Hastings Women’s Law Journal


Increasingly, consumers are turning to herbal remedies to help heal what ails them. This note explores the past and present regulation of herbal remedies. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 provided a convenient regulatory vehicle-"dietary supplements"-for herbal remedies to enter the market with labeling that claims a positive effect on the structure or function of the body or on one's general sense of well-being. This note argues that DSHEA fails as a regulatory system for herbal remedies. While it safeguards access to herbal remedies, DSHEA only allows vague labeling information suggesting the therapeutic potential of the herb. This note concludes that an alternative system of regulation that allows herbal remedies to be marketed as traditional herbal therapies (as long as they comply with carefully crafted monographs) would be better than the present regulation of herbal remedies under DSHEA.