Should herbal medicines be licensed?

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7002.451c (Published 12 August 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:451
  1. Debbie Shaw,
  2. Stoyko Kolev,
  3. Ivan House,
  4. Virginia Murray
  1. Research scientist Toxicologist Trace elements analyst Consultant toxicologist Traditional Remedies Surveillance, Medical Toxicology Unit, Guy's and St Thomas's Hospital Trust, London SE14 5ER

    EDITOR,--The editorial by Dr Peter A G M De Smet highlighted the need for regulation of herbal medicine-like products.1 We are particularly concerned about imported herbal medicines that contain heavy metals; this has been well documented in medicines from the Indian subcontinent.2 We recently investigated the potential hazards of some Chinese patent medicines with high concentrations of mercurial ingredients that are used for the treatment of AIDS.

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