Herbal Products – Its Side Reactions
Plants contribution to health, global economies, cultural variations and well-being of man-kind, among others can never be over-emphasised. When we consume plants, we obtain plant protein-essential constituents of nucleic acids and building block of life. Over the ages, plant therapy has been marginalised and neglected by the researchers. This is posing serious threat to the survival of plants arising from over-exploitation of animal resources. However, the increasing awareness of the disappearance of beneficial plants and rising wave of incurable diseases has driven traffic to uncover the avalanche plant resources specific to obtain therapy. No wonder the rising number of multi-lateral agencies, United Nations, corporate entities investing heavily on medicinal plants, thus giving access to modern tools for bio-diversity concerns.
PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH USING HERBAL PRODUCTS
Solution to diseases could be organic or inorganic. Plants are veritable source of potent medicines with organic origin. In the study of pharmacotherapy, scientists draw knowledge from the plants anatomy. In fact, herbal products have been found so useful in curing diseases/ailments that the western medicines could not.
Common problems associated with the use of herbal products include:
1. Dosage/specification. It is common hearing two or three spoonfuls in the use of pharmaceutical products or weight per volume. But this is alien to herbal products. The quantity to cure a named ailment is not specified thus given room to drug abuse and its side reactions.
2. Potency of herbal medicine is also controversial. This makes administration difficult, and rather than being scientific, it based on the rule of thumb.
3. Competence of herbal practitioners. Native doctors rely on the prescription from oracles, deities, and spirits to develop herbal medicine. In fact, you cannot use some herbal medicines except with incantations. Vast numbers of the herbal practitioners are illiterates, who inherited the practise from their ancestors and have no empirical basis for the medicine.
USEFUL TIPS ON USING HERBAL PLANTS
1. Exercise utmost care while using any herbal products. One should not forget that herbal products are similar to other medicines as they focus on producing similar objectives, cure
2. Strict adherence to prescription before ingesting any drugs
3. Safety. We are often carried away by the fact that herbal products are organic. Yes, it is true, but they are natural products with very complex constituents. While many of them are beneficial, countless number of others is poisonous and not safe for consumption.
4. Full Disclosure to the medical experts either for counselling or diagnosis. Herbal products can react with other medicine to produce either a less potent medicine or a stronger drug that may be harmful.
5. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children
IMPLICATION TO THE PUBLIC
Dear reader, you are warned of the following, henceforth:
a. Refrain from using any drugs where the label on the container is not legible. Some drugs have their label in languages you could not interpret; please do not consume
b. A drug whose safety is not guaranteed should not be used under any guise
c. A drug without formulation or dosage is harmful to use. There is probability of drug abuse
d. If a medicine is not registered with the regulatory body/agency licensed/authorised by the law of the land on the practise and consumption of drugs, please do not risk using such drug.
Prospect of global campaign for the use of herbal medicine lies between conservation of herbaceous plants and their application on one hand and on the other hand, a shift to a more resource-based agriculture and increasing awareness. It is obvious that decrease in mortality has a proportional relationship to a productive drug regime. We cannot afford to gamble with our health. Where an herbal product is producing harmful reaction, stop its usage/consumption immediately and report to regulatory agency or to the task force on the consumption of illicit drugs.