Herbal medicine is considered by many to offer an alternative treatment for various diseases, particularly lifestyle diseases that require lifelong pharmaceutical medication and thus raises safety concerns.
Herbal medicine has been used for thousands of years. It is estimated that 80% of world population rely on traditional herbal medicine for primary health care. In recent years, herbal remedies have been considered as dietary supplement for disease prevention and as alternative/complementary medicine. A wide variety of herbal medicines are readily available in the market all over the world. With the rising utilisation of herbal products, safety and efficacy of herbal medicine have become a public health concern. Adverse health effects associated with herbal products could be attributed to both inherent toxic effects of herbal medicine and toxicities induced by adulterants/contaminants. Increasing evidence, regarding side effects of herbal medicine, has highlighted the demand and necessity of toxicological studies for herbal products. Toxicology constitutes an essential role in the development of herbal medicines.
Here are 9 of the world’s most popular herbal medicines, including their main benefits, uses, and relevant safety information.
- Ginkgo biloba
- St. John’s wort