efficacy of phytosterol esters as hypolipemic agents in patients with metabolic syndrome”

Authors: A. Hernández-Mijares, C, Bañuls, A, Jover, E, Solá, L. Bellod et al
Selected posts from Natural Health News

Nov 14, 2007
Foods or dietary supplements containing at least 400 mg per serving of free phytosterols taken twice a day with meals for a daily total intake of at least 800 mg, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the ...
Apr 22, 2009
The nuts contain ingredients such as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytosterols that may all reduce the risk of the disease. Mice fed the human equivalent of two ounces (56.7g) of walnuts per day developed fewer and smaller
Aug 06, 2008
It isn't just aspirin any more: Phytosterols, Aspirin, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Lactose, Croscarmellose Sodium, Corn Starch, Powdered Cellulose, Pregelatinized Starch, Hypromellose, FD&C Yellow #5 (tartrazine) Aluminum Lake, ...
Sep 12, 2008
Olive oil is not a trans fat like canola (because of the processing of the seed into oil) and it contains Tocopherols (vitamin E), beta-carotene (vitamin A), phytosterols, pigments, terpenic acids, flavonoids (luteolin, quercetin, ...

Foundation Activities, Vaccines and more...

These are the largest private global health foundations exerting inordinate influence on public health policy--those policies favor Big Pharma and their own corporate interests and endowment portfolios.
Global Health Philanthropy and Institutional Relationships: How Should Conflicts of Interest Be Addressed?  by David Stuckler, Sanjay Basu, and Martin McKee, is a groundbreaking article in PLoS Medicine, illuminating the shadows that blur major conflicts of interest in the public health arena.

The article lifts the veil that hides an intricate web of direct and, more importantly, the indirect interconnected financial ties between private, tax-exempt foundations that are major funders of global health, and commercial corporations. Such relationships cannot but influence a foundation's agenda and funding decisions.
By "following the money," the authors found that "despite the existence of policies explicitly designed to mitigate potential conflicts of interest, the boundaries between foundations, their investments, and their parent corporations or private funders can become blurred. Often, directors of the boards of foundations also sit on the board of private corporations,
adopting multiple roles."

The authors  conducted a case study using data about the networks, activities, and funding patterns of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Rockefeller Foundation.

These are the largest private global health foundations exerting inordinate influence on public health policy--those policies favor Big Pharma and their own corporate interests and endowment portfolios.


Stay tuned for a follow-up about a controversy involving a Gates Foundation-supported project--a market expansion strategy for increasing profits for vaccine manufacturers...

Jan 29, 2010
The depopulation plan is supported by the world's wealthiest people, including Bill Gates, who admittedly funds vaccinations to reduce global populations by 10-15%. Leading population planners and economic developers advance identical ...
Oct 11, 2007
Research into a vaccine for AIDS, which is devastating in parts of southern Africa, got a boost following a 100 million dollar (70.6 million euro) initiative launched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. ...
Feb 11, 2011
PLEASE remember this when you are listening to Bill Gates' current PR spots for vaccines. Gates has publicly stated that vaccines are good for population control. In 1926 the AMA announced it was aware of neurological damage caused by ...
Nov 03, 2008
Bill Gates' foundation recently awarded a grant to a Japanese scientist who hopes to engage mosquitoes in the vaccination of everyone. When I read the story about these awards I wondered what kind of a crazy idea this is, because just ...