Saudi Arabia bans sale of 70 medicinal herbs, plants

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The Saudi Food and Drug Authority has prohibited the sale of more than 70 types of medicinal herbs and plants, to protect consumers from possible damaging side-effects of over-the-counter herbal medicines, local media reported.

The Saudi FDA published a list including names of the plants or herbs, their scientific names, alerting consumers of the danger of these herbs and plants to human health.

It has distributed instructional posters to be posted compulsorily inside the stores, bearing the phrase “The use of medicinal herbs and plants in a therapeutic manner has no scientific basis”.

The move aims to educate consumers and workers in herb shops of the need of adherence to regulations.

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The new rules included restricting the activity of herb stores to selling herbs and medicinal plants approved by the Food and Drug Authority and selling them in sealed packages in their natural form with a label on each package, indicating the name of the herb or medicinal plant, the country of origin, prohibitions for use and the shelf life.

The new rules also included the prohibition of writing any medical allegation on the label of any plant, medicinal herb, or health preparation, whether it is single or combined.

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They also prohibited display or sale of medicines or any pharmaceutical preparation used in human treatment, nutritional supplement products, or prohibited substances.

The regulations prohibited the display, advertising, sale or marketing of herbs and medicinal plants that are prohibited to be sold according to the list published on the website of the Food and Drug Authority.

The Saudi Food and Drug Authority affirmed it will complete its inspection tours of herb shops in all regions, to ensure their compliance with the updated regulation, in addition to posting posters to educate consumers.

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