We the undersigned subscribe to the following declaration of intent, to be offered openly to our patients, our peers, the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, the Department of Health and all other interested parties, here and abroad:-

It is the inalienable right of all people to use plants for their sustenance and healing. In the spirit of the European Charter of Human Rights, so too is it an essential freedom to seek advice from those who have devoted themselves to the knowledge and application of the health-giving properties of plants.
Herbal Medicine is the indigenous natural healing tradition of the British Peoples. It is a living tradition that has adapted and remained relevant through all times. We count ourselves amongst the custodians of this living tradition, for the benefit of all who would choose it and for generations to come.
We conjoin with indigenous traditional healers throughout the world in seeking to protect our plant heritage and maintain the practice of all such natural therapies.
It is a maxim that all who care for the sick shall do no harm: our inheritance is that British practitioners of Traditional Western Herbal Medicine have upheld this absolutely and without exception for a century or more, as we determine to continue.
Given that we are safe in the sourcing, preparation and prescription of herbal medicines, we challenge the need for legislation over and above the existing laws of the land that we are subject to and willingly uphold.
Herbal Medicine is a humble vocation with a majority of part time practitioners. We reject the current call for state regulation of its practitioners in that it may exclude the many from legal practice and equally place our work beyond the financial resources of many of our patients.
Likewise we reject the current intention to regulate our medicines in that it will compromise without justification the essential freedoms of the public, herbal practitioners and their traditional suppliers in favour of the few who may profit by it.
Herbal Medicine’s enduring strength is that it remains an effective therapy employing the most basic of technologies with little call on external resources or agencies. In anticipation of the effects of climate change we are determined to keep this aspect of our knowledge alive for ourselves and future generations as an integral element of a healing planet.

Signed: Nathalie Chidley, Carol Church, Stephen Church, Tim Lane, Kym Murden, Neil Pellegrini & Sally Viney.

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