Monday, 28 November 2011

We have listened to our customers and withdrawn all credit card charges

In June this year we imposed a 3% charge on credit card transactions. Following the recent change of ownership of Herbs in a Bottle we carried out extensive consultation with our customers and now realise that this imposition had an unreasonable impact. We therefore withdraw the charges with effect from Monday 28th November.

Because of the way we are structured and independently audited it is impossible for us to cut costs by using cheaper herbs (that may well be substandard), missing out key quality tests, or ignoring GMP standards.

This Commitment to maintain high standards was one of the reasons for the mistaken imposition of the credit card charges in June.

Following the arrival of David Carter as our new Managing Director a considerable programme of investment and expansion has commenced. This will result in yet more benefits that we will pass on to you, our valued customer, through sustained quality, service and reliability.

Monday, 14 November 2011

A personal message from David Carter, the new Managing Director of Herbs in a Bottle

I thought I would just write a few lines to introduce myself and explain my vision for the future of Herbs in a Bottle. As you will already know, Tony Carter has decided he needs to refocus his future on the technical and innovative aspects of herbal medicine. To this end he has sold the controlling interest in the company to myself. To ensure continuity Tony has agreed to act as ongoing technical adviser and shareholder for the next two years.

I was very excited to be offered the opportunity, as I immediately saw the tremendous potential of Herbs in a Bottle to participate in and contribute to the future of herbal medicine.

My intentions are to maintain the existing high standards of quality, service and reliability to which the company currently operates and to continue our involvement with medical herbalists at every level within our company. To ensure our services are fit for purpose we need the help and cooperation of all our valued clients, customers and friends.

My background, working for strong brand leaders in the agricultural produce industry introduced me to the organic movement to which I have a strong commitment. I have found that enthusiasm and commitment combined with an ethical commercial approach builds businesses with the kind of values and ethics I know we all share.

We already have in place a significant investment plan to grow Herbs in a Bottle with these ethical values. You can be assured that I will be investing in the key areas of people, processes and of course technology. I will do this by reinvesting profits, with the aim of Herbs in a Bottle becoming the premier herbal medicine manufacturer in the United Kingdom, if not the world.

Over the coming months I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible and I do genuinely regard you all as partners in the great enterprise of herbal medicine manufacture. In that spirit, please do not hesitate to send us your feedback, suggestions and ideas for the future.

With very best wishes,

David J Carter,
Managing Director, Herbs in a Bottle

Monday, 31 October 2011

Viburnum opulus or Guelder Rose

Today we are making tincture of Viburnum opulus or Guelder Rose.

Constituents of Viburnum opulus include bitter compounds, coumarins, glycoside (viburnin), resin, salicosides (Salicin), tannin, valerianic acid.

Actions of Viburnum opulus include anti-spasmodic, astringent, hypotensive, nervine, sedative, spasmolytic, tonic.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Geum urbanum or Avens herb

Today we are making tincture of Geum urbanum or Avens herb.

Constituents of Geum urbanum include volatile oil, glucoside, Gein, geum-bitter, tannic acid, gum and resin.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Remembered Remedies by Anne Barker

A new book on ethnomedica has been published by Anne Barker MNIMH entitled Remembered Remedies.

The book is available:

An interview given by Anne Barker to BBC Radio Orkney, during the course of field research, can be found here:

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Commiphora molmol or Myrrh

Today we are making tincture of Commiphora molmol or Myrrh.

Constitutents of Commiphora molmol include volatile oil (m-cresol), eugenol, formic acid, acetic acid, heerabolone); resin (commiphoric acids).

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Rosa canina or Rosehip shells

Today we are making tincture of Rosa canina or Rosehip shells.

Constituents of Rosa canina include calcium citrates, citric acid, iron, malates, niacin, phosphorous, Vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E, K and P.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Galium aperine

Today we are making tincture of Galium aperine or Cleavers.

Constitutents of Galium aperine include chlorophyll, starch, galitannic acid, citric acid, rubichloric acid.

Actions of Galium aperine include diuretic, tonic, alterative, aperient.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Artemisia annua or Sweet Wormwood

Today we are making tincture of Artemisia annua or Sweet Wormwood.

Constituents of Artemisia annua include: sesquiterpene lactones (the bitter sesquiterpenlacton-peroxid artemisinin), flavonoids, essential oils.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Mahonia aquifolium

Today we are making tincture of Mahonia aquifolium or Oregon Grape Root.

Constituents of Mahonia aquifolium include berberine, columbamine, hydrastine, jatrorrhizine, oxyacanthine, tannins.

To ensure a high quality extract Mahonia aquifolium root has to be ground very finely and then (with the appropriate alcohol concentration) undergo slow percolation.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Today we are making tincture of Rhodiola roseaus

Constituents of Rhodiola roseaus include Phenylpropanoids (rosavin, rosarin etc), salidroside, rosiridin, flavonoids, tannins, essential oil.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Galega officinalis or Goats Rue Herb

Today we are making tincture of Galega officinalis or Goats Rue Herb.

Constituents of Galega officinalis include flavonoids, saponins, galegine.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Today we are making tincture of Andrographic paniculata.

Constituents include andrographolide and neoandrographolide.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Today we are making tincture of Gentiana lutea or Great Yellow Gentian

Constituents of Gentiana lutea include xanthones, iridoids, alkaloids, phenolic acid, pectin and gum.

Note: the images on this website are copyright, but are generally free to use for bona fide medical herbalists - just ask

Monday, 27 June 2011

Verbascum thapsus or Mullein

A fine example of Verbascum thapsus or Mullein growing wild in a corner of the Herbs In A Bottle car park. As you can see it is a magnificent and beautiful sight. The herb is currently in season.

We never use herbs collected from unsustainable sources.

Our source of Verbascum thapsus is a small specialist herb farm in Egypt where Mullein is grown on the alluvial soils of the Nile delta. The unique combination of soil, water and sunshine produces some of the finest Mullein in the world. The crops are hand-cultivated, and almost entirely free from environmental pollution.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Clinical Case Management in Cancer Care: Botanical Strategies


Chanchal Cabrera MSc, FNIMH, (RH)AHG

Fiona Shakeela Burns MNIMH

Saturday May 21 2011 9am to 6pm
Sunday May 22 2011 9am to 5pm

Royal Botanic GardensEdinburgh EH3 5LR

£120 for the two days. Proceedings will be available to all delegates electronically after the event.

Early bird discount £100 (book before 1st April)

Thirty student places available at £80.

About the Symposium:
A two day intensive course for practitioners looking at ways to design individualized, rational and effective holistic treatment plans. This is a unique opportunity to hear two speakers who have between them over 30 years of experience in working with cancer.

Chanchal has developed an integrated approach, often using herbs alongside orthodox medicine. She has gained insight on how to manage this very modern conundrum.

Chanchal will cover:

• decoding the diagnosis – what the tests mean and how to interpret that information in a clinical application

• designing a targeted treatment plan – specific strategies to address identified risks

• materia medica for cancer – the cyto-toxic herbs

• managing surgery, chemo and radiation – maximizing efficacy and mitigating harm

Shakeela: Healer Heal Thyself:

Cancer has been Shakeela’s most powerful teacher and she is delighted to share some of the unique insights which she gained whilst on her own healing journey. She explains the ‘Seven Keys to Healing’ – the distinct keys that she has identified as being responsible for her recovery and how she now works with these to help other people who are dealing with cancer. Shakeela will explain how some of the ways that cancer is currently misunderstood and hence treated, in our current medical model, positively hinder healing. She will discuss how to go beyond these unhelpful beliefs and attitudes as well as clarifying our role as practitioners when it comes to working in this field.


If you took Chanchal’s 3 day ‘Introduction to Holistic Oncology’ intensive in Manchester 2 years ago, this will be a great follow up with more specifics and formulas, including detailed strategies for specific conditions and more discussion of collaboration opportunities with allopathic medicine. All delegates will get a copy of Chanchal’s papers ‘The Bio-Mechanics of Cancer’ when you register. If you are new to this specialist field this is a good introduction.


Chanchal Cabrera MSc, FNIMH, (RH)AHG

Chanchal has been a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (UK) since 1987 and obtained her MSc in Herbal Medicine at the University of Wales in 2003. Her clinical specialty is helping people manage cancer. Chanchal has held the faculty chair in Botanical Medicine at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in New Westminster since 2004. She serves on the board of advisors of Dominion Herbal College in Burnaby, on the editorial board of Medical Herbalism clinical newsletter and she publishes widely in professional journals and lectures internationally on Medical Herbalism, nutrition and health.

Chanchal is the author of the book ‘Fibromyalgia – A Journey Toward Healing’ published by Contemporary Books. She is a certified Master Gardener and a certified Horticulture Therapist. Chanchal lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia where she and her husband farm 7 acres. They grow food for 10 households, culinary herbs for restaurants and medicinal herbs for her clinic. They also run therapy gardens for people with disabilities and host internships in organic farming and herbal medicine. In 2009 Chanchal was honored with a Fellowship in the NIMH for service to the profession over 25 years.

Fiona Shakeela Burns MNIMH . Medical Herbalist, Advanced PSYCH-K, Matrix Reimprinting and EFT facilitator
Shakeela has been a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (UK) since 1992. She became a Herbalist due to her experience of healing from leukaemia and sarcoma as a child. Her parents chose to take her to a naturopath in preference to orthodox medical treatment and with juices, herbs and radical dietary shifts, she was able to make a full recovery. Thirty years later, having been a Medical Herbalist for 16 years, she became ill with cancer for the second time – this time, metastasisied cervical cancer which had gone to the ovaries and the brain. Orthodox medicine offered no hope of cure and she was pronounced terminally ill by The Royal Marsden, London. With dedication and determination to heal herself, she embarked on her second healing journey and by June 08, just 10 months after the diagnosis, she no longer had any cancer in her body. Shakeela is passionate about the need for real education when it comes to cancer and believes in the body’s innate ability to heal. She now runs a busy practice in Bristol and has since been able to help many of the people who have come to her with diagnosis of cancer

Clinical Case Management in Cancer Care: Botanical Strategies

Saturday 21st May:

9.00 – 9.30: Registration.

9.30 – 12.00: Shakeela Burns: Healer Heal Thyself

12.00 – 1.00: Lunch

1.00 – 2.30: Context and Intention: The foundations of healing, therapeutic strategies (refresher from 2 years ago program)

2.45 – 4.15: Working with Chemo: Part

14.30 – 6:00: Working with Chemo:

Part 2

 22nd May:

9.00 – 10.30: Pain management in cancer

10.45 – 12.15: Managing bone metastases

1.15 – 2.45: Materia medica for cancer – the cyto-toxic herbs

3.00 – 4.00: Materia medica for cancer – the cyto-toxic herbs

4.00 – 5.00: Question and answer session with Shakeela and Chanchal

Tea and coffee is provided in the morning and afternoon sessions during each 15 minute break.

Please book early:

To book a place please email:

Information about accommodation, b\b, hotels, hostels and campsites can be provided.

There will also be an option to meet up for a social on Saturday evening.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Statutory Regulation of herbalists

Vinny, Emma and Chris from the office, on the Save Herbal Medicine lobby of parliament back in the cold uncertain days of November 2009.

Herbs In a Bottle is delighted at the news today that the government is proceeding with Statutory Regulation of herbalists via the Health Professions Council.

Welcoming the news Tony Carter writes:

"It is wonderful to hear that Statutory Regulation is going ahead. So many people have worked extremely hard to achieve this fantastic result, and it is very moving to think of all the dedicated and conscientious work which they have put in over nearly twenty years. This news confirms the professional status of herbal medicine in the United Kingdom, and assures its survival far into the future.

"I would like to thank all the staff at Herbs In A Bottle (and also from the former Proline) who enthusiastically joined in the campaign during the government consultation period. At one stage the general office was packed with staff filling in their consultation forms and sending off letters to the local MPs. Also those who went up to lobby the House of Commons on a bitterly cold day in November 2009.

"This is good news for herbalists and good news for herbal medicine manufacturers, but above all it is good news for the country - for all those patients who rely on herbal medicines for their health and well-being.

"This is also a very satisfying slap in the face for Ben Goldacre, Ezard Ernst, David Colquhoun and all the other self-appointed 'experts' and publicity seekers who have made it their business to oppose Statutory Regulation. Their negative campaigning entirely failed, and today the government made the right decision for the right reasons!"

Monday, 7 February 2011

New product Sceletium

Sceletium tortuosum is a succulent South African plant that is receiving a lot of attention by researchers looking for an alternative to kava kava and St John’s Wort (particularly relating to energy, depression and low moods). Anecdotal evidence centres on its use by indigenous tribes, where the herb is masticated or smoked to produce a euphoric awareness that mellows into a state of relaxation. Herbs In A Bottle is introducing this herb into our product range


The mood-enhancing properties of sceletium are the result of several alkaloids which include mesembrine, mesembrenol and tortuosamine. These interrelate with the dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain. The major alkaloid present in Sceletium is the powerful serotonin-uptake inhibitor Mesembrine.

Research strongly indicates that doses of Sceletium can elevate moods and decrease anxiety, stress and tension. There are no hallucinogenic incidents, and no withdrawal symptoms after long-term use. Very few side-effects have been reported. There are no recorded contraindications (but because of the neuro-receptor activities of Sceletium it is possible there may be interactions with other pharmacokinetic drugs.

Safety in pregnancy is not proven.

Sceletium and Mesembrine

Pharmaceutical Biology

1998, Vol.36, No.3, pp. 173-179

© Swets & Zeitlinger

The Distribution of Mesembrine Alkaloids in Selected Taxa of Kanna and their Modification in the Sceletium Derived `Kougoed’

Michael T. Smith , Courtney R. Field , Neil R. Crouch and Manton Hirst

Univ. Natal, Botany Dept., Pietermaritzburg, South Africa Natal Herbarium, Ethnobotany Programme, National Botanical Institute, Kaffrarian Museum, Kingwilliam’s Town, South Africa

Twenty species from nine genera of the Mesembryanthemaceae (Aptenia, Bergeranthus, Delosperma, Drosanthemum, Glottiphyllum, Lampranthus, Oscularia, Ruschia, and Sceletium) as well as the reportedly psychoactive preparation `kougoed’, prepared from `fermenting’ Sceletium tortuosum, were screened for the presence of the mesembrine alkaloids. Using gas chromatography (GC) with a nitrogen-phosphorous detector (NPD) three putative alkaloids were detected in Sceletium tortuosum whose mass spectra corresponded to those of 4’-O-demethylmesembrenol, mesembrine and mesembrenone. All the Mesembryanthemaceae plants investigated were shown to have Dragendorff-positive compounds on thin layer chromatograms (TLC); those containing mesembrine alkloids, as shown by later GC MS analysis, exhibited similar Rf values to the Sceletium alkaloids. Howev! er, using the technique employed in this study which encompassed the use of column and gas chromatography, the only genus containing mesembrine alkaloids to any significant extent was Aptenia. Alkaloid levels were found to be extremely low in all other taxa investigated.

When a `modern’ technique for the preparation of a fermented Sceletium product, `kougoed’, was carried out it was found that levels, as well as the ratios, of the three alkaloids changed markedly. Substantial increases in total alkaloid levels were observed when the Sceletium material was crushed and bruised prior to drying for alkaloid extraction whereas no such changes occured when intact plants were oven dried at 80°C prior to alkaloid extraction. It is speculated that of the many potentially usable Mesembryanthemaceae plants available to the indigenous peoples, Sceletium was selected because it is the only genus with alkaloid levels high enough to! eli cit a psychoactive response. The traditional preparation technique also appears to have evolved as a method of producing a dry, stable, and relatively palatable preparation of increased pharmacological activity.