With regard to the use of plants in medicines, for the past ten years or so in Belgium, there has been a list of plants that have been the subject of very precise scientific validation: therapeutic virtues, method of administration, dosage, side effects and contraindications, etc. The plants on these lists can then be the subject of a simplified registration, which nonetheless gives them the status of full-fledged medicinal products. For these plants, manufacturers are no longer obliged to repeat clinical studies. For example, valerian has been proven to have sedative properties, and no longer needs to be re-tested (although there are still numerous controls, notably toxicological, such as the absence of pesticides or heavy metals).

For all other plants, manufacturers have to undergo very precise clinical studies, which are very costly. As a result, they often market dietary supplements rather than herbal medicines.

This working method, based on simplified registration for plant-based medicines validated for their therapeutic action, will soon be adopted by the European Union, to promote plant-based medicines. Your doctor can also prescribe a drug in magistral preparation (preparations made by the pharmacist in his dispensary). 

updated on 4/25/24

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