British Herbal Medicine Association (BHMA)

The British Herbal Medicine Association has represented the interests of herbal medicine in the United Kingdom for over 58 years. It was founded in 1964 at a time of increasing regulatory control, when herbal medicine in this country faced an uncertain future, and played an important role in convincing the government of the day to include provisions for the herbal industry and profession in the Medicines Act 1968.

Members of the Association include manufacturers of herbal medicines, herbal practitioners, companies involved in the supply of herbal raw materials and extracts, academics, pharmacists, retailers and students of phytotherapy. The Board endeavours to support the members through a range of activities and keeps a close watch on legislative developments affecting herbal medicine, liaising with regulatory authorities, industry forums and the media, providing advice and comment on new EU or UK legislation and guidelines, and commenting on specific issues.

Regulatory & Scientific Updates from Across the Herbal Sector

This conference was held on Thursday 23rd June 2022

11.45 am: Prof Michael Heinrich and Dr Banaz Jalil - UCL School of Pharmacy, University of London - Best Practice in Extract Characterisation – Research update

12.20 pm: Questions and answers

12.25 pm: Kathryn Szymonowicz - Managing Director, Rubicon Technical Ltd - Technical/Regulatory update

12.55 pm: Questions and answers

1.00 pm: Lunch

2.00 pm: Dr Bob Allkin - Unit Manager - Royal Botanical Gardens Kew - Plants for Health: Addressing terminological confusion concerning herbal products

2.20 pm: Questions and answers

2.25 pm: Dr Tony Booker - UCL School of Pharmacy, University of London and University of Westminster - Adulteration in herbal medicines - Current research

2.55 pm: Questions and answers

3.00 pm: TEA BREAK

3.20 pm: Mark Blumenthal - Founder & Executive Director - American Botanical Council - Standard Operating Procedure for the Disposal/Destruction of Irreparably Defective Articles – an update.

3.55 pm: Questions and answers

4.00 pm: Panel Discussion

4.30 pm: Socialising and further discussion in breakout room (please bring your own refreshments!)

5.00 pm: Finish

Speakers for the BHMA conference 2022 

Dr Chris Etheridge

Christopher Etheridge is a leading Medical Herbalist (Phytotherapist) with extensive experience as a herbal practitioner, published researcher and writer.

Chris is Chair of the British Herbal Medicine Association (BHMA), Chair of the Herbal Practitioner Supplier’s Scheme (HPSS), President of the College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy (CPP) and President of the European Herbal and Traditional Medicines Professional Association (EHTPA).

Mark Blumenthal

Mark Blumenthal is the Founder and Executive Director of the American Botanical Council (ABC), an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to disseminating accurate, reliable, and responsible information on herbs and medicinal plants. He is the Editor/Publisher of HerbalGram, an international, peer-reviewed quarterly journal, the contents of which reflect the educational goals of ABC. Mark has served as Co-Founder and former Vice-President of the Herb Research Foundation (HRF) and President of the Herb Trade Association. He was also a founding board member of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA).

Dr Bob Allkin

Bob Allkin manages Kew's Medicinal Plant Names Services. MPNS catalogues and resolves the ambiguous and inconsistent terminologies employed by regulators, researchers, suppliers and practitioners when referring to medicinal plants, ingredients and herbal substances.  MPNS maps these terms to Kew's botanical taxonomy and supplies "controlled vocabularies" e.g. for the ISO-IDMP drug standard. MPNS partners include World Health Organisation, World Intellectual Property Organisation, US FDA as well as research groups and government agencies in many countries. 

Prof Michael Heinrich

Michael Heinrich is a Professor of Ethnopharmacology and Medicinal Plant Research (Pharmacognosy) and was until 2018 the head of the research cluster / Centre ‘Biodiversity and Medicines’ at the UCL School of Pharmacy. He currently serves as the joint chair of UCL’s Research Ethics Committee (with Dr. L. Ang, Institute of Education). Currently, he is one of the two Vice-Presidents of the GA (Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research), one of the largest societies in the field. He is Specialty Editor in Chief of Frontiers in Pharmacology (Ethnopharmacology) as well as an associate editor of the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, among a wide range of other roles.

Dr Banaz Jalil

Banaz Jalil is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the UCL School of Pharmacy and the UCL Vice Provost Office (Research, Innovation and Global Engagement) with specific interest and experience in Medicinal Plant Research and Transparent Research Practices.   

Kathryn Szymonowicz

Kathryn Szymonowicz is founder and Group Managing Director of Rubicon Technical (UK & NL) with over 20 years’ experience in the consumer health industry.

Whilst Kathryn has a wealth of knowledge in Food, Food Supplements, Medicines, Cosmetics and Medical Devices she prides herself in 'thinking outside the box' whilst leading a team of skilled consultants. Kathryn brings an entrepreneurial view to any subject and is proactive in highlighting commercially attractive regulatory opportunities to any organisation.

Dr. Anthony Booker

Dr. Anthony Booker, an expert in Chinese herbal medicines and medicinal plant science at the University of Westminster. He obtained his PhD at University College London in Ethnopharmacy and Pharmacognosy. His research thesis focused on the value chains of Curcuma longa (Turmeric) and how different value chains can affect both the livelihoods of the producing farmers and the quality of the finished products. During two post-doctoral projects at UCL he investigated the quality of herbal medicinal products and their ingredients. Anthony is published in a wide variety of scientific journals and books and his current research interests focus on the use of plant metabolomics and how this can be used to improve the quality of traditional medicines hereby tackling issues such as poor quality and adulteration. He is currently senior lecturer in Chinese herbal medicine and medicinal plant science at the University of Westminster. He is a member of The British Pharmacopoeia expert advisory group on Complementary and Herbal Medicines, a Member and past president of The Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine, a Member of The Royal Society of Chemistry and Fellow of The Linnean Society.

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