Jean-Pierre Raveneau, one of the most famous herbalists in Paris has been sentenced to jail for one year for illegal practice of pharmacy. He ran the oldest herboristerie in Europe, which has been open since 1880.
Raveneau claims that 80% of all diseases can be cured using plants.
In France, a law created in 1941 ensures that pharmacists are only able to legally practice medicine by obtaining medicines from a pharmaceutical monopoly. Raveneau has been combatting this monopoly for most of his life, as a Doctor of Pharmacy, thinking this entitled him to his practices. The French court ruled that unfortunately this was untrue, and because Raveneau’s practice was not a legal pharmacy, he must serve his time.
In an interview Raveneau says, ‘I always felt it was possible with a degree in pharmacy to practice herbalism.’ As a result of the arrest of Raveneau, a few other herbalists will face jail time as well.
A few years ago, when Raveneau was facing the possibility of closure, I visited the famous shop to shoot pictures for a reportage.