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February 2001: New survey shows more parents prefer herbal medicines than ever before

A new survey* from Herbal Concepts, has shown that more and more parents are prepared to use licensed herbal medicines to treat themselves and their families**. A staggering 75% of parents said they would use a licensed herbal medicine, up from 72% in the same survey last year and compared to a national average this time of 71%.

(** most licensed herbal medicines are not suitable for children under five. Parents should always read the dosage instructions carefully before giving any herbal medicines to a child.)

A readiness to buy and use herbal medicines among parents was up on a range of questions the survey asked. 71% wanted pharmacists to know more about herbal medicine (67% in 2000), while 67% wanted to be able to buy herbal medicines in their local pharmacy or supermarket (61% in 2000).

Almost nine out of ten parents (86%) would use a licensed herbal medicine that works without side effects, to treat coughs and colds, compared to an already high national average of 80%.

The survey also asked parents about their awareness of the differences between licensed herbal medicines that are checked and controlled by the Department of Health and unlicensed herbal remedies that may be produced and sold without any quality controls. Worryingly, only 50% of parents understood the difference, although when asked if they would support government legislation enforcing the same controls for herbal medicines as those already in place for conventional drugs, 89% of parents said they would.

"This survey very much shows parents support our view that herbal medicines should be regulated in the same way as conventional drugs," said Tim Michael, Marketing Director of Herbal Concepts. "Herbal medicines are just that – strong medicines – and all our treatments are licensed by the government so people can be sure of their safety and efficacy. Everyone but particularly children, need to be protected against the mis-use and mis-selling of herbal treatments just like they are with other OTC drugs.

"We're obviously pleased to see that more and more parents are considering herbal medicines and aware of their benefits. But now is the time to make sure the market is regulated so everyone can be sure of the quality and efficacy of the herbal medicines they are using."


*survey conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres, 26-28 January 2001 among 1000+ adults, aged 16+ around the UK and across all demographic groups.


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