Demand for herbal remedies grows in UK

London: Following a surge of consumer interest in herbal remedies, leading high street pharmacy Boots has sold out of their own-label peppermint oil in over 1,000 of their 1,400 stores nationwide and have had to put in emergency orders to keep up with consumer demand.

This is the second time Boots have witnessed record sales of herbal products this week, with traditional remedy Echinacea already flying off the shelf at a rate of nearly one pack per minute – that’s nearly 7,000 packs per week.

Although the evidence supporting many herbal remedies is currently under debate, with some scientists claiming that many herbs provide little or no benefit to users, consumers are continuing to purchase herbal remedies for their safe and natural action.

Scientists have dismissed Echinacea’s efficacy as an immune booster for those people suffering from respiratory ailments like coughs and colds. But herbal experts claim that the evidence is irrefutable and continue to defend use of the healing herb, citing the hundreds of studies that have demonstrated its efficacy and sales have risen as a result. Peppermint oil has also received media attention due to its use as an alternative remedy for helping relieve digestive discomfort, a common occurrence for many people during the winter season’s over-indulgence.

Herbalist and nutritional consultant Dr Ann Walker says: ‘There is a huge amount of evidence to suggest that herbal medicines are a natural and safe way to self-treat many health conditions, so it is no surprise that sales are rising as people cotton on to the fact that they don’t always have to choose the pharmaceutical route’.

Boots pharmacist Angela Chalmers says: “People are increasingly embracing a more natural lifestyle and using herbal remedies is part of that way of life. Always talk to your Boots pharmacist if you need advice on which herbal remedy to take.”