Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee

The committee advises on the safety and quality of herbal medicines when there's an application for registration, marketing authorisation or product licence.

Role of the committee

The Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee’s (HMAC) terms of reference are to:

To give advice on safety, quality and efficacy in relation to human use, of:

  • a) herbal medicinal products eligible for registration under the simplified traditional use registration procedure set out in Part 7 of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012

  • b) unlicensed herbal medicinal products (unless it is subject to an application for a marketing authorisation, product licence or a homeopathic certificate of registration)

The role of the Committee will concern primarily issues relating to safety and quality, since there is not a requirement for efficacy to be separately demonstrated in relation to registered traditional herbal medicines or unlicensed products.

However, efficacy is still relevant - under the traditional herbal registration scheme, the pharmacological effects or efficacy of the medicinal product must be plausible on the basis of longstanding use and experience.

Current vacancies

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is looking to appoint two experts to the Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee (HMAC).

For the two expert posts, candidates should be recognised by their peers as leaders in their field and have extensive and recent experience in the following area:

  • As a practitioner in Western Herbal Medicine

For more information and details on how to apply please see the Information Pack (PDF, 122 KB, 10 pages).

The closing date for applications is midday 4 February 2022.


The members of the committee are:


Professor Raymond J Playford MB BS PhD FRCP FAcadMedSci Professor of Molecular Medicine, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of West London, Visiting Consultant St Georges University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust & Visiting Research Scientist Queen Mary, University of London

Vice Chair

Professor Heather M Wallace PD FRCPath FRSC FSB FBPhS FBTS European Registered Toxicologist (ERT)
Professor of Biochemical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen


Dr Raghav Baliga BMAS MSc MRes
Director and Ayurveda Consultant, Baliga Ayurveda, London

Miss Louisa Jane Blakeway MBRCP BA Health Care Practitioner for Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire Recovery in Psychosis Team Self Employed Business Owner of Wholistic Therapies – Complementary Therapy Practice Allergy Therapy and Nutritional Balancing Dip and Reflexology Dip

Dr Paul D Bremner PhD BSc MBA SFHEA
Senior Lecturer, De Montfort University

Professor Christopher Goldring BSc PhD
Chair of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Liverpool

Professor Michael Heinrich MA MSc PhD
Professor and Head of Centre, UCL School of Pharmacy, University of London

Dr Barbara A Pendry PhD BSc (Hons) PGCE MNIMH
Principal Lecturer, Herbal Practitioner and Programme Leader for Herbal Medicine at the University of East London

Dr Edward Thompson MB ChB, MA, MRCGP, MF Hom, MARH, FURHP, MBRCP
General Practitioner, Emergency Medicine GP, CHDD Tutor Leicester Medical School, Holistic General Practice May Tree Clinic

Dr David Tuthill MB BCh FRCPCH
Consultant Paediatrician, Children’s Hospital for Wales, Cardiff

Professor Colin W Wright BPharm MSc PhD FRPharmS Professor of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of Bradford.

Dr James Coulson BSc (Hons) MB BCh (Hons) LLM MD MFPH MRSB FRCP FRCPE Clinical Reader in Clinical Pharmacology, Therapeutics & Toxicology, Cardiff University,Honorary Professor of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, Cardiff Metropolitan University (Visiting) Professor of Clinical Pharmacology, University of South Wales Honorary Consultant Physician, Clinical Pharmacologist & Toxicologist, Cardiff & Vale University Health Board, Interim Clinical Director of the All Wales Therapeutics & Toxicology Centre.

Dr Kaicun Zhao MB MSc PhD
Programme Leader, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Department of Mental Health, Social Work and Integrative Medicine, Middlesex University London

Summary minutes

See the final summary minutes for HMAC from 2014, which you can download.

For previous minutes, see the HMAC page on the archived MHRA website

Annual report

HMAC annual report

Diversity Monitoring Form (PDF, 164 KB, 3 pages)

Declaration of Interests Form (PDF, 152 KB, 8 pages)

Contact the expert committee support team

Telephone: 020 3080 6000 Email: info@mhra.gov.uk