Artemisia has been banned! (updated)
In 2016, I predicted that the herb artemisia would be removed from the shelves by Government health officials in order to make way for high-value patented and copyrighted versions, produced and sold by Big Pharma.
Well, we did not quite know how this was going to happen but they found a solution. On the 20th of this month, under cover of the day when natural health practitioners were preoccupied with re-opening for the first time since the COVID-19 Lockdown, Medsafe announced that all artemisia products were now classed as being a "medicine" and could only be prescribed by a registered medical practitioner. This is effectively a ban on the herb.
And this is an interesting coincidence with the ban:
This is a huge blow for the natural health industry and for the freedom of the consumer to choose their healthcare other than one that is locked into drugs-based symptoms-chasing treatments.
Artemisia, an ancient Chinese herbal remedy has been used as a health-promoting tonic for around 5,000 years. Despite the claims of Medsafe, artemisia is an extremely safe product when used correctly. There was absolutely no reason for this ban. But it clears the way to replace a $40/month herbal treatment with patent versions that may cost thousands of dollars per month for the same thing. And guess who pays? You and me via our tax dollars to pay for a healthcare system that is now so expensive that it threatens to bankrupt our country!
Please watch this video before proceeding (this is scandalous).
Please read the Medsafe reports here before proceeding:
Medsafe's original concerns were about an artemisia-based product called "Arthrem". This is what they said in 2018: "To date, all the reports of harm to the liver have involved patients taking Arthrem specifically. Since the chemical composition of the Artemesia annua extract is not disclosed it is not clear if other products containingArtemisia annua extract have similar effects." https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/safety/EWS/2018/Arthrem.asp Despite this statement, they have gone for all artemisia-based products and not just Arthrem.
Here is their report submitting their case for artemisia to be classified as a medicine: https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/safety/EWS/2018/ArthremNov2018.asp And read this report as well: https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/class/Agendas/Agen63/MCC63_72e_artemisiaannua.pdf
My observations about Medsafe's reporting
25 cases of liver harm associated with Arthrem were reported and all recovered. That is 25 cases out of hundreds of thousands of prescriptions of Arthrem over several years. That could be considered a good safety record as compared to drugs such as NSAID's which are prescribed for pain and inflammation: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1665268119301504
12 of the 25 cases were consuming more than one other substance, some multiple drugs, including NSAID's that are known to be hepatotoxic.
Of all 25 cases, we do not know how many had commenced taking Arthrem during or soon after surgery for conditions like hip arthritis. Surgery typically involves hepatotoxic drugs such as for general anaesthesia, intravenous pain medications and antibiotics. Did these people have compromised livers prior to taking Arthrem?
When a patient is taking one or more drugs that are known to be hepatotoxic, it is standard practice that they have regular liver function tests. Were these tests being conducted and what did they indicate? We need to have this kind of detail when assessing the safety of a medication for an individual or the safety of a herbal product such as Arthrem.
We do not know how much artemisia each person was taking daily. Was it the recommended dose or were these cases taking more than recommended? This is a very important piece of information that we need to know when assessing the safety of this product.
The artemisia product in question is Arthrem only. Was the problem to do with the combination of artemisia plus grapeseed oil?
While it may have been justified in taking Arthrem and other artemisia-based products off the consumer shelves, there is no justification for removing it from the dispensaries of qualified and highly experienced natural health practitioners who are better trained than allopathic doctors in safely and effectively dispensing herbal remedies.
What can you do to protect your health freedoms?
Write or speak to your Member of Parliament and express your concerns.
Join this organisation and donate: https://www.healthfreedom.co.nz/
Subscribe to this organisation as well (numbers count): http://www.naturalhealthalliance.co.nz/
Join this new political party (take a close look at their policy statement on health): https://www.resetnewzealand.org/the-solution While they may not get anybody into Parliament, their active presence on the General Election hustings later this year will help to keep the main political parties more honest and they will have to listen to our concerns about where the health system is heading.
Dr Mercola nicely summarises the use of artemisia as a traditional therapy for diseases like malaria and now COVID19. I have no doubt that the motivation behind banning this herb is because it is not a good strategy to launch the next billion dollar-earning drug onto the market, selling for thousands of dollars for a course of treatment when the herbal equivalent can be brought for between $1.50 and $30.