General

Do you recommend or prescribe herbal or traditional medicines to patients?

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6 Jul 2016 - General
 

Over the past decades, there has been a rise in scientific studies supporting the usefulness of certain herbal medications in treating various symptoms and diseases. Some physicians and health care professionals agree to the usefulness of a number of such medications, and here in the Philippines, our Department of Health has endorsed and put forward “10 Medicinal Plants” that are acceptable to use in the treatment of certain ailments. As a health care professional in today’s modern era, are there instances when you recommend such treatments to your patients? What is your stand regarding herbal medicines?

Though we do not end up in prescribing herbal or traditional medicines, but I think most of us use herbal methods for cure of certain conditions. Some of the examples may be an intake of lemon juice and oranges in need of vitamin C, a ginger tea or a good massage may relieve a headache and provide relaxation and steam inhalation to relieve stuffed nose and sinusitis and so on. I personally prefer few traditional management methods to treat simple conditions over western medicine which may some...
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I also do not personally prescribe traditional medicine, but I do take herbs myself at times. In conditions like viral upper respiratory tract infections where there's no specific treatment in western medicine, a hot glass of ginger and coriander drink greatly helps. Traditional herb oils are also known to be effective in accelerating fracture healing, for which medical treatment is only immobilization and rest. I encouraged my mom to turn to traditional medicine for a colles fracture she su...
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I think it depends on the context. If I do not anticipate significant risks or complications from a particular herb, such as a pregnant patient taking ginger tea for nausea of pregnancy, or a patient taking echinacea for his cold, I would reserve my judgement. I would also not stop the patient if I do not think that it would alter the outcome in any way, such as a cancer patient on palliative care (not on palliative chemo) who wants to try traditional cures, as long as they separate their medica...
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I think Dr Amit has a very valid point, especially when herbal medicines are taken together with current conventional medications. Various herbal medications and formulations can have unpredictable interactions with allopathic medicines, thus can potentially pose harm to the patient. However, in reality, because of various cultural and traditional beliefs, it may actually be a common occurrence that patients use herbal medications along with allopathic medicines. This also leads to thinking abou...
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It is improper to mix traditional or herbal therapies and modern allopathic medicines. It often happens that the effects are attributed to the herbal preparations and the hazardous side effects are blamed on the allopathic medicines. Moreover there are hardly any studies comparing the effects of these medicines given together and hence it will not be scientifically and ethically correct to do so. I have no objections in prescribing herbal medicines or supplements when there is no other allopath...
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In the Philippines, the Department of Health endorses ten medicinal plants to cure some diseases. Some of examples are, bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) as a hypoglycemic agent for non-insulin dependent diabetes, Garlic (Allium sativum) as an agent that decreases blood blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, Five-leaved chaste tree (Vitex negundo) as a remedy for cough and asthma, Peppermint vine (Clinopodium douglasii) as an analgesic for body malaise, and Blumea camphora/Buffalo ear (Bl...
 (Total 177 words)
n the Philippines, the Department of Health endorses ten medicinal plants to cure some diseases. Some of examples are, bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) as a hypoglycemic agent for non-insulin dependent diabetes, Garlic (Allium sativum) as an agent that decreases blood blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, Five-leaved chaste tree (Vitex negundo) as a remedy for cough and asthma, Peppermint vine (Clinopodium douglasii) as an analgesic for body malaise, and Blumea camphora/Buffalo ear (Blu...
 (Total 177 words)
I do not prescribe any herbal therapies for patients. I think that the medical therapeutic relationship should be a trusting one. I try to understand what my patients are taking as much as possible. When asked for opinion on these herbal medications, I will say that there is currently no consensus on the therapeutic effects of the herbal medications. In different circumstances, I will try to take note if the patient is taking anything with herbal heavy metals, steroids, immunosuppression agents,...
 (Total 108 words)