Call to European herbalists

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Call to European herbalists

Postby Melissa Doordaughter » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:09 am

The European Union is trying to pass a law that will make buying all "medicinal" herbs illegal from 1st April 2011.

We really have to do something quick if we want to prevent this. Please start by writing to your MEP.

For more information there's an article here:

http://gaia-health.com/articles301/0003 ... r-eu.shtml

And to find out who your Minister for European Parliament is, you can look here:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/members/p ... anguage=EN

Thanks.

Melissa
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Re: Call to European herbalists

Postby Melissa Doordaughter » Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:03 am

And here's an on-line petition: I think it's open for all nationalities to sign. Would be great to let the EU know the world is watchin

http://www.gopetition.com/petition/39757.html
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Re: Call to European herbalists

Postby Susun Weed » Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:47 am

dear melissa

thank you for calling attention to this law.
i believe you do us all a mis-service by exaggerating, however.
no law can make medicinal herbs illegal. herbs grow from the earth.
the wise woman tradition focuses on the use of simple local plants. this approach makes us invulverable to laws. we can always pick nettle and dandelion.
the EU law is about products. as you can see, i never suggest using products.
grassroots herbalism is completely unaffected by this law.
will it help protect people? maybe.
we are not a handful of herbal lovers anymore. the whole world wants in.
and most folks in the world are not all that critical. that's why we try to protect them.
i suggest you use your time more wisely than by fighting dragons.
green blessings.
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Re: Call to European herbalists

Postby sapphire kate » Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:45 pm

I agree, no-one's ever going to stop me from making and sharing herbal foods and medicines :D

The European Union is trying to pass a law that will make buying all "medicinal" herbs illegal from 1st April 2011.


I don't think this is at all true. I haven't been following the issue closely, but Henriette Kress posted this recently on her blog (including some hefty criticism of gaia herbs who seem to be stirring the pot badly) - http://www.henriettesherbal.com/blog/eu-laws.html
It's all good (except for the crappy bits).
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Re: Call to European herbalists

Postby Melissa Doordaughter » Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:00 am

Hey don't shoot the messenger! I am just passing on information that I've received.

I am fully aware that the beauty of herbal medicine is that is a gift from the earth, first and foremost. The new legislation is about what can be bought over the counter. I think I made that clear in my first post.

There are certain herbs that don't grow in this area, but have also been very useful to me. And certain herbal preparations that I don't have time or know-how to make, that have also been very useful. Already it has proved very difficult to get hold of poke root here in Italy, (the homeopathic chemists I've been to don't stock the mother tincture and haven't been able to get the tincture from the US past customs) and I am concerned that it could become even more difficult to source foreign herbs, with the new rules. I wonder how many herbalists here only use the products they pick and make themselves?

I hope that the article you posted, Sapphire Kate, which suggests the information from gaia-health is hyperbole is correct. And this is where I have been sourcing my information.

As for "fighting dragons": this comment has made me feel quite defensive, Susun. I am not on a heroic crusade, but based on the information I've received, this law could effect European herbalism. IMO speaking out when necessary is not a negative thing, and everyone has to decide for themselves when that is appropriate and when not. I noticed that you were involved in protesting against the beer label with the offensive image. That too could be considered "fighting dragons". . . any way, I hear a damsel in distress in the distance, gotta go don my shield and find my lance!

Melissa
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Re: Call to European herbalists

Postby sapphire kate » Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:24 pm

Fairy enough Melissa.

Let me try this a different way:

The European Union is trying to pass a law that will make buying all "medicinal" herbs illegal from 1st April 2011.


Apart from gaia-health, do you have any evidence that the above statement is true?

If one is going to fight dragons, it pays to fight real ones ;-)
It's all good (except for the crappy bits).
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Re: Call to European herbalists

Postby Melissa Doordaughter » Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:59 am

I guess the best way to find out the situation is to write to ones MEP and ask them.

I'll let you know when mine replies.
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Re: Call to European herbalists

Postby Lailyna » Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:43 am

I knew about that law (at school they taught of that), basically the most of traditional herbs as angelica sinensis, astragalus, ginseng etc. could be affected. Now, at least in the UK, there're two nice articles of law which said: 12:1 you can sell a natural remedy only after a consultation one to one but you can't show that in the shop. 12:2 it's about the traditional remedies, you can sell them if they're inside a list, but with the avvent of the new law it could become different particulally for the tradional plants of ayurveda and chinese medicine.
Even on the ANH website you can find lots informations.
Now sorry but I have to say: instead, did you know about the Switzerland laws? They're whorser and they want to make the most of the plants as medicaments, so that; if you want to sell them, you will need to registrate them paying a lot, and giving money at the pharmaceutical industries: dandelion, burdock, ginger, salix, crataegus, eleuterococcus etc. are only some example of the plants which will be considerate a medicament and so, it will be almost impossible to give them as well as food.
So, what do you think? :)

sapphira kate, to make you sure you might go on:
Alliance for Natural Health
there's an explanation of what's going on.

I don't know if this is the truth but so it seems; who knows :roll:


Best regards :)


ps. sorry for my english :p
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Re: Call to European herbalists

Postby Justine » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:47 pm

Melissa, hi. Your post solicited a response from Susun because you set the post as "global" which effectively puts it at the top of the forum, as the most important post above all else, and showing in every place. Susun only ever responds to posts in her Seven Rivers private forum room, she responded because the setting for thsi post put it in front of her for response. I have changed the setting of your post to normal and have placed it in the Wise Woman Council where it should be located.

it would be best for no one to use the global setting, unless its truely a matter that should be posted as the most important post of all posts....which none of us can really determine. its not a setting i can disable. so we have to use our own good wisdom to choose the best room to post in and post moderately.

I agree, no one is ever going to come to my home and tell me to stop picking the weeds in my back yard, so completely unconcerned with any law regulating the herbs sold in stores, most of which are not safe for use, and thusfar mostly unregulated, putting the consumer at a great disadvantage. Knowledge is power - herbal medicine is people's medicine, the more people we can teach to harvest herbs and make medicines, the better off we will all be. blessed be.
Peace, Justine ;) have fun, live life, love fully!
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Re: Call to European herbalists

Postby Justine » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:57 pm

Lailyna, according to the wise woman tradition, it is always best to harvest your own herbs and use herbs that grow close to your home....so, none of these laws should really affect us. that being said, anyone who desires to make a profit from selling herbs in a processed manner should expect to comply with regulations set up to protect the masses. Alltogether too many people are selling herbs in inappropriate ways. lets just say that 100 percent of herbs in pills and capsules shoudl be taken off the shelves and thrown directly down the toilet, for they are harmful at best, ineffective at worst, and a complete waste of money.

dried herbs in bulk are wonderful to have available for purchase, and these will likely always still be available, including other herbal teas such as peppermint and chamomile.

All formula herbal preparations (any bottled or bagged item with more than one herb) should also not be available for public consumption, most of these formulas are unsafe and overpriced. they do not give herbal medicine a good name, and they (formulas) only continue the mysticism around how to use herbs, serving to disempower the people, and padding the pockets of those who would have you believe herbs are to be prescribed by experts and that herbal medicine making is a complicated process.

as far as tinctures and vinegars go, commercially prepared, they become too expensive to allow anyone to use them in a way so as to actually receive any benefit. when you make your own tinctures, decoctions, vinegars, and honeys, you will not only benefit from direct contact with the plants, and the act of making your medicines, you will also be assured of an excellent product at a fraction of the cost of store bought preparations.

enough said.
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Re: Call to European herbalists

Postby Justine » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:07 pm

Melissa, when i see an image of a woman being abused or exploited it makes me sick. If we can help a specific company that markets to men (beer company), if we can help them to understand that putting an image of a woman on a stake burning to death (in sexy clothing, with lots of men watching), if we can help them understand that not only is that image offensive, it also puts women in real danger.

how you can compare that to this is completely unfathomable.

for the record, we did get that beer company to agree to remove the image...so if, in your estimation, we were fighting dragons, its cause for celebration, for one dragon has been slain. i hate the terminology, i love animals, and am sure dragons have as much right to life as any other animal. unless of course its burning down my village and eating my livestock, then i go on a hunt for it, and kill it if i can, before it kills me. the critial point here is to really comprehend what is a legitimate threat and to whom. certainly many dragons, minding their own business, have been slain for no good reason, simply due to some fear mongering..so, tis up to us to identify what is and is not worth our time and what is and is not a threat, then act accordingly.
Peace, Justine ;) have fun, live life, love fully!
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Re: Call to European herbalists

Postby Melissa Doordaughter » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:19 pm

Hi Justine

I'm comparing the campaign against the beer label and campaigning against a restrictive law on herbs, because they both involve confronting and questioning the actions of industrial Babylon.

Thanks for clarifying how the "Global" button works.

Melissa
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Re: Call to European herbalists

Postby Justine » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:53 pm

in that case, if it concerns you that herbal supplements will be regulated with this new law, then certainly bang the gong. however, many of us at this site at least, will not be in the parade, because we do not concern ourselves with the regulation of processed herbs, most of which we find to be either over processes, over priced, and or unsafe for consumption.
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Re: Call to European herbalists

Postby Lailyna » Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:44 pm

Justine thanks for your explanation, I'm totally agree (everyone should be able to grow up her own plants as well) even if I might add that, anyways for the most people kind of products as: dandelion, burdock, ginseng, echinacea etc. are really helpfull and it's really absurd that, for legislations and laws they will be not available anymore, just this. Also because not everyone could permit herself to harvest her own herbs and sometimes it's not so easy to find them.

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Re: Call to European herbalists

Postby Melissa Doordaughter » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:25 pm

Hi Justine

There are a couple of points I want to raise. The first is about the general emotional tone of these postings. Talking about "banging the gong", "joining the parade", and "fighting dragons" all makes me feel personally criticized. I hope the intention of the postings isn't to do that. As far as I am concerned, the purpose of starting this thread was to make people aware of what's happening. Then, like Sapphire Kate and Laily, if people do or don't want to do anything more, that's fine with me. I'm of the view that which causes we pursue is a personal decision, and it's not very respectful to tell me I'm wasting my time, just because you don't want to do the same thing. Like the comparison with the beer label. If that's a cause I don't choose to support, fine, I'm just gonna keep quiet and carry on doing my own thing. Are you actually opposed to writing to a politician to ask them what's really happening? And (as this effects European herbalists) if you aren't interested and aren't effected, why rain on my parade? :-k

Then, on the topic of the law and the wise woman tradition. I understand using locally available herbs is important, but I wouldn't agree that

as far as tinctures and vinegars go, commercially prepared, they become too expensive to allow anyone to use them in a way so as to actually receive any benefit


Infact the quantities of echinacea tincture necessary to fight a major infection can make buying it the only real practical way (for some). I'll repeat,as before, my question: do you only use herbs that you have harvested and processed yourself?

Then there is also the deep philosophical debate on the purpose and function of law. I have listened to and understood the debate about herbal supplements. And I don't use them. As far as I am aware however this law doesn't only concern supplements. And even if it did, in my view the purpose of a just law is not to protect people from themselves, but to prevent people from doing harm to others, and to punish them when they do. A case in point is the marijuana laws. The consequences of smoking a joint may include paranoia, hallucinations, lethargy and decreased blood sugar. But if you want to compare that to the consequences of a prison term, I would say that the cure is worse than the disease. If I want to take a tincture or a supplement, I think it is my human right to self-medicate. And this law is going to limit the tinctures etc that can be brought without a doctors prescription. Well bearing in mind that most doctors are sponsored by the various pharmacutical companies and have very limited knowledge of herbalism, that doesn't bode well. To compare again to the restrictive cannabis laws, with the current legislation, not only are people being protected from paranoia and reefer maddness, but MS sufferers are at a minimum being denied access to a vital medicine, at the most extreme being put into prison and placed under such a high level of stress that it can seriously exacberate their condition.

Equally, you are clearly of the view that herbs should used as simples, that herbal mixtures aren't beneficial. But if I want to buy a mix of malva, mullien and orange peel (for example) would you make me a criminal? Would it be better if I brought these substances in an unregulated illegal market, risking a criminal record or worse?

So to come back to the emotional tone that I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I don't have any desire to prove that one of us is right and one is wrong. I respect yours and Susuns views, obviously, or I wouldn't be using this forum. But do you seriously believe that all harmful activities should be legislated against? Shall we make laws against skiing and tobacco and alcohol and dragon baiting and paradiving and all potentially harmful activities? And are you really saying that you only use herbs you pick yourself? And is that really a part of the wise woman tradition as you see it?

Melissa
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