The European Herbal and Traditional Practitioner’s Association, an umbrella organisation for several professional associations across Europe, held its 2012 conference in London recently. John and Danny attended the conference at the University of London Union representing the IRH.

The conference was centered around a number of high quality presentations by Dr Rozz Gibbs researching the effects of Chinese herbs in UT infections; the very entertaining Dr Andrew Flower outlining developments in research on herbal medicines followed by a panel ‘Scoping the next decade for Herbal Medicine’ featuring Simon Mills, Alison Denham, Nick Lampert, Andrew Flower and Dee Atkinson.

Dr Chris Etheridge lead the afternoon session with a fascinating presentation on the effects of certain herbs on inflammatory pathways and the role this has in cancer, including exciting new information on Milk Thistle but the highlight was surely Dedj Liebrandt’s ‘Clinical Experience of Acute Medicine’. Dedj has been on the frontline of festivals such as Glastonbury for over 20 years and her accounts and practical suggestions for dealing with acute symptoms were fascinating.

The event was book-ended by updates on the statutory regulation (SR) of herbalists in the UK. Michael Guthrie from the HCPC, the regulatory body, discussed what regulation might look like and how it would be implemented, while Michael McIntyre summarised the latest information on SR close the event. All in all an excellent event all round and our thanks to the organisers and speakers.

IRH Response: The statutory regulation of herbalists will affect IRH practitioners in Northern Ireland. At the moment a consultation process has still to be instigated so the 2013 date for SR may yet be put back. Practitioners in the Republic are not affected but what happens in the UK may well serve as a template in the future. The IRH are currently pursuing voluntary self-regulation.