Health: Herbal drinks a sham, says 'Which?'

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The Independent Online
Herbal drinks are more hype than help - if it is refreshment or revitalisation you want, you would be better off with a cup of tea or a can of cola, according to Health Which?. While health-conscious consumers are paying large amounts of money for drinks containing such things as prickly ash bark, gingko biloba and damiana, their promises to pep you up and fight off fatigue are a sham said the Consumers' Association magazine.

Rob Ashton, Health Which? managing editor, said: "Current food law is lagging behind the marketing hype - and not all the manufacturers we spoke to could back up their claims."

In a survey of 16 consumers - two groups, one of which drank herbal drinks and the other which did not - both groups identified drinks such as Purdey's, Ame and Aqua Libra as "health drinks", seeing them as "natural" and "in tune with your body". But the association says the evidence for makers' claims of refreshment and rejuvenation was "scandalously poor".