Is it Safe to Take Herbal Medicines?



Before the era of modern medicine, majority of the health practitioners were the traditionalists who made use of herbs to treat ailments. Even though we're now in the era of modern medicine,a large number of people still rely and even prefer herbal medicines.

Without being bias, herbal medicines have truly been effective over the years in treatment of several ailments. Along with their usage also comes the advantages of low cost and availability. It'll however be wrong to think or believe herbal medicines don't come with side effects and are the safest. Diseases and ailments are sometimes complicated and would require well-grounded health experts to effectively diagnose and prescribe appropriate treatment.


Below are some things that should be kept in mind before or while using any herbal medicine.

1. Dosage instructions: many herbal drugs don't come with appropriate dosage instructions, leaving patients to decide how much of such drugs to take. Ordinarily, anyone would feel it's best to take the drugs based on the severity of their condition which may pose more potential health risks. This is more severe when people prepare these herbs themselves and so are not careful of the dosages.

2. Self-treatment and Inappropriate treatment monitoring: unlike the modern medical prcatice where a patient interacts with he doctor, receives appropriate diagnosis and treatment coupled with effective monitoring, it's entirely different with herbal medicine where most people get these drugs in the market or from hawkers. They are thus left to treat and monitor the ailments on their own, irrespective of complications that may arise later which may even demand a change in the use of the drugs.

3. Unqualified practitioners: majority of the sellers of herbal medicines are people who lack basic understanding of the body's physiology, basic mechanism of action of the drugs they sell, or even an understanding of the progression of the diseases they claim to treat. Medical practitioners on the other hand are provided vast knowledge about human body, drugs, mechanism of action, pharmacology, practical scenarios, and then allowed to practice. This is one of the major landslide of herbal medicines.

4. Toxicity of herbal drugs: every drug has both therapeutic and adverse effects. The difference however is that for modern medicines, they are marketed after extensive testing and trials, with their doses fixed according to age, weight and gender of the patient. All possible adverse effects are also listed on the leaflet. No such procedures are followed in case of herbal medicines. The same drug dosage applies to everyone irrespective of physiological variations. This poses the patient or user of such drugs to potential toxicities associated with usage. 

5. Non-specificity of herbal drugs: modern medicines employed in the medical practice are usually targeted at treating unique ailments, putting into consideration the cause and the progression of such ailments. It is totally different for herbal medicines, as you see a drug that claims to treat diverse of ailments which may not even be related by cause pathologically. So, you would see a drug that claims to treat diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, liver and kidney problems, all at the same time. This of course ordinarily is impossible. Even though some of these diseases are related in one way or the other, they are still different and should be treated uniquely.


While herbal medicines have proved to be good, potent and effective in treatment, putting many factors into consideration make them less safe compared to modern medicines. To be regarded as safe, every drug should come with dosage instructions and most importantly, the potential side effects it's use. Treatment must be effectively monitored under the care of a qualified medical practitioner.

Stay safe !

Content created and supplied by: Gfingerz1 (via Opera News )


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