Health Corner: Medicinal Plants

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Medicinal plants are an important part of our natural wealth. They serve as important therapeutic agents as well as valuable raw materials for manufacturing numerous traditional and modern medicines; Plants form the main ingredients of medicines in traditional systems of healing and have been the source of inspiration for several major pharmaceutical drugs; about 1 in 6 of all species ( roughly 50,000 species) have been used medicinally.

The use of Medicinal plants is increasing worldwide and are used in medicine to augment health and as such Medicinal plants are divine gifts to us from Mother nature ( Nature’s Pharmacy) who has kept these green remedies in her plant kingdom for
mankind to use to fight death from disease and cure themselves from ailments. It is up to us to explore, seek, search and reap the benefits of these treasures.

The importance of medicinal plants has grown exponentially, now that the World is turning to plants sources for drugs, supplements and herbal preparation for the management of human health. In spite of the efficacy of the medicinal herbs in the treatment of various kinds of ailment, the unrefined nature of the preparations and the lack of standard prescriptions on dosage constitute a major setback in the use of herbs in Medicare. These two weak points on the medicinal herbs can lead to complications in human system resulting from bioaccumulation of plant ingredients due to over consumption of the herbs. Other causes of complications include uptake of toxic plant ingredients, and possible herb/herb and herb/drug interactions.

IS ALL HERBAL MEDICINE SAFE?

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No. The point is, herbs contain active compounds which are very powerful and should be treated with the respect they
deserve. There are several problems associated with using medicinal herbs such as dosage (you can’t tell exactly how
much of a compound is in a plant), and administration (incompetence).

USING HERBAL MEDICINES: ADVICE TO CONSUMERS.

General advice to consumers 
• Remember that herbal remedies are medicines. As with any other medicine they should be used with care. Please don’t abuse them.
• Any medicine – herbal or otherwise – has the potential to have adverse effects.
• Before you take any herbal medicine you need to be sure it is the correct product for you.
• Remember that natural does not mean safe. Many plants can be poisonous to humans. Many pharmaceutical medicines have been developed from plants because of the powerful compounds they contain.
• Herbal remedies can interact with other medicines. This could result in the other medicines having reduced or enhanced effects, including side-effects.
• As with all medicines, keep herbal medicines out of the sight and reach of children.
• caution should be taken about use of herbal medicine in pregnancy, when breast feeding or in children/elderly.
• If you are due to have a surgical operation always remember to tell your doctor about any herbal medicines you are taking. Some herbal medicines could alter the effects of anesthetics or other medicines during surgery.

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Think well and ask a Phytomedic before you take any Herbs (Medicinal plants) and please make sure to go for a Lab test to ascertain what’s wrong with your health before purchasing any Herbal medicine.

Next week I’ll be talking about what Bioaccumulation of phytochemicals in plants can cause so to prevent Abuse.
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This is curled from Health Corner With Amarachi Loveth Ani

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