Woman buying herbal medicines online safely

Staying Safe When Buying Herbal Medicines Online

Just like any other type of product you might buy over the Internet, you need to make sure that herbal medicines are what they claim to be, and that they are supplied by a trusted retailer.

Firstly, you need to make sure you know what you are buying, so it is well worth understanding the different types of herbal product available and how they are regulated.

Traditional Herbal Medicines
Traditional herbal medicines and remedies, including all HRI Herbal Medicine products, are regulated in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Products which are approved by the MHRA carry a product licence number and the Traditional Herbal Registration (THR) mark.

This shows buyers that they have been tested by the UK regulator and contains what they say they do and is safe, when the recommended dosage is taken according to traditional use. It also means that the packaging contains clear patient information about any potential side effects and contra-indications, such as compatibility with other drugs.

If you buy your herbal medicines online, you should always choose a trusted retailer and make sure that the products you buy clearly display the THR logo. HRI Herbal Medicine sells its products through specialist health-food retailers, chemists, independent pharmacies and supermarkets – you can follow links to our retailers which include Boots, Holland and Barrett and Superdrug directly from our website:

•  HRI Water Balance
•  HRI Clear Complexion
•  HRI Good Mood
•  HRI Milk Thistle
•  HRI Cold & Flu

If you believe that you have bought a counterfeit or fake medicine, or in the unlikely event that you have any sort of adverse effect from a regulated product despite following the recommended dosage, you should always report it through the MHRA’s Yellow Card scheme. As the national regulator, they take such reports very seriously and will investigate your experience fully.

The Difference Between Herbal Medicines and Herbal Supplements
Herbal supplements that have no medicinal qualities are regulated under the EU Food Supplements Directive and implemented in the UK through the Food Supplements (England) Regulations 2003, with equivalent regulations run by the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies.

These regulations set out the vitamin and mineral substances permitted for use in food supplements, identify the units of measurement, control how these foods are labelled and how they are presented and advertised. Food Supplements are defined as “a concentrated source of a vitamin, mineral or other substance with a nutritional or physiological effect, alone, or in combination, sold in dose form”.

You can find information about the regulation of herbal supplements here.

Homeopathic Medicines
There is currently no legal regulation of homeopathic practitioners in the UK, so anyone can practice as a homeopath, even if they have no qualifications or experience. You should never order homeopathic medicines online without advice from a homeopath. You can find one who is registered with one of the following bodies, although this provides no guarantees. Homeopathic organisations in England include:

•  Alliance of Registered Homeopaths
•  The Society of Homeopaths
•  British Homeopathic Association
•  Institute for Complementary and Natural Medicine

Playing it safe
As always, we recommend you take sensible precautions when buying herbal products online.  Make sure you only buy from trusted retailers and immediately report any issues.

HRI Herbal Medicine is committed to producing traditional herbal remedies containing only the highest quality ingredients and all our products are approved under the THR scheme.  Our 50 years’ experience in the industry, investment in meeting and exceeding regulatory standards, partnerships with well-known high street retailers and many happy customers mean you can confidently buy HRI Herbal Medicine products online.