Herbal medicine, a boon or curse

‘HERBAL’, a word that has attracted people of all countries irrespective to their country, race, ethnicity, religion or color for decades. Even the faith for herbal products seems to to be almost equal in highly educated and non educated, sometimes.

In my opinion, ‘herbal’ has become a simplified tag word that has helped to propagate the sell of medicinal products without worrying of doctors recommendation. In many countries, where laws are tight in regard to sell of allopathic medicine (i.e. the mainstream medicine), a medicine can’t be sold with out a physicians prescription. Interestingly, herbal products enjoy a huge freedom in its sales and mostly don’t require a prescription, not even from a alternative medical practitioner.

Why herbal is so popular? One cause might be peoples lack of trust in allopathic medical care due to various causes like cost, bad behaviour received from healthcare providers etc. But I particularly sense some corruption even in political level persists, that enable this herbal industry to flourish. If you ever visited to developing nations like those in Indian subcontinent, you can see how ad campaigns for the sell of herbal products are done.

Herbal today means a business, ranging from weight loss products to diabetes treatment, almost all health problems have solutions in the herbal medicine sellers desk. Interestingly, governments of certain nations (specially the developing ones) don’t seem to be serious about consequences on the side effects of herbal medicines if any. Its sell don’t require middle man like medical representatives to explain and convince the doctor for the product. It reaches the customers directly by displaying stunning ads. How corruption helps this process? If the people in political power are bribed properly they will not retch to implement any strong law to counter check if such herbal products are safe health wise. Not talking or taking action against the wrong practices is also a type of corruption and extremely prevalent in developing nations.

Next, we will look in to the adverse side effect part of the herbal products. Most companies use few phrases like ‘no side effect’ or ‘absolutely harmless’. The explanation they generally provide, why their products are harmless is because it is herbal. Well folks, are you ready to believe that every thing that is herbal is side effect free. The word ‘Herbal’ means the products originating from plants or trees and there are various plant products which are potential poisons or products for substance abuse. So, how can simply labeling a product as ‘herbal’ make a product free of side effects.

Another thing in those ads is the matter of trust. Many companies sell products just saying they have 100 per cent trust on their product. However, merely saying that don’t necessarily mean we should trust them, instead a government initiative should be there to see if it is really trustworthy, in terms of side effects and usability.

Next, how much valid is the practice of taking herbal medicines without a doctors prescription. In case of diabetes for instance, different diabetic patients require different treatments, some require no drugs while others might need insulin, which means every individual have their own individualized treatment need for the same disease. So common man must rethink this issue.

Finally, before wrapping up this discussion lets explore one of the most popular herbal products in the market of most nations that is green tea.

Here is a small update about green tea from BBC:

Green tea can weaken the effects of a commonly prescribed blood pressure pill, experts warn.

Japanese researchers found the herbal drink blocks special cell transporters that normally help the body absorb the beta-blocker medicine.

In tests, people who drank green tea alongside taking their tablets ended up with lower circulating blood levels of the drug nadolol.

Experts say consumers need to be aware of this interaction.

-via http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25716708

To conclude, use your wisdom and discuss with your healthcare provider about the use of herbal products. If you are harming yourself by consuming a product about which you know nothing except those spectacular ad claims, you are harming yourself. Be informed, protect yourself, protect others.

Support safe medicine practice.

P.S. The above writing is a snapshot of the author’s view about the issue discussed. The author don’t intend to hurt or harm anyone in any form by the writing, and if such happened unknowingly please understand it as a pure coincidence, rather than intention. For all your health related concerns, please be guided by your health care provider and not this blog.