Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Herbal Medicine RIP

Where is Frank Sinatra when you need him? Oh yes, he's dead...just like herbal medicine and one of our fundamental freedoms is about to be. I can hear Frank now...

...and now the end is near, and so I face the final curtain...la la la la la la la...

Yes, I'm banging on about herbal medicine again. The punitive, ultra-expensive and mind bendingly complex new European registration for herbal remedies is now in full effect and the MHRA have recently decided that sale of all old stock of herbal products will now be stopped. Visit the MHRA website and you can read the proposal as below...

Proposal to end the “sell through” of unlicensed manufactured herbal medicinal products

10 July 2013

The MHRA is undertaking a public consultation on proposals to end the "sell through" of unlicensed herbal remedies legally on market at April 2011. (i.e. products previously on the market under section 12(2) of the Medicines Act 1968). For more information please see the link below. http://www.mhra.gov.uk/Howweregulate/Medicines/Herbalmedicinesregulation/RegisteredTraditionalHerbalMedicines/TraditionalHerbalMedicinesRegistrationSchemelatestnewsandapplicationnumbers/CON296407

So, by the end of 2013 you will no longer be able to purchase in health food stores, pharmacies or elsewhere in the EU any unregistered herbal medicines. Our right to choose a natural, God given form of medicine will have been removed by the EU dictatorship. Perfectly safe and properly manufactured herbal products will be removed in exchange for the few registered herbal products that some companies have been able to afford. The few registered products that will be left would mainly be ones that were already there, in the main. So nothing really changed for them, they just happened to be sold by a company that had enough cash to be in the Euro club and thus keep them on the shelves. If there are any shelves left of course, as now the industry decimation will really start. So, when you next find yourself on your knees talking to the author of your free will offer up a silent few words in memory of the oldest tradition on Earth, and one of your fundamental human rights. Incidentally, do not get up from your knees because your old God has been dumped by the updated and expensive version, dEUs.
Herbal Medicine - Requiescat In Pace
Te dEUm laudamus

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


"Safeguarding public health through the effective regulation of medicines and medical devices"

This is a quote from the first page of the MHRA's (Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority) full colour, glossy brochure telling us, the drug/medication using public, what it is doing for us to safeguard us against the potential hazards of using pharmaceutical drugs and medicines. The brochure also states that the MHRA's remit...include the regulation of medicines and medical devices and equipment used in healthcare and the investigation of harmful incidents...

So let's flip quickly over to the Daily Mail today and see what is happening in the real world of drugs, medicines and prescribing far away from the Ivory MHRA tower in Vauxhall, Never Never Land. Here's the headline:

More than two-thirds of care home residents given the wrong prescription.

A harmful incident if ever I saw one. What's more:

The study found that 69.5 per cent of people living in care homes had been the victim of mistakes ranging from incorrect dosing to mislabelling. Multiple errors were common, potentially leading to a 'downward spiral' of poorer health and hospitalisation.

That's a pretty serious misuse of drugs I'd say. Multiple harmful incidents even. I could be wrong...it could be a deliberate policy to rid the UK of old people, but I'd still say it was worth investigating by the people that allowed the prescribed drugs onto the street in the first place.

Nick Barber, of the University of London's school of pharmacy, led the study of 256 residents at 55 English care homes, and he also observes:

Each resident was on a cocktail of drugs - typically eight medicines each, said the study reported in the journal, Quality and Safety in Health Care.

Ok, so I know what the MHRA will say next. They will claim that they merely license the drug in the first place and are not responsible for prescription of it. Well, as far as I know there are no licenses for using multiple drugs in the same person at the same time and certainly no data on the effects haphazard combinations of drugs actually have in a given individual. Forget the yellow card system, it's a total joke when random drugs are combined in these numbers. The MHRA let these things go on the shelves, now guys, it's a sweet shop out there, the elderly are drowning in a sea of drugs. They are easy to get, particularly if you are old...YOU DO NOT EVEN HAVE TO ASK FOR THEM! Sad to say of course that those of us who have ever had the dreadful task of dealing with the care of elderly relatives will have seen this "Russian roulette" approach to prescribing many times. We will have seen the litle old ladies with biscuit tins full of drugs, patients unaware as to why tey are on medication etc. The MHRA is responsible for putting these things out there and they are responsible for the disaster that is happening because of that. The blood stains the hands of the MHRA too, quite literally. Again, I could be wrong and a tad over-emotional, but is this not at the very least intentional bodily harm in operation? Ignorance can be no defence. Blaming the GP's can be no defence. You let the genie out of the bottle, now where's the cork?

So what are the MHRA doing about this lethal trade in drugs? Why, spending time on other things such as banning herbs of course. Bizarre!

Researchers found 178 of the 256 residents had been subjected to one or more medication errors. Some were not given their medicine at all. One third of the drugs which should have been monitored for potentially harmful side effects were not, including heart and thyroid drugs. Which begs the question as to why the MHRA bother with the General Practice Research Database. This is the MHRA's database that is meant to gather information from GP's about the drugs they prescribe and their side effects. What is the point of it when all you have to do is a quick patient survey to find out that the drugs you licensed are not being watched closely at all. They are just being shovelled into the gobs of an unsuspecting public willy nilly!

Just to make matters worse, I wondered if the GP's are actually beholden to the MHRA in their irresponsible use of drugs. Well, this is what the MHRA said in GP Newspaper, 13 March, 2009:

"NICE and the MHRA have launched a drive to boost GPs' understanding of their role, after research found the profession's awareness was limited.
The MHRA believes that most of what doctors know about it and NICE is via second-hand sources, usually the lay media.
An MHRA spokeswoman told GP that there was 'considerable work' needed to help doctors understand the agency's work.
The two organisations will host an event to boost awareness among trainee doctors in London on 28 May.
Evidence collected by the MHRA and NICE has suggested that health professionals' understanding of the organisations' roles is limited.
Just 21 per cent of GPs were able to name the MHRA as the medicines regulator, and only 62 per cent had heard of it even after prompting.
'While a great deal of direct and indirect communication about their work reaches health professionals, a word direct from the horse's mouth would set up trainee doctors nicely for the rest of their careers,' a spokeswoman said.
'There is also evidence that the respective roles of NICE and the MHRA are muddled in people's minds."

So, this is how it works. The MHRA license a bunch of potentially lethal chemicals and allow them into the market. They are then prescribed by people who have no idea how the drugs got there, or who to report problems to and then combine them in random, unlicensed combinations. In military terms this would be called Vietnam!

Meanwhile back at MHRA Ivory Tower, Vauxhall, the surge to remove safe herbs such as bilberry from the market and beyond the reach of those elderly people, and the rest of us, that might actually benefit from them continues apace!

Join us back in Vauxhall soon to watch the launch of Ivory Towers together with Toto back to Kansas...

Friday, 2 October 2009

Time for a commercial break........

This story is the responsibility of Stuart FitzSimons, written in loving memory of the pre upgrade Simon Key (aka Psi-monkey) hominid.

October 2002

Enlightenment Upgrade

A message from a future friend.

Yes, they were a problem, those Mark 3, early twenty first century skin-ups, of which the Key range was so typical. At the time they seemed to be an answer to several of the earlier technical glitches; heads up twin dubbing spam detectors, sphyngomyelinated one touch dendritic extensions, on-board anti-oxidant flush and 24 hour amoxycillilaced ‘high juice’ immune surveillance, self adjusting binocular infinite pixel view and hands free user interface. Optional extras included immediate melanin adjustment mode to facilitate emergency global repositioning and the ability to sing (an option apparently ignored), although the 3 meals a day option was dropped in favour of the low waste ‘sta-fresh’ toilet friendly deluxe version 4.6.

Bells and whistles or what?

SynthCo, as I’m sure you can imagine were well pleased with such cutting edge design concepts in skin-ups.

Mark 3’s though were only prototype skin-ups after all, representing a test species of early hominid design, pencilled in for systems testing between the year 50000 PST* and 3000 DST*. SynthCo, the corporate genius behind the design of the hominid class that we now know as the skin-ups are the true architects of the Universe, well, ours anyway. The management board of SynthCo, our true creators, are themselves a race of multi-dimensional, charmed particle, superstring slitherers. Being multi-dimensional means being able to dip their cosmic tootsies into the cosmic footsies of several stock markets around the known and unknown everything and everywhere at once. From such a position of strength in the market place it’s no wonder they soon organised under the umbrella corporation SynthCo. Their founder and CEO, G. Superstring, a clever sort of a thing, realised there was a gap in the market for ‘life’. It was not long before a particularly colourful and chaotic area of cosmic real estate was set aside, fenced off and work, in earnest, began.

The slitherers themselves live in the very substance of the cosmos itself, a substance they call ‘Mattress’. For this reason they often referred to themselves as ‘stuffing’. Because of this, they developed a strange attachment to and longing for the company and comfort of stuffed creatures such as the SynthCo comforter fluffbots and the extra special SynthCo, adults only, fleshbots.

Soon the early model hominids were rolling off the conveyor belt of creation and embedded within the Mattress, left to their own devices. Life though is a fickle thing and not without its problems, so just to be on the safe side a termination programme called ‘death’ was genetically programmed into each hominid.

So pleased were the slitherers that a full-scale hominid systems testing process was instigated. A planet was designed, they called it ‘Earth’, because that is what it was made up of, every garden was full of the stuff. Earth had seas, rivers, mountains, sky, sand and beer. At first everything went to plan, all the hominids played happily together, lived long, happy lives and did not really notice when the older ones died. Soon, thanks to an ingenious self-replicating program, they populated every part of the planet, which could have ended up standing room only. Quietly though, the slitherers congratulated themselves on the death programme, such a novel way to overcome drastic over population!

However, fortune was soon followed by disaster. As you know, tinkering with genetic material can lead to unexpected consequences and the hominid gene pool is awash with a plethora of potential disasters. Unknown to the slitherers, a mutant gene in the original hominid programme led to the genesis of a unique virus, Dualovirus hominis. A retrovirus, that had lain dormant within hominid kind for some time.

The first symptomatic case occurred when a now infamous hominid, hereinafter referred to as Hominid X, looked up at the sun. He practically blinded himself he looked so long and hard. Leaping to his feet suddenly, he declared…”that’s up”. Scratching an unusually hairy head, he further declared…”so this must be down”. Incidentally, the term skin-ups is derived from this event as the slitherers found it a singularly amusing occurrence.

Thus dawned duality.

It spread like wild fire and it was not long before they were all doing it. If this is in that must be out, if this is light that must be dark, if this is internal that must be external, and on and on, or on and off as hominids were now so proud to assert. Assertion led to self-assertion which begat self-esteem and soon the inevitable happened…reality set in. Now hominids really had done it, ego, ergo, erewego!

The slitherers sat back mildly amused, at first. Then they started to worry. Hominids now began to examine all the parameters of their being. They looked inside themselves and they looked outside themselves and began yearning to fill the emptiness of the void of always being caught up in an endless spiral of opposites. There just did not seem to be a point any more; every point had a counterpoint. Soon duality became a painful, pitiful and dirty thing. The word coined, by the hominids, to describe this reality thing and the painful dualistic nature of the mattress was ‘ouch’.

Hominids, until this point had no conception of what reality may or may not be, or if it mattered, but it suddenly and painfully did. The swinging pendulum of duality forced hominids into a greater examination of their place in the Mattress and what it all meant. Some hominids even claimed to have ‘experienced’ the Mattress, touched it, glimpsed it or briefly seen through it. Some even claimed to have heard it creaking, like bed springs in the dead of night. These hominids were called ‘sidekicks’ as they spent a lot of time speaking to things that were not there.

Up until this point hominids lived a 70 year pre-programmed life span of bliss, needing no food or drink, powered as they were in smiles per hour. Duality changed all that! Hominids were now on ‘reality drive’, which worked a bit like the old gravity propulsion systems. The conflict between opposites drove hominids on like never before. They even had to eat and drink things to power this new found state of energy sapping mental mayhem. This was ‘reality drive’; a reality drive with dual controls, consciousness with stabilisers, wobbling like a drunken penguin from side to side.

Death was now an issue, a big one. There had never been anything to compare life with before; now it was smiles per hour versus compost. The hominid sense of loneliness, despair and hopelessness deepened and deepened.

The slitherers began to panic a little and instigated the first hominid upgrade. At this time there were 2 species of hominid roaming Earth, the Pro Slagnons and the Kneeundertunnels. The Kneeunddertunnels had to go. Ok, they were an amusing visual diversion, but damn they were ugly. It was the Kneeundertunnels that instigated the concept of organising religion. A dangerous distraction from the truth.

A few thousand hominid years after the removal of the Kneeundertunnels and Pro Slagnon dominance, things had gone from bad to worse. Pro Slagnon hominids had now separated into different groups based upon the fact they were now no longer able to take any responsibility for themselves based on inner reality. They looked externally, to things they called ‘Uhm’. ‘Uhm’ was blamed for creating hominids in the first place, blamed for duality and the pain of it all. They thought if they were nice enough to their own version of ‘Uhm’ then they would live forever, overcome death and suffer no more.

One sect called themselves Dithians. This was because they dithered about everything. The Dithians referred endlessly to their sacred text, ‘The Foible’, so called because it was written in a language nobody understood any more and could have meant anything, hence the dithering. They would meet and nail people to walls whilst drinking blood and eating flesh. They hoped to be rewarded for their faithful sufferings. The founder of their sect is the historical figure of Pleasus Thrice. He actually nailed himself to a plank of wood, once, in the hope that his pain would be rewarded with eternal life in the house of ‘Uhm’.

The Moreslims were even more bizarre. They followed the teachings of Morehammered, a name reflecting the state of the poor chap’s tortured mind. They were called Moreslims because they generally lived in less well off regions of Earth. The Moreslims grew ugly, unsightly beards and covered up the females of their sect with tablecloths as acts of self punishment. Their pain was such that they took to blowing themselves and everybody else up.

Probably the strangest sect was that of the Baldists. They generally retreated to far distant places and lived on water, a handful of rice and the odd insect. Most of the time they sat still and did nothing, but in their spare time they invented the most violent forms of hominid interaction ever seen, called the ‘Marital arts”. Alas their inner pain and inner yearnings went likewise unassuaged.

On the other hand, some hominids got permanently stuck in external reality; they were called ‘collectors’. Others became permanently fastened to their internal reality, they were called ‘sectioned’.

As a spin–off to the new found hominid anguish a whole market in ‘how to’ manuals sprang up. Noteworthy amongst these was the best –selling ‘Tao of Pooh’. In truth though, these texts led to even more human grief, even more unanswered questions and even more sequels such as ‘The Pointlessness of Pooh and Tigger Too’.

The next hominid upgrade became a priority. The slitherers set about eradicating the Dualovirus from the hominid gene pool. Success led to the creation of a new type of hominid incapable of dualistic thinking or appreciating dualistic concepts of any kind. This surely would allow hominids release from their mental and psychic torture and allow them to simply enjoy their time under the sun.

The new hominids were indeed a startling upgrade. Lacking the ability to experience opposites meant they always occupied the perfect midpoint of, and in, everything. The slitherers dubbed their new creation ‘singularities’, the skin-ups just referred to singularities as ‘Them From The Midlands’. Being singularities meant having some strange physics, and they were not so much of a new species as just, well…spaces really. Now, if you thought the Reality drive engine was powerful, the singularity engine growled like the solar breeze, and that was just in neutral.

Then, true to form with this life thing, the unexpected happened. Skin-ups kept falling into singularities, could not see them coming, did not know they were there. Well, they were spaces after all. Before long skin-ups lived in fear of their lives. Skin-up young were warned to be on their guard and never take a ride or sweets from a singularity. The result of a skin-up, singularity collision was the generation of a totally new hybrid hominid, the ‘Krishnaphrenic’, so called because being half skin-up, half singularity they were said to be half gone or, not all there. Krishnaphrenics suffered the most outrageous inner turmoil. Their skin-up half inoculated the new hybrids with the Dualovirus so they constantly questioned their place in the Mattress but then they would relapse into singularity. As you can imagine, emerging from singularity into duality and vice versa was so shocking they wailed incessantly and banged on drums whilst walking the streets handing out leaflets to drown out the noise in their heads.

Krishnaphrenics had a rough time, doomed to walk the highways of the skin-up world selling words, which may not sound hard but when you are blue it does kind of mark you out. Krishnaphrenics did not look to one ‘Uhm’ to save them from their pitiful dualistic plight, but many. The exact number is difficult to pin down as one ‘Uhm’ would constantly change into another. One of their ‘Uhm’s’ actually became and ‘Ohm’ and because they didn’t much like that they palmed it off onto the Baldists.

By now the slitherers were becoming distraught with the unpredictable course of life. Shares in SynthCo were taking a nose dive. The new product range was running amuck. This shit would just not sit still on the shelves! They were afraid the skin-ups, who had by now been upgraded themselves with several minor adjustments, would go out of their minds with constant self examination and concerns over their place and function in the Mattress. Observing this process became, of course, a vital part of the test procedure for their new product but the slitherers began to think that things might be getting out of hand. How right they were.

A final upgrade was planned, removing all the problems inherent in reality drive and allowing skin-ups the joy of free-wheeling. A cure for the Dualovirus had been found! The final upgrade was planned for some time during 2050 DST*. However a tragic event forced the hand of the slitherers into downloading the skin-up upgrade as quickly as possible, and it is now pencilled in for 2012 DST*. The tragic event in question was the self-inflicted skin-up holocaust at a town called Whacko in the Untied State of Shamerica. A group of badly infected skin-ups began to believe that the opposite of life, i.e. death, must be better than life and that when they died their own personal version of’ ’Uhm’, in this case given the pet name ‘Alien’, would come to take them away and make them alive again for ever. Most other skin-ups realising that the Whackos had taken things too far descended in droves on the ranch occupied and fortified by the Whackos. They hoped to talk the Whackos out of killing themselves.

They were too late.. In the carnage that ensued all the Whackos killed themselves and set their compound ablaze. Charred remains were plucked from the scene of carnage for several days after the incident. Among the remains were two sad, small bodies, too badly burned to be recognised. Whilst the bodies lay in the mortuary the slitherers ran in-depth quantum fingerprint tests. The bodies were subsequently identified as the MRK 11 comforter fluffbots Kanga and Roo.


DST = Dithian standard time
PST = Pre standard time

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


Published in the Daily Mirror, Thursday, 24/09/2009; an article written by Dr. Miriam Stoppard entitled: HERBS CAN DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD

(read it here - http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/dear-miriam/2009/09/herbs-can-do-more-harm-than-go.html)

Yet another article written on herbal medicine by a "popular and trusted expert". A subject she obviously knows nothing about!

She begins by declaring her dismay at the fact that two thirds of a group of patients being studied by Aberdeen University took complimentary medicines including herbs whilst recieving prescription medicine. She says, "anything strong enough to have a positive medicinal effect is also strong enough to cause side-effects and interfere or even clash with medication". I'm afraid to tell the good doctor that it's a lot worse than she thinks, especially on our planet. Were those patients also taking onions, garlic, cabbage, carrots, beetroot, ginger, tomato.....Just a few examples of the herbs that those patients could also have been taking. I hope none of the study participants were enjoying a typical Asian diet as they may have been enjoying a whole arsenal of herbs and spices.

All the above foods which are also used as herbs (confusing jargon, is it not, but there is no difference. Maybe we should just say plants), have had their chemistry examined and defined. How those chemicals work on our bodies to exert their health giving/medicinal effects have been clearly defined and understood. The reason why the government, on the recommendation of the scientific evidence, tells us constantly to eat these foods for the purpose of adjusting our health in a positive way, is because of their clearly understood medicinal effect! They are good for us. Importantly, how these herbs affect our health in normal daily potions is clearly understood. You certainly do not need concentrated doses. In fact in concentrated doses cabbage would be very dangerous. As the good doctor knows there exist already some lists of commonly used plants/vegetables that can not be used with certain drugs, warfarin for example or mono-amine-oxidase inhibitors could interact with a vast array of fruit, vegetables and other plants. They are not very extensive lists but it does give us a glimpse of the truth.

What I am trying to demonstrate here is that an awful lot of those so called dangerous herbs are actually normal and regular parts of our diet...standard fixtures and fittings of our lives and metabolisms, for ever. It is the drug that is the odd man out. Maybe we should be asking not if a plant, vegetable, fruit, herb or seed interferes with a certain unnatural, man-made pharmaceutical, but if the drug is interfering with or clashing with our food and normal biochemical processes. It seems that this is the truth as taking certain drugs means we have to suspend reality! Dr Stoopid seems to be placing drugs and pharmaceuticals in a superior position above our normal dietary needs and above the foods we can use to help us return to health. It has to be crazy when a drug limits what you can eat? It has to be crazy when the drugs become the norm and vegetables become the danger men!!

The good doctor also seems to think that the herbal products industry is "totally unregulated". Did she ask any herbal product manufacturer if this is truly the case? Obviously not! For at least 10 years now we have been dealing with the "Traditional European Herbal Medicine Product Directive". All the major companies supplying the British market now manufacture to UK GMP. This is the standard of the MHRA itself, the medicine control agency. UK GMP is a pharmaceutical standard and really too high for herbs. After all, herbs are not pharmaceuticals. The suggestion that you can never be sure what you are getting in herbal products is an insult to all the major British herbal product manufacturers. A UK GMP product must have what it says on the tin! We have the analysis results to prove it, thanks to UK GMP production methodology. We all want high standards...and now they can't get any higher!! What more can I say? Sure, you can raise the issue of dodgy Chinese or Indian products that find their way to the market, but they have nothing to do with the major British/European/American companies and the standards they adhere to. The same thing happens in the pharmaceutical world from time to time where batches of dodgy drugs are discovered from dodgy companies. Just take a look at the history of Baxter pharmaceuticals for example. They make the swine flu vaccine that is being forced upon the population. Check them and their quality control out...eye opening...

As far as herbalists themselves are concerned. The oldest professional body of herbalists in the UK is the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH), in existence since the 1860's. They dont hide, they are easy to find. Herbalists are now trained to B.Sc. degree standard, the same standard as doctors. This has been the case for almost 10 years now. The NIMH has always maintained and continuously improved the standards by which herbalists practise. There is a strict code of conduct, ethics, continuous professional development etc....just like all other professional bodies. In fact, since 2001 the government has been pursuing state regulation of herbal medicine. A process in which the NIMH is pivotal of course, as it has been in past medicine legislation. The ultimate outcome of these developments is that herbalists would be given protected title exactly like other professionals such as doctors and solicitors. Is Dr. Stoopid scared yet? The NIMH is easy to find...try a web search Doctor. The suggestion that it's impossible to know who the "real" herbalists are is ludicrous. If it helps they have B.Sc. after their names (just like doctors) and also MNIMH (a member of the NIMH). On the other hand, what do I do when it comes to finding a "good reputable" doctor? Forget reputable herbalists...doctors can seriously damage your health, according to government statistics, in numbers that far outweigh any problems herbs/herbalists may have caused. While we're having a bash at safety the good doctor states..."pharmaceutical drugs are tested rigorously for safety, side-effects, strength, dosage, purity, and suitability and are medically supervised. Even the over-the-counter drugs come with detailed safety advice". Ok, so on my way home tonight I shall stop off for a box of paracetamol at the sweet shop, get another from the newsagent, pick some more up at Tesco then get home, observe how rigorously tested they have been, how well packaged they are, enjoy reading the safety instructions, chuckle at the potential side-effects, totally ignore the dosage and kill myself and the whole family by taking as many as we can. So, stop talking bollocks and sort it out, protect us from these real and easily available, potentially fatal substances. For goodness sake woman, they are next to the sweeties down at your local newsagent!
Incidentally, what is wrong with the fact that a herb has been used for thousands of years? What that amounts to are the longest running clinical trials in history...actual herbs being taken by actual people over thousands of years. How does the good doctor think that man kind knows so much about herbs? Why is it that herbalists know which herbs are dangerous and which ones are not? I think it's probably because of the longest clinical trials in history. Does she realise that if the potato and tomato were discovered last week they would have suffered an immediate ban by all our so-called drug and food standard agencies. They belong to the deadly nightshade family of plants and could potentially contain atropine. Why did our grannies tell us to avoid eating green potatos and tomatos? Simple, cos they were stupid and incapable of simple observation! Add to the thousands of years of continuous use of herbs in real people the world over, the fact that most herbs have been chemically analysed, tested in test-tubes and in people then you really end up with a reason why the pharmaceutical industry, which in human terms has existed for less than a blinking of an eye, is running scared of herbs! Drugs have been around such a short space of time in human evolution that we have no idea whatsoever the long-term effects on mankind will be.

Let's just go back to that statement again for a moment......"pharmaceutical drugs are tested rigorously for safety, side-effects, strength, dosage, purity, and suitability and are medically supervised. Even the over-the-counter drugs come with detailed safety advice"... As a herbalist I regularly encounter patients with an interesting drug dilemmas. For example, a patient will approach me and tell me they are taking methotrexate, prednisolone (a steroid) and assorted painkillers for their rheumatoid arthritis and will then ask me if they can take dandelion or some other herb as they are worried it may interfere with the medication. My immediate response to such a question is to throw my arms up in despair and fall to the ground weeping and wailing. Whilst one drug in one person at one time may have been studied, two or three or many more in the same person at the same time certainly would not have been. I'm sure there are no drug licenses issued for combinations of drugs. Not even God would know how some of the combinations of drugs given to people nowadays interact when given together. Why worry about a herb in this situation? It's the least of your worries. Methotrexate, by the way, was originally an anti-cancer drug, it stops the functioning of DNA and RNA and therefore stops cells being made...cancer cells and normal cells! Because cells of the immune system play a part in rheumatoid arthritis and they are very susceptible to the actions of methotrexate the (dumb) logic goes that if you "damp down" the immune system (in other words, kill it off) then you reduce the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis, and other similar immune based inflammatory conditions. Now, you do not have to be a pharmacist to realise what happens when such a powerful drug is used...yes, that's right, you guessed it, potentailly fatal side-effects. POTENTIALLY FATAL, as recognised and described by the manufacturer. Work carries on as we speak, by medics, to try to find ways to administer the drug more efficiently to try to stop the deaths that have happened as a result of using it. Bring in other drugs though that also depress the immune system such as steroids and Lord only knows what may happen next! Forget trials and rigorous safety tests dear patients...you are the guinea pigs!

I do love this statement..."With pharmaceuticals, there's always a considerable gap between the dose you're warned not to exceed and a potentially toxic dose"... Do forgive my stupidity doctor, but drugs such a methotrexate work BECAUSE THEY ARE TOXIC TO HUMAN BEINGS! Side effects in general could be described as toxic effects because they can be damaging/disabling to human physiology. They occur at recommended/normal doses...

I am so glad the subject of Chinese skin creams for eczema appears once again. The MHRA and people with an axe to grind about herbs continuously bring up the subject of adulterated Chinese herbal products. It's like this is the only thing they have on the list and continuously re-cycle it time after time. It's been mentioned for years. Let me state, categorically, AGAIN, that these Chinese products are nothing to do with mainstream western/European/American herbal medicine. These products are brought in by Chinese "doctors" to supply Chinese medicine outlets. We have all seen the Chinese stores on the High Street of one town or another, staffed with Chinese "doctors" and Chinese products. You may also notice that these shops/clinics are stocked with products labelled in Chinese only and staffed by people who do not speak English. Now, forgive me if I'm wrong, but I thought that was against basic trading standards laws. Don't even start on the medicine legislation. Why have they not been shut down? I sometimes feel that these places are left open by the authorities simply so that they can use them as a scapegoat to incriminate the whole herbal world. We western herbalists manufacture to UK GMP, we could not possibly adulter our products with drugs. Even western herbalists that also practise Traditional Chinese Medicine use suppliers from Britain/Europe/America. We do not ship in adulterated products in from Shanghai or where-ever labelled in foreign languages. I myself have been called upon to test some of these imported, Chinese products that are packaged in Chinese boxes. They are usually made to look like pharmaceutical products, but often actually contain nothing at all! So if you want to do something useful Doctor, go after this illegal import and High Street sale of these products.
In her article Dr. Stoopid gives us a list of herbal health warnings. Most startling is her claim that red clover should not be taken by women with hormone sensitive cancers such as breast, ovary etc. Large scale population studies carried out by scientists and orthodox scientific reasearchers has found that populations as found in Asia with a high intake of the isoflavones found in soya products have a reduced incidence of these cancers. The exact same isoflavones are the active constituents of red clover. What's up Doc? HArd scientific proof of plant chemicals working in real people, not test tubes, is somehow wrong all of a sudden....duhhhhh. She also tells us about Ephedra and rreminds us that it is banned already...so what's your point? Then there are the "herbal high" smoking blends which have nothing to do with the high quality herbal products available through herbalists and good health food stores. As for St. Joh's Wort giving you an allergic reaction to the sun, I have not encountered this in 25 years as a herbalist....I believe it is based on cattle grazing on the stuff! Theory and fact are often, as the good doctor knows, two very different things.

Congratulations Doctor, you got this rubbish out there, you got paid for unsubstantiated trash, you scared people...keep taking the tablets...

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Another one for the MHRA!

Scanning through THE TIMES on Thursday, September, 10 (2009) I encountered the following headline. Just try to imagine my horror as a law abiding herbalist when encountering such extreme medical claims!

Healthy eating taken to a life-affirming new level with recipes for beating prostate cancer.

...and the first couple of paragraphs state...

It is probably the most delicious cancer treatment yet devised. A recipe book built around foods known to help fight prostate cancer is the first example of "evidence-based cooking", its autor said yesterday.
The Prostate Care Cookbook has been written by scientists for people with prostate cancer or at risk of developing it. "There is growing scientific evidence that strongly suggests that diets rich in certain foods can help prevent this disease or its spread", the authors write. "For those living with this condition, a controlled diet may be the only means of active treatment".
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, but aggressive treatments can often be worse than the disease, said Margaret Rayman, professor of nutritional Medicine at the University of Surrey and lead author of the book.

Let's just check the terminology used here..."a delicious cancer treatment". What sort of claim is that? Yes, it's a medical claim. Why do they claim that? Well, because this book is written about "Evidence based cooking"...scientific, clinical proof that foods are medicinal just because they are and those medicinal properties are well studied and observed by scientists, doctors etc...just the kind people that wrote this book. Are they not aware of the TRADITIONAL EUROPEAN HERBAL MEDICINE DIRECTIVE? If not, then they are in big trouble, and about to be taxed big time by the MHRA in pursuance of this directive that says that all herbs, and that includes various fruits, seeds, oils, vegetables etc if sold for their medicinal properties have to be registered through the very expensive route of the Directive. It also means that all these "medicines" have to be packaged in pharmaceutical style. The book itself would have to be banned because no medical claims are allowed. We can not advertise drugs.

Just taking a look at one of the recipes they recommend from the book we find sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, pepper, and basil. All well known herbal medicines! Tomatoes in fact belong to the deadly nightshade family. Garlic, tomato, basil and pepper are all found not just as over the counter whole foods but in various herbal supplements...tablets, capsules, tinctures etc. The beauty of this book of course is that it highlights yet again the fact that the MHRA/Europe are making herbalists pay to register their herbs just because we use herbs and sell herbs for their medicinal qualities and this is nothing more than a money making scam and a tax on the fact that some foods are medicinal just because they are, not because herbalists or the MHRA say so. Herbalists do nothing to change these foods into pharmaceuticals...they just are, we use them because they are...and now it appears scientists are using the evidence from research (the kind used and quoted by the MHRA) to treat the dreadful disease that is prostate cancer using a cook book!

Well, the people that wrote this book better look out, they have no idea what they have done...the book will have to banned as soon as it hits the shelves in order to avoid cancer patients self prescribing in a haphazard and dangerous fashion. All the foods mentioned will have to be packaged appropriately into tamper evident, blister packs or bottles complete with braille printing for the visually impaired. Just imagine a blind cancer patient overdosing on tomato sauce due to inadequate labelling. How would the MHRA live with themselves? Each pack would contain a strictly limited quantity of the medicinal food and I wonder, being anti-cancer agents surely they would be better off on prescription only. Great if you live in Wales, prescriptions are free. A patient information leaflet with strict instructions as to the use, storage and appropriate dosage together with potential side-effects and interactions must be included along with, I hope, the instruction to eat...three times daily...

Monday, 7 September 2009

Ban the Broccoli!

Fantastic headline in the Daily Express on Saturday (September 5, 2009):


Call me an idiot...but I'd call that a medical claim. Being a herbalist, I'd be rather paranoid and extremly woried about making claims like that. Not that it is not true of course, but because herbal medicine and our right to talk about it is being demolished by Europe and the MHRA (the UK Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority). Currently, all herbs, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and all other vegetable materials sold as medicines (or to put it another way - because they are good for us) have to undergo a rigorous registration process under the perversly named "Traditional European Herbal Medicine Scheme". As I have described in previous blogs this process is a highly expensive, time consuming and totally unnecessary process that has to be carried out on every herb, vegetable, fruit, seed etc that is being sold for its medicinal properties.We are told it is to protect public safety. I'm still waiting to see the mortality figures...
If I dried broccoli and put it into capsules therefore, I would have to subject it to the registration process. It's the same broccoli I had for dinner and is freely on sale at the grocery. So what happened to it just by putting it into a capsule, or a tablet, or a liquid extract? What's the difference? I did not suddenly make it a medicine....it already was. Read the Daily Express if you don't believe me. They go into intricate chemical and physiological detail about how vegetables in this family of plants exert their medicinal effects on the body, in this case the heart and circulation. Vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, beetroot etc are not medicinal because I say so, or because the MHRA says so, or because of the way they are processed...they just are...straight out of the ground, steamed, with a little butter or pressed into a tablet. What is the difference? The broccoli does not somehow mystically alter or take on a new area of activity just because a herbalist gets hold of it! Maybe the MHRA really does believe in magic and that plants are somehow transformed in the hands of those weird herbalists?
The difference of course is that the herbal industry represents a taxable resource for Europe/MHRA. So the question "when is broccoli not broccoli" is answered by saying, "when a herbalist gets his hands on it". However, this approach is rather worrying of course because when the few herbal companies that will be left after registration have registered all that they could afford then maybe the MHRA will have to go after fruit and veg merchants to maintain their funding! Tax the pharmaceuticals at source. For goodness sake there is sulforaphane in broccoli and its vegetable relatives. If sulforaphane does not sound like a pharmaceutical what does hey? So why stop at taxing the herbal industry...this stuff is in there full stop, go to the source, tax the farmer, the grocer, God!

What a joke it will be when we are handed a "patient information leaflet" or safety data sheet by the greengrocer when picking up our greens. Oh, how frustrated will they be at having to compile these documents for the MHRA, and pay for the pleasure of compiling them?
Maybe, this is what GM food is all about. The MHRA and European bods do not want us being subjected to so many medicinal chemicals in our food. Breed all those medicinal chemicals out. While you are at it limit the amount of vitamins in food too. Don't want too many of them. Blimey, think of how healthy we'd be if we left all those things in there, and the thought of people actually using every day food stuffs as medicine really should be outlawed. Was it not Hippocrates, "The Father of Medicine" who said, "Let food be your medicine, let medicine be your food"? Well, yes, but he was an ancient idiot of course who knew nothing about chemistry and how dangerous food could actually become in the hands of the health conscious consumer. He obviously did not notice how these foods mysteriously transformed into registered medicines just because of they way they were used. He of course just saw the herb, the fruit, the seed, the vegetable etc for what it was. He was not looking at plant life through the tax tinted MHRA issue shades. So, go GM now...avoid having to flood your body with those medicinal chemicals and registered medicinals, and be very scared because according to the MHRA and Europe certain plants can alter their state and become new and hideous pharmaceuticals just because of they way they are presented for sale!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


Ok, so let’s set the scene…I’m 18 years old, I’m in the British army, I’m in the midst of carnage in a battle against the Taliban in Afghanistan. It’s no ordinary battle this….the British and coalition forces are wearing uniforms, playing to the rules…the Taliban are not in uniform, they look like ordinary civilians half the time…who is who? Here I am…kill or be killed…who do I shoot at? This is a small town, we are being shot at from all sides. It’s my life or theirs, I could just shoot at everything that moves, but I can not. I am bound by international conventions, rules of engagement…a sense of duty…serving a cause…honour. Sure, in the carnage, sometimes it goes wrong and civilians get killed, but what would the politicians do if they had the gun in their hands…having to react now…NOW OR DIE?

If the politicians in question were members of the European Parliament/Commission/Gravy train then I have no doubt what they would do. They would keep shooting until the gun melted in their hands, until nothing was moving or breathing within harms reach. Why on earth would they let rules of engagement, international conventions, duty etc. get in the way? The simple answer is that they can do whatever they like. They do not need to worry about the normal rules and laws that govern our behaviour, even in the most inhuman of circumstances. They make stuff up as they go along.
What do I mean?
Well, read this…read this carefully…read it over and over again until you realise what this actually means. Read it over and over until it makes you sick…you are a sponsor to this reality, you are allowing it to happen.

…in the territory of each member state and whatever their nationality, officials and other servants of the Communities shall…be immune from legal proceedings in respect of acts performed by them in their official capacity, including their words spoken or written. They shall continue to enjoy this immunity after they have ceased to hold office…
(Protocol no. 36; privileges and immunities of the European Communities (1965), continued in the Constitution Protocol 7, Article 2)

This Protocol basically gives the Eurocrats immunity from prosecution during their tenure of office and when they have retired. Immunity from prosecution for anything, as long as they are not caught in the act. This is one of their terms of employment. Basically, according to the word of this protocol, a eurocrat can get away with anything! Just imagine having this as one of the terms of your employment contract…and by the way, you should be able to, because if we all share the same human rights laws then we should be able to share the same rights as those who are empowered to make the laws. Cherie, Mrs. Blair, where are you? Another one for you love. Wig on, come out fighting on our behalf…

Just imagine if you had this clause in your employment contract. What could you get away with? You could do anything and not even get the sack! Theft, fraud…murder, whatever! Just don’t get caught in the act. You could murder your way up the corporate ladder, being sure not to get bumped off yourself on the way up of course! Call me stupid, but I thought accountability was a vital part of any politicians brief. Move aside sonny, the moral high ground is being bulldozed by Europe to make way for a tax haven and holiday homes for politicians.

Amusingly (but not really!), eurocrats also have a right to relocate anywhere in Europe without any immigration controls etc. Takes me back to the old days of great train robbers and the like, when if you’d turned over a bank in Peckham you’d scarper with the loot down to Spain to spend your cash in the sun. Eventually, this escape route open to the old time gangsters was shut down of course. Now though the eurocrats have reopened this criminal exit route for personal use, privatised it for the euro elite. So, a eurocrat could “sequester” some of our tax euros in a dodgy deal, why not just pay it straight into the bank account straight from the tax payers pockets…just don’t be seen doing it, maybe a few million, the more the merrier, and in theory they could not be prosecuted for it at any time. Then, if a finger was pointed in their direction they could quietly “retire” to the South of France or the Costa del Taxpayer and not even have the cops chase them out…let alone actually arrest them!

Not even our soldiers, some still just inexperienced teenagers, in the midst of the carnage and the randomness of battle, when you would have expected that all civilised activity has ceased to exist, when the rule of law has gone out the window, enjoy such protection from the law.
It’s not right…is it?