A Russian herbal teas can now be sold in the UK under a new label, following a decision by the government to classify Russian herbal medicines as “healthful”.
The UK’s health watchdog, the National Health Service (NHS), is now taking on the task of regulating herbal teabags, including russellia cactus tea, a Russian herbal remedy that can relieve pain, cough, or migraines.
A “health and wellbeing” warning has also been added to the labels.
“This is a significant step forward for health and wellbeing in the NHS,” said Alison Anderson, chief executive of the UK’s Public Health Service.
“Russian herbal tea will be offered in the health and wellness category and it is the first time it will be available in the market outside of the US and EU markets.”
The label will be the first step towards the UK regulating these medicines.
“The move comes as Russia’s government seeks to crack down on the use of herbal medicines.
Russian authorities have already arrested several people over alleged use of russelys.
Last month, Russian authorities charged two people with drug offences and seized more than 10,000 russels.
The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSIC) said that herbal medicines can be sold by prescription and that they are currently banned in the US.”
There are many products of Russian herbal medicine available in pharmacies, but they are generally sold in Russian markets and it would be a mistake to assume that there are no alternatives to Russian herbal products,” the organisation said.
The NHS said it is also taking on responsibility for regulating Russian herbal drugs, with a list of herbal products and products that are available in its pharmacy available on its website.”
We have made it very clear to all the relevant authorities in Russia that herbal products are not allowed in the country,” Anderson said.”
If you are buying herbal tea and the herbal product is not listed on the shelf of the pharmacy, we suggest you contact the health authority and ask for an investigation.
“Health and wellbeing has previously been classified as a health benefit in the EU, where Russian herbal and medicinal products are banned.
In the US, herbal tea has been available on shelves for several years under the terms “natural remedies”, but it is now regulated under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to protect the public.”
Russia’s move to regulate herbal products as health benefits, rather than as drugs, is a welcome step forward,” said David Nutt, the former Health Secretary under former President Barack Obama.”
These medicines have a very strong track record of safety and efficacy, and it’s important that we take this step to protect them.