Are Herbal Medicines Safe for Health

Friday, November 9, 2012
Many people have a common misperception that herbal medicines are safe for health. However, is that so? In reality, after researching on these medicines, I just found that the real fact is something else. Accordingly, I want to discuss in this article concerning the real facts of herbal medicines.

What is herbal Medicine?

Herbal or botanical medicine is a kind medicinal practice that is based on the exercise of herbs and herb extracts. This medicinal practice is the oldest but most widely used in all cultures and societies. In addition, herbal medicine is also known as "traditional medicine", "botanical medicine", "phyto medicine" and "natural medicine".

Why People Have Common Misperception About Herbal Medicines?

In fact, after reviewing several forums on this medical practice, I found that there are several interesting reasons for having misperception. Firstly, many people believe that if a remedy came from herbs or herb extracts, it must be harmless and safe.Secondly, most of the manufacturer of these medicines advertises their products as natural with no adverse effects.Thirdly, most of these medicines are OTC (over the counter) in many countries, and there are no strict guidelines for the preparation and administration of these products.Finally, the safety and effectiveness these medicinal products are not ensured to common people.

Why Use of Herbal Medicine Could Be Harmful to You?

These medicinal products and practices can cause risky and serious adverse reactions if the product is not administered appropriately, or in combination with other medicines or the therapy or product lacks 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 products. 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 herbal or phyto medicinal products have 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 that many consumers are not concerned. In addition, according to the scientific and medical community, these medicines may possibly threat the life or well-being of the consumer when administered instead of allopathic medicines.
Finally, before concluding I want to recommend that if you are interested in taking herbal medicines, you must consult with your healthcare provider first. For the reason that you need to make sure that the medicine or herb you are taking into consideration is safe for use, or will not cause side effects and safe to use in combination with other allopathic drugs.

Alternative Medicine Or Conventional Medicine

Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Before we can understand the term: Alternative Medicine, it is necessary for us to first understand what Conventional Medicine is. Now Conventional Medicine is the current medical system of hospitals, doctors, medicine and chemists. In short, the general accepted health care system of any country. Doctors go to university, study for seven or more years, do an internship at a hospital, and then join or start a medical practice. When you are sick, you go to a doctor, who will prescribe some medicine, send you to a hospital, and/or do an operation.

Under the term: Alternative Medicine, we understand that it contains practices and medicine not recognized by conventional medicine. This is medicine that is not taught at universities and not available at hospitals. Sometimes they are used together with conventional medicine. We then call it: Complimentary Medicine. Alternative medicines include some of the following: acupuncture, Chinese medicine, chiropractic medicine, folk medicine, herbal medicine, homeopathy, faith healing, naturopathy, new age healing, massage, and music therapy.

Why do people visit Alternative Medicine practitioners?

Statistics show that more people visit Alternative Medicine Practitioners than visit Conventional Practitioners, preferring to pay out of their own pockets rather than use the healthcare system. Why is that? It is perhaps because Alternative Medicine is more traditional, for example, Ayurvedic medicine, which is traditional Indian medicine, has been practiced for the past five thousand years and traditional Chinese medicine has been practiced for over three thousand years. Alternative medicine believes in the body's natural ability to heal itself, and just helps in the process. In addition to that, most alternative medicines are natural and non toxic.

By further comparison we see that alternative medicine excels in the treatment of chronic diseases. It strives to find the cause for the disease and is also more focussed on prevention. Conventional medicine, by contrast, focuses on the relief of symptoms, and rarely looks at prevention or the cause of the disorder. Alternative medicine sees the person as unique and focuses on a holistic approach to healing him. Conventional medicine focuses on the organ that has a problem; hence you get cardiologists, neurologists, etc.

Traditional Chinese Medicine - Introduction

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Pressure from the payers in developed markets with publicly funded healthcare plans to curb drug spending growth, patent expiries, the entry of lower-cost alternatives and declining growth rates in developed markets are major challenges the global pharmaceutical market faces. In addition, the pharmaceutical industry's research and development programs have to adjust to the broad availability of low-cost generic options in many chronic therapy areas. Higher growth will occur in therapy areas with significant unmet clinical need, high-cost burden of disease, and innovative science that can bring new treatment options to patients.

IMS Health, an international consulting firm servicing the pharmaceutical industry, reports that the market reached a size of US$837 billion in 2009. Whilst emerging markets are expected to grow at a 14 - 17 percent rate, developed markets will only grow by 3 - 6 percent. The U.S. will remain the single largest market, with 3 - 6 percent growth expected annually in the next five years and reaching US$360 - US$390 billion in 2014.

China is not only assessed to become the world's third-largest market in 2011, it also fuels the gross output of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which has been growing at a pace faster than the average rate of the entire pharmaceutical industry. In 2008, the size of the TCM market was about US$26 billion and the yields totaled 1.2 million tons. By November 2009, the cumulative sales value of the TCM industry increased by 23 percent and amounted to RMB 222.166 billion, approximately US$32 billion.

Xinhua News Agency reported that in 2006 China exported traditional Chinese medicine to 164 countries and regions around the world, with export earnings reaching an all-time high of US$830 million. The export earnings represented a 14.5 percent increase from the previous year.

The implementation of the new medical reform as well as the launch of the Project of the Developing Traditional Chinese Medicine Industry stressed the backup and promotion of the TCM industry from the Chinese government. TCM is gaining on popularity for the environmentally friendly and holistic and alternative way of therapy it represents.

TCM Going Global

In 2006, more than 3,000 clinics of traditional Chinese medicine have been opened in Britain. Some 2.5 million British people spend a total of 90 million pounds annually to receive treatment of traditional Chinese medicine, including Chinese herbal medicine, massage and acupuncture. In France, there are 2,600 clinics of traditional Chinese medicine with 7,000 to 9,000 acupuncturists.
The United States has more than 20,000 traditional Chinese acupuncturists and 400 companies specializing in the sale of Chinese herbal medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Demystified - History and Philosophy

To find the origins of TCM we have to go back in time. Way back, into ancient history. Into the China of over 2,000 years ago and entering the mythical world of Fu Xi, Shen Nong and Huang Di, three legendary rulers.

Fu Xi created the Book of Changes and developed the trigrams of Yi Jing (I Ching). Trigrams are eight diagrams used in Taoist cosmology to represent the fundamental principles of reality, seen as a range of eight interrelated concepts (Heaven, Lake, Fire, Thunder, Wind, Water, Mountain, and Earth). Each consists of three lines, each line either "broken" or "unbroken," representing yin or yang, respectively.