The History of Napiers

Humble Beginnings

Abandoned by his mother at birth in 1831, Duncan was taken in and raised by a local innkeeper and his wife. He was routinely beaten and used little better than a slave.

At the age of 9, Duncan became an apprentice to a baker. However, the flour dust triggered a cough he could not shake off. Looking for a cure, and inspired by his mentor John Hope, he left home at the age of 15 to attend Scientific Botany classes and later joined the Edinburgh Botanical Society.

He became interested in herbs and created his famed Lobelia Cough Syrup. The result was so successful that it inspired him to become a herbalist and open a shop to make herbal remedies available for the people of Edinburgh.

Bristo Place: The First Napiers Shop

On 25 May 1860 Duncan opened a herbal shop in Bristo Place in Edinburgh. People queued for hours to see him and find 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 expanded to open stores in Glasgow and Bathgate.

Continuing Duncan Napier’s dream

We proudly continue our founder Duncan Napier's dream "to provide an affordable choice of natural health care for all people".

Remaining true to our past, we develop combination herb formulas to treat the whole person and the whole body. Many of our products are also produced at traditional practitioner-strength dose levels.

Our motto is Tried, Tested & Trusted - and we live this daily. Our remedies have been tried by generations of people, who have tested them and returned to us decade after decade.

Over the last 164 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.