Herbal products marketed for U.K. children may contain unsuitable ingredients

A U.K. agency issued urgent notice for a manufacturer to remove an herbal product from the shelves due to possible unlisted ingredients that may be harmful.

Holland and Barrett’s Herbal Authority: Echinacea & Golden Root for juniors withdrawn from the market : MHRA.

In response to an urgent notice issued by the MHRA, Holland and Barrett has agreed to stop marketing Herbal Authority: Echinacea & Golden Root for juniors, as the product has been mislabelled and may contain ingredients that are not suitable for use in children or adolescents.

The labelling of the product is incorrect and it is not possible to be certain which herbal ingredient is present in the product.

The product is labelled as containing Golden Root, which is usually used to describe the herbal ingredient Rhodiola rosea (or Mahonia aquifolium). However the information label describes the ingredient as Berberis aquifolium. The image on the label is a picture of a root which appears to be Goldenseal root (known as Hydrastis canadensis), rather then either Mahonia aquifolium or Berberis aquifolium.

The safety of Berberis aquifolium and Hydrastis canadensi which contain alkaloids such as berberine and hydrastine, has not been established for children or adolescents.

Tip: @SLSingh on Twitter

MHRA is the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.It’s the government agency which is responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work, and are acceptably safe.

In this case, they have determined that the product (produced without regulation regarding quality or efficacy) may not be what it says it is.

High doses of berberine can cause illness and can be life threatening for infants.

I found this statement at the bottom interesting:

The MHRA is currently investigating a number of complaints about herbal products being marketed without the necessary authorisation and will continue to take regulatory action to protect the public.

This is indeed a problem. You DO NOT know what you are getting when you purchase these “alternative” health products. It’s simply not smart to use herbal meds on kids. While it’s not good news that a product may be tainted, it is good that in modern countries, we have a way to get the message out not to use these types of products.

  2 comments for “Herbal products marketed for U.K. children may contain unsuitable ingredients

  1. Pete
    August 3, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    This story is quite unlike the eye remedy story. Part of the problem here is the new species of otherwise educated parents who are willfully ignorant concerning their children’s health. It’s disturbing because it is so resistant to public education, which will surely reduce harm among new immigrants using genuine folk remedies.

  2. Pete
    August 3, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    “Genuine” meaning inherited, not part of a fad.

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