Table of Content
- Pros and cons of herbal medication
- History of using herbs in medicine
- Pros of herbal medications
- Cons of herbal medications
- Can herbal medicine treat all diseases?
- Interview with a health care professional
Pros and Cons of Herbal Medication
Products made from extracts of botanicals or plants known to cure diseases or maintain health are known as herbal products. Herbal supplements are products made from plants for internal purposes only. Herbal products may include extracts of a particular plant or, in some cases, the whole plant. Herbal specialists can identify herbs with natural components, and from evaluations, they can develop medicines varying to suit the purpose of treating ailments. Various Prescription drugs and medicine are made from these herbal supplements, but in this case, the ingredients are well purified, and FDA regulates their intake. However, herbal supplements may include the whole herb plant or parts of the herbaceous plant. Herbal supplements may be in the form of pills that are swallowed, liquid, and powder. They can also be used in different ways, including drinking, adding to bathing water, applying on the skin, or brewed as beverages (Kamboj, 2002, p.53).
Most people have a notion that products labeled natural carry a wide range of medicinal values. In most cases, some herbal drugs are affordable and preferred by many because of their medicinal ideologies. However, some disparities dispute the evidence of safety and effectiveness in natural medicine. The essay will discuss the pros and cons of the use of herbal medicine.
History of Using Herbs in Medicine
The use of herbal medicine is one of the old practices of humankind. There is evidence of herbal medicine from various sources, written sources, and treatment initially extracted from the plants. As a result of the struggle with many illnesses, the early man pursued medicine from herbs, tree barks, seeds, and other parts of the plant. There were a selected number of plants rich in medicinal value. Knowledge and civilization regarding the use of herbal medicine spread across various regions.
In ancient days, people looked for medicines from the surrounding nature to cure diseases (Magner and Kim, 2017, p.5). They used to conduct tests with animals due to their inherent nature on the use of medicinal plants. There was little or no information regarding the plants’ service and the illness’s cause to be treated in those times. The basis of administering these medications was on experiences encountered in the past. Individuals with knowledge of these herbs would evaluate symptoms apparent and recommend the herbal supplements’ best medicine. However, not all diseases were cured by the use of these herbal products, but many ailments were treatable. After extensive range research, the use of individual medicinal plants for curing certain diseases became a norm. There were specialists involved in searching for these herbs, and they were responsible for preparation and testing for animals before they would finally be administered to human beings.
As a result of expansion in technology and research by various health and professional experts, In recent days, herbs’ use as a medicine has gradually moved to the innovation of synthetic drugs, which are made from compounds of herbs to cure diseases but in this scenario, with a prescription. There has been a wide range of contradictions and efficacies on how synthetic drugs should be used, which has increased the usage of herbal medications once again.
However, with time, there have been developments in the use of herbal medicine. Following awareness created by pharmacists and other health practitioners, response to challenges formulated over time. In the present day, many innovations are made to respond to concerns regarding medicinal plants’ use. Some medicinal plants have proven to be of great value in combating ailments, while others have proven to be extinct through research.
Pros of Herbal Medications
In addition to healing different health complications, Herbal medicines offer a wide range of health benefits to individuals who consume them. Some of these health benefits include phytonutrients, antioxidants, antibacterial, antifungal remedies. Other services derived from herbal medicine involve boosting the immune, boosting brain functioning, and increasing energy levels. However, studies of some herbal medicines are yet to approve the truth of these benefits. Therefore, the consumption of some of these herbal medications will not only offer healing remedies but also prevent one from contracting other health complications
Studies conducted by researchers show that most herbal medicines help comb any underlying difficulties with immediate effect. Herbal medications have less or no chances of side effects and any toxic components if used appropriately. Besides, most herbal medicines are natural to grow and extract the medicinal values in them for free. This offers an advantage to save on purchasing equivalent doses from pharmaceutical outlets (Winter and Korzenik, 2017, p.12). Therefore, herbal medications are by far cheap and affordable to consumers as compared to conventional medicines. Examples of natural herbal products to grow and prepare at one’s convenience include tea, tinctures. However, caution should be executed in preparation for these herbal medications to evade, at all cost, any eventualities as a result of consuming them.
Cons of Herbal Medications
While most people have extensive experience regarding benefitting from herbal medicines, its effectiveness is uncertain and, therefore, not a guarantee of safety due to the consumption of some of the products. Some of the disadvantages of herbal medications range from products having no dosing information, no regulation, advancing health complications, poisoning cases, and potentially, they may pose a health hazard to consumers.
First and foremost, there are no specific set of recommendations regarding the dosage of herbal products. However, some herbal supplements have suggestions on the intake, but these may not be evaluated to ascertain their safety and efficacy. Therefore, this can pose a significant health hazard to consumers. If taken in large quantities and the result may be toxic effects that may form a background to future heath related issues (Parasuraman, 2018, p.65).
Secondly, most herbal medications are known to be ineffective in healing severe complications. For instance, when curing a broken leg or heart attack problems. Although herbal medicines are responsible for curing many illnesses, the healing period is usually more extended than conventional medications. It calls for a lot of patience from those in need of the health benefits of herbal medicines.
In some cases, herbal medicine also causes dangerous allergic reactions. Therefore, individuals in need herbal medications are advised first to ensure that they are not allergic to components in the herbal mixture before consumption. Convectional drugs also cause allergic reactions, but because they Pare issued on a prescription basis, their effects may be less as compared to those posed by herbal medicine. Consumers of herbal medicine may also suffer from poisoning if the preparation of the medication is inappropriate. It may cause death or other health complications. Therefore the safety of the use of herbal medicines is not a guarantee to serving the purpose, which is healing the underlying ailment.
In most countries, there is no approval for the use of herbal medicine through regulation. Therefore consumption is risky and does not give quality assurance on recovery from any ailment. Therefore, consumers of these medicines should seek experts to view some of these herbal products before consuming them. Also, herbal products are not suitable for everyone. For instance, pregnant mothers cannot take herbal supplements because they may display dangerous effects after intake. To some extent, some of these herbal products may cause miscarriages to expectant mothers and other harmful side effects.
Can Herbal Medicine Treat All Diseases?
Over time, herbal medication has been considered as a natural way of curing diseases. In ancient times, herbal products were prepared by specialists and would provide a cure for different illnesses. Some of the successful medicine from herbal medication entails treating diarrhea, flu, nausea, depression, and sinusitis. Although many people have benefitted from herbal medicine, it is not guaranteed that herbal medicines can cure all diseases. Some diseases like heart attack and mild cancer cases still haven’t been cured through herbal medicines. Also, some ailments, such as broken limbs, may not be fixed by using herbal medicines. Some require a health practitioner’s attention. However, scientists have been researching possible ailments that could be cured by the application of herbal medicine. Up to date, Some of the natural health products for applying on the skin are usually herbal extracted from herbs and other natural products.
Some of the commonly used herbal products as medication include ginger used to treat nausea, motion sickness, and morning sicknesses; hypericum is another product useful in treating depression as it contains components that act as antidepressants. Echinacea helps treat fever and build the immune system responsible for fighting against infections, among others (Wilkinson and Fraunfelder, 2011, p.29).
Interview With a Health Care Professional
Question: Can herbal medicine result in economic growth?
Answer: yes, herbal medicine is cheap and cost-effective and can be responsible for reducing the disease management burden to a country. If fewer funds are spent on disease control and eradication, the economy will grow. Besides, farmers of herbs will benefit as a result of selling some of their farm products.
Question: can herbal medicine be integrated into modern medicine?
Answer: This should begin with an evaluation of knowledge concerning herbal medicine and then move ahead to researching raw materials needed to synthesize drugs from traditional to modern. For the process to be successful, various sectors should work hand in hand to ensure the dream becomes a reality. First and foremost, the agricultural industry should ensure consistency in the availability of raw material needed in the synthesis of these medicines
Question: can herbal medicine be used as a cure for COVID 19?
Answer: if proven by medical researchers, some herbal products can be used to boost the immune of humans against contracting the virus or even treat underlying infections brought about by the disease.
- Kamboj, Ved P. “Herbal Medicine.” Current Science, vol. 78, no. 1, JSTOR, 2000, pp. 45-56.
- Magner, L N & Oliver J. Kim. A history of medicine. CRC Press, 2017, pp. 4-10.
- Parasuraman, Subramani. “Herbal Drug Discovery: Challenges and Perspectives.” Current Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine (Formerly Current Pharmacogenomics), vol. 16, no. 1, Bentham Science Publishers, 2018, pp. 63–68.
- Wilkinson, Justin T., and Frederick W. Fraunfelder. “Use of Herbal Medicines and Nutritional Supplements in Ocular Disorders.” Drugs, vol. 71, no. 18, Springer, 2011, pp. 21–34.
- Winter, Rachel W., and Joshua R. Korzenik. “The Practical Pros and Cons of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Practice: Integrating Complementary and Alternative Medicine into Clinical Care.” Gastroenterology Clinics, vol. 46, no. 4, Elsevier, 2017, pp. 9–16.