Raised handThis section provides information about current safety issues associated with herbal medicines.

  • Advice to manufacturers, suppliers and practitioners of herbal medicine
    It would be helpful if you could note information about each safety issue and follow any advice or requests which are made to protect public safety.
  • Advice to consumers
    On any issue where no specific advice is given to consumers please follow this general advice if you are currently taking the product:
    • you are advised to discontinue use and consult your pharmacist or doctor
    • when speaking to your doctor of pharmacist you may find it helpful to take a copy of this MHRA advice about the product with you
    • you should continue to take any medication prescribed by your doctor.


In 2008 the Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee, (the body that provides independent expert advice to the Government on herbal medicines) asked the MHRA to make available an updated summary document: Public Health Risk with Herbal Medicines: an OverviewPDF file (opens in new window) (782Kb) (July 2008). The aim of doing this is to promote wider understanding of herbal safety issues.
 

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Latest herbal safety updates

19 Aug 2013 | Unlicensed Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicines found to contain heavy metals

The MHRA has recently been made aware of several unlicensed  herbal products which have been found to contain heavy metals.

16 Apr 2013 | MHRA warns of the dangers of taking unlicensed herbal medicines containing aconite

The MHRA has recently become aware that an  unlicensed herbal product, Zheng tian wan, containing Aconite, a prescription only medicine, is being marketed and prescribed by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners for the treatment migraine.

19 Feb 2013 | Hong Kong Department of Health issues warnings about Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) found to contain heavy metals

The Hong Kong Department of Health has issued warnings about Traditional Chinese Medicines found to contain heavy metals.

30 Jan 2013 | Danish Medicines Authority issues warnings about slimming products containing undeclared pharmaceuticals

The Danish Medicines Agency have issued a warning not to use the following slimming products.

04 Dec 2012 | Advice to consumers not to use Equyfiam Cream, marketed as a natural cream

The Irish Medicines Board has issued a warning for Equyfiam Cream which contains an undeclared active ingredient.

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Page last modified: 24 January 2013