Are Herbal Medicines Safe and Effective for Health?

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Today, many people believe that herbal medicines are safe and effective for health. In addition, many of them also believe in several impractical myths relating to herbs. However, you need to know that herbal products are not necessarily safe and effective just because they are natural. Accordingly, in this article, I want to discuss why people still have misconceptions, and why use of herbal medicines could be harmful to you.

What is Herbal Medicine?

Herbal medicine can be described as the medical knowledge practice that uses herb or herb extracts for therapeutic purposes. This medical practice is also known as "traditional medicine", "botanical medicine", "phytomedicine" and "natural medicine". In addition, this medical practice is the oldest but most widely used in all cultures and societies.

Why People Still Have Misconceptions About Herbal Medicines?

One of the main reasons is that still there are many believers in herb myths, and most of these people have a common misconception that herbs are natural ingredients, not drugs. In addition, as these medicines are prepared from herbs or herbal extracts, many of them also believe that they possess magical therapeutic properties with no side effects. However, you need to know that not just some myths, several other reasons are also playing a large part for creating these misconceptions. Poor regulatory administration, limited scientific studies, availability as over the counter (OTC) products in pharmacies and huge advertising from marketers as natural with no adverse effects are the major reasons for developing these misconceptions.

Why Use of Herbal Medicine Could Be Harmful to You?

If you are thinking of taking herbal medicines, it is necessary for you to know that these products can cause risky and serious adverse reactions to the user's body. According to a published article of World Health Organization (WHO), herbal product or supplement could be risky and dangerous, if it is administered inappropriately, or in combination with other medicines or the therapy or product lacks desired quality. In addition, according to several studies, many of these medicinal products can cause dangerous drug-drug interactions with modern allopathic medicines as well as with other herbal remedies. Further, these herb-drug interactions could alter the efficacy and bioavailability of the prescribed medications.

Moreover, you need to know that, with only a few exceptions, most of these medicines are not experimented for safety, efficiency and effectiveness through clinical trials or studies. As a result, many researchers said that these medicines could cause serious health hazards. In addition, according to the scientific and medical community, these medicines may danger the life or well-being of the consumer when administered instead of allopathic medicines.

In conclusion, you need to know that WHO recommends consulting with physicians before taking herbal medicines. Because, you need to make sure that the medicine or herb you are taking into consideration is safe for use, or will not cause any side effects and is safe to use in combination with other allopathic drugs.

Mr. Imtiaz Ibne Alam is a Pharmacist (Bachelor in Pharmacy), and over the last 4 years, he had worked in different medical and healthcare projects. Professionally, he is associated in pharmaceutical manufacturing (mainly in production, quality control and product management department). He is also a part-time freelance writer and http://www.medical-reference.net/ is his personal blog. His sole aim of writing is to highlight over different drugs, medicines, healthcare and pharmaceutical issues.

2 comments to “Are Herbal Medicines Safe and Effective for Health?”

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