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Editorial Issue 77

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 77 - June 2002

When I recently received The British Association of Flower Essences Producers' newsletter advising that Flower Essences may come under the aegis of the Traditional Herbal Medicines Directive (THM) and that consultations are presently underway with the Medicines Control Agency (MCA), I was completely and utterly gobsmacked. Of all the utterly ludicrous scenarios, bordering on the insane, this one takes the biscuit.

As most Positive Health readers should be aware (if you have been reading this publication), flower essences capture a kind of signature from whence they are made (flowers, gems, channeled spirits), and are then bottled in brandy. So, although they are not definitely homeopathic remedies, to the more pedantic, non-energy wizard folk, their mode of preparation and indeed their substance, somewhat resembles that of a homeopathic remedy, i.e. virtually nothing there of the original substance.

Now the medical establishment is trying to have it both ways. On the one hand, their experts are constantly harking on about how such substances can't possibly work because there is nothing there (too diluted); and on the other, the MCA is now trying to re-classify them as medicines, under the THM Directive.

Following Dr Mike Abraham's cover story about the EU Supplement Directive in the March issue of Positive Health, we are by now complete experts about how such Directives work. First of all, someone creates a 'Positive List' which by experience usually excludes many important and valuable nutrients, herbs or remedies. Then, following the usually perfunctory period of 'consultation' (in the case for flower essences, some two months only) anything and everything that is not on the 'Positive List' becomes illegal.

In the case of flower essences, we are not speaking of a mega-industry of huge manufacturers; we are speaking of probably dozens of tiny individuals and small businesses which, because they will not be able to prepare expensive dossiers applying for medical licenses for their remedies, will go out of business, thereby depriving people in the UK and throughout the entire world, of priceless and precious substances.

I, like many scientifically trained people, don't fully understand how flower essences, or indeed homeopathic remedies can have medicinal effects, given their extreme dilution and origins. The arguments about signatures in water, the effects of serial succussion and dilution, have been played out ad nauseum in the scientific and general media over many years. However, as a highly trained scientist, I recognize and respect the clinical results which are being achieved internationally over many years using these and other 'energy medicine' approaches. I have personally been helped at times by such remedies, despite my complete agnosticism of their efficacy. Sometimes my particular condition at that time has not been helped; however, nor has it been improved using a whole range of conventional approaches.

Medicine is an art, not a science, and so is healing and getting better. Nobody, as far as I can tell, has the complete answer for every single person, as most honest physicians will freely admit. Healing is sometimes a mysterious and even miraculous process, which, fortunately or unfortunately, no one has yet managed to bottle. If a universal 'getting better' remedy could be bottled, I shudder to think what the MCA would do with it. Would it have to be licensed, would it be available as a food supplement, would it come under the Herbal Medicine Directive, or would it be a prescription-only drug, available only from your doctor, who wouldn't dispense it because they wouldn't believe it worked?

Further information

There is now a massive 'Save our Supplements' campaign underway jointly sponsored by Consumers for Health Choice (CHC) and the National Association of Health Stores (NAHS), which is attempting to galvanize public opinion and rescue nutritional and herbal supplements and other substances such as flower essences. Please do what you can as an individual, business or organization to participate in protecting such valuable health commodities. Further information: Consumers for Health Choice (CHC) Tel: 020-7222 4182; e:; w:; National Association of Health Stores (NAHS) Tel: 0114 236 3043; e:; w:


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About Sandra Goodman PhD

Sandra Goodman PhD, Co-founder and Editor of Positive Health, trained as a Molecular Biology scientist in Agricultural Biotechnology in Canada and the US, focusing upon health issues since the 1980s in the UK. Author of 4 books, including Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art, Vitamin C – The Master Nutrient, Germanium: The Health and Life Enhancer and numerous articles, Dr Goodman was the lead author of the Consensus Document Nutritional and LifeStyle Guidelines for People with Cancer and compiled the Cancer and Nutrition Database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 1993. Dr Goodman is passionate about making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, clinical expertise in Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. Dr Goodman was recently featured as Doctor of the Fortnight in ThinkWellness360.

Dr Goodman and long-term partner Mike Howell seek individuals with vision, resources, and organization to continue and expand the Positive Health PH Online legacy beyond the first 27+ years, with facilities for training, to fund alternative cancer research, and promote holistic organizations internationally. Read about Dr Goodman and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  She may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via:   and

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