This is

 

Anita Clay

  

 

Herbalist

 

in Exeter

 

 

Before you make an appointment to see her, please read this.

 

 

  • 84% of herbal medicines have no published research in humans.

  • Only 50% of herbal medicines have even been checked in non-human tests.

  • Only 1% of herbal medicines have proof that they work well.*


Anita Clay has a website claiming that herbal medicines are effective, safe, can be used in all age ranges and don't cause problems when combined with conventional medicines.

 

How does she know if they've never been tested?

 

Modern conventional medicines go through many tests in the laboratory and are tested in thousands of people. Only then can the medicines be used by doctors. They are also tested in the elderly, in children and in combination with other medicines.

Most conventional medicines actually fail the human tests, either because they don’t work or because they have unacceptable side effects. Only the few that have an acceptable balance between safety and effectiveness reach the market. Most herbal medicines would fail the tests too - that's one of the reasons herbalists don't want to test them.

Anita Clay is lying because she wants your money. She is making sweeping claims that her treatments are safe and effective when many of them haven't been put through a single test.

A copy of her disgraceful website is here.

 

Safety
 
Anita Clay is playing to people's belief that herbal medicines are safe because they are 'natural'.

Some of the most deadly poisons in the world are in plants. Think of hemlock, deadly nightshade, fox glove and yew.

Wikipedia lists 83 herbal medicines that are known to have side effects or cause allergies, and a further 14 are suspected of causing problems in combination with other medicines. The list would be much bigger if herbal medicines were tested properly but for most of them we just don't know.

Rutland Biodynamic, the company that supplies Anita Clay with herbs, has at least 12 locally produced herbs that are known to have side effects - one of which has even been banned in the USA ('bearberry').

Most worryingly of all, Anita Clay is claiming that herbal medicines can be used during pregnancy.

There is a good Wikipedia article on herbalism in general. The message is loud and clear - most herbal medicines haven't been tested, so it's impossible to claim they are 'safe'.


 
Effectiveness

The lack of research on herbal medicines also means that we don't know if they work.

Assume for the sake of argument that herbal medicines were 100% safe. Are you going to give Anita Clay £75 for a consultation and walk away with a treatment that might be useless? You might as well buy mineral water - it's also useless and a lot cheaper.

 

Mixtures

Anita Clay uses mixtures of herbs to treat a single illness. This is a gimick. She wants you to think that she is tailor-making a treatment especially for you. If she tells you that one of the herbs is to 'eliminate toxins from your body', ask her for the names of the toxins and for the research showing that the herb eliminates them.

She might include a herb that is 'a tonic for the depleted body'. Ask her what substance the body is depleted of.

 

She won't be able to answer.

 

 

 

* This information comes from a survey of the 1000 most commonly used herbal medicines. If you would like to read the article it is here.