Napiers today

From humble beginnings in 1860, Napiers has grown over the last 150 plus years, to become one of the oldest natural healthcare and herbal medicine companies in Britain. Today, we sell our natural products - all proudly made in Britain - all over the world. We are an independent company, owned by people who are passionate about what we do and we proudly continue Duncan Napier's dream "to provide an affordable choice of natural health care for all people".

Our natural ranges include:

  • Natural therapeutic skin care
  • Botanical beauty
  • Herbal medicines
  • Plant supplements
  • Digestifs and bitters
  • Teas and superfoods

While we are small, nevertheless science and safety are crucial to us. We are probably the smallest company in Britain to hold THR herbal medicine licences and run pharmaceutical-grade distribution and pharmacovigilance systems, inspected by the MHRA regulatory agency. Yet we remain true to our past, developing combination herb formulas (known as the tonic herb principle) to treat the whole person and the whole body. We also make many of our medicines at traditional practitioner-strength dose levels. These principles have been the mainstay of British herbal medicine, distinct from European herbal medicine, and more akin to that practiced in the US.

Our mottos is TRIED • TESTED • TRUSTED and we live this daily. Our remedies have been tried by generations of people, who have tested them and return to us decade after decade, who have trusted us and who still do.

Napiers history

Napiers the Herbalists was founded by Duncan Napier, an eminent Victorian herbalist and botanist. He was a foundling, abandoned by his parents, and was raised by the local innkeeper. Apprenticed to a baker, the flour dust triggered a cough he could not shake off. Looking for a cure, he became interested in herbs and created his famed Lobelia Cough Syrup. The result so successful that it inspired him to train as a herbalist and he joined the Edinburgh Botanical Society. 

On 25 May 1860 Duncan opened a herbal shop in Bristo Place where people queued for hours to see him to get a herbal cure for their ailments. At the weekends he walked the Scottish hills, collecting plants and herbs for his herbal remedies, sold as far away as New York. He became a well-respected member of the Medical Reformers of England and the British Pharmaceutical Society. His three sons, and then his grandsons joined the business and it became D. Napier and Sons.

The business continued in the Napier family until the sad death of John Napier during the 1970s. Napiers became a health food store for a while and was then bought by Jan De Vries in the 1980s. In 1989, Dee Atkinson started practicing and revived the herbal clinics, taking the practice over in 1990 until 2012. Licensing laws introduced in 2011 resulted in a restructuring and now Napiers incorporates a company that produce all the products and affiliated independent clinics with accredited Napiers practitioners.

Over the last 152 years, Napiers has become one of the UK's leading names in complementary and natural health care. We are dedicated to the best of health and wellbeing through the use of herbal medicine and other natural therapies. 

Napiers accredited practitioners are qualified and members of their practice associations such as NIMH (The National Association of Medical Herbalists).

Our herbal products are second to none. We produce a range of tried, tested, trusted herbal medicines and therapeutic skin creams. All our products are tested in clinics and used by herbalists. Napiers products have been available in many parts of the world since 1890.

Until 2005 we manufactured many of Mr Napiers' formulas and tonics on site, using traditional methods. However, in 2005 we transferred our manufacturing to licensed factories where they are made to modern standards. All our manufacturing is done in the UK and we also source our herbs primarily from farms in the UK, with some coming from Europe and the USA. We run a pharmacovigilance system and aim for the highest standards in both our scientific understanding of herbal medicine as well as our commitment to clinical excellence.  

John Napier
John Napier blending tinctures in 1950

In 2007, Monica Wilde took on the new challenges of licensing our Napiers medicines and expanding the market for them. In 2008, we acquired a portfolio of traditional PL licences from Rickard Lane's in Plymouth, Potters and other Victorian herbalists that closely matched Napiers traditional formulas. Since then we have been busy updating these and converting them to the new THR licensing scheme. Duncan Napiers' wish was "to provide a safe and affordable alternative choice to chemical medicine"and we are committed to doing this by keeping a range of over-the-counter herbal medicines available to customers, as well as a choice of consultations with our medical herbalists who will prescribe individual medicines made up in our dispensaries.

Rickard Lane's and WH Box Ltd, trading as Napiers Remedies, now supplys Napiers herbal products to several hundred health stores and independent pharmacies in the UK. We also export to Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, Scandinavia and many other countries. We also supply the "original formulas" to Belif, the natural beauty brand from South Korea.

Monica Wilde runs Napiers Remedies supplying wholesale to retailers and direct to customers via mailorder and the website, and all related activities, including the advice line, a herbal research program and safety, quality and pharmacovigilance. We have a WDL Licence from the MHRA and are committed to keeping Napiers traditional medicines available as over the counter remedies.

Dee Atkinson MNIMH now runs The Edinburgh Herbal Dispensary Ltd and Napiers Clinic, working with other practitioners to provide excellence in alternative choices of healthcare. Between the Edinburgh Herbal Dispensary Ltd, Napiers Glasgow, run by Irene McCabe, and Napiers Abbotts of Leigh, run by Zoe Naylor, between 22,000 and 23,000 patients visit every year for a wide range of complaints and problems. 

If you would like to read more about the history of Napiers, you can purchase the book 'Napiers History of Herbal Healing; Ancient & Modern'by the late Tom Atkinson. 

For more details of the therapies offered in the clinics click here.

To buy our products click here or call us on 0845 002 1860