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Herbal Medicines

Check out our range of herbal medicines sourced from natural ingredients, including popular brands.

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Tiger Balm Red 30g Ointment for Pain

Tiger Balm Red

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  • Relieves mild muscle pain
  • Applied directly to the skin
  • Fast and discreet delivery available
Tiger Balm White 30g Headache Ointment

Tiger Balm White

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  • Relieves headache
  • Natural ingredients
  • Fast and discreet next-day delivery

Herbal Medicines

At Prescription Doctor, we offer a range of herbal medicines for various ails. These medicines are made with plant extracts and natural oils.

The extracts can be fresh from a living plant, or from dried out parts of the plant, such as the leaves, roots and flowers. Different parts of the plant and how they are prepared can offer different effects.

Almost all herbal medicines can be bought over-the-counter from pharmacies and health food shops. While you don’t need a prescription to buy herbal remedies, you should always speak to your doctor first to ensure that they are safe for you to use.

What are herbal medicines used for?

Herbal medicines are used for minor ailments which can be treated at home without medical supervision.

Conditions commonly treated with herbal medicines include:

  • Colds
  • Coughs
  • Mild anxiety and low mood
  • Sickness and indigestion
  • Sleep problems (mild insomnia)

Common herbal medicines include:

  • Chamomile
  • Ginseng
  • Milk thistle
  • Saint John’s Wort
  • Turmeric
  • Valerian root extract

It is important to speak to your doctor before using herbal medicine.

Are herbal remedies effective?

Herbal remedies are based on their traditional and historical use, rather than evidence.

While there have been some studies into the effects of some herbal remedies - most notably the research into St. John’s Wort - there is still not enough strong evidence to suggest that herbal remedies are as effective as pharmaceutical drugs.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t work. It simply means that more research is required.

Medicines are licenced based on their effectiveness in treating a specific condition. To get this licence, pharmaceutical products need to prove their quality, safety and effectiveness at treating a specific condition.

Traditional herbal treatments, on the other hand, do not need to provide proof of their effectiveness - only that they are high-quality and safe. The licence is granted if there are more than 30 years of previous use of the ingredients to treat the condition they are requesting the licence for.

In many cases, traditional medicines have centuries of recorded use.

Are herbal medicines safe?

Many people believe that herbal medicines are safer than pharmaceutical medicines because they only contain natural ingredients. This is not true. All medicines, including herbal treatments, carry the risk of side effects and may be contraindicated in certain populations.

Herbal medicines in the UK are regulated under the MHRA and are limited in what they can be marketed for.

When considering a herbal remedy, look for the Traditional Herbal Registration (THR) mark on the packaging. This means that the item has been manufactured to UK safety standards.

Speak to your doctor before taking a herbal medicine if you:

  • Have any medical condition which affects your liver or kidneys
  • Are currently taking other medicines (either prescribed or bought over the counter)
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Are giving the herbal treatment to your child

Some herbal medicines can interact with other medicines you may be taking, or worsen pre-existing medical conditions.

You should always speak to your doctor before taking medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Always store herbal medicines out of sight and reach from children and pets.

Table of contents

Herbal Medicines

What are herbal medicines used for?

Are herbal remedies effective?

Are herbal medicines safe?


NHS, 2018. Herbal Medicines

Authored & Reviewed By


Adil Bhaloda

This content has been written and checked for quality and accuracy by Adil provides governance for the online services, overseeing prescription dispensation in line with UK pharmacy standards.

Published on: 29/06/2021 Reviewed on: 29/06/2021
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