The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Traditional Medicines

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Traditional Medicines
I doubt if there is anyone in this world that has not taken anything medicinal before, whether in pills, injections or even syrup.
Getting sick is not really bad because its what happens to everyone, however what really matters is the measure we take to prevent or avert the ailment. There are many advantages of traditional medicine over proper medical disposal though many journals make it to appear like there is nothing so good about traditional medicines.
It's be advisable to always seek advises from experienced and qualified naturopath or herbalist that will assure you of the best.
Irrespective of the criticism facing the administration and usage of herbal medicines among Africans and other parts of the world, it's always worth remembering that majority of the drugs that we see in the pharmacies today are gotten or derived of plants.
Drugs like aspirin which is gotten from the willow back, Digitalis that is extracted from toxic foxglove flowers and many others. These are not just the only modern drugs that are derived from plants, infact the list is unending.

Advantages of Traditional Medicine Over Modern Medicine

When compared with the modern medicine, you'll see that the traditional medicine has a lot of benefits that you probably never knew about. They are all the same in different countries of the world like United States, Nigeria, Ghana, India, Pakistan and others.
Some of them include:

- Low cost

Traditional medicines tend to sell at lower prices when compared with the modern medicines, this is probably because of the low cost of research, testing, marketing and other production processes. If you visit a qualified naturopath, he or she will prescribe and administer a medication that you probably would have gotten at a costlier price if it were to be in a pharmacy. Another reason the for the low cost of the traditional medicines is that they are usually sold by the manufacturers, thereby eliminating the roles of the retailers and wholesalers that would want to make there own profit.

- Availability

You can grow simple herbs like chamomile and peppermint in your home garden, making it more available than the modern medicines that must be gotten in a pharmacy. They are also administered without prescription, however this varies with the type of ailment you are suffering from. Also, in some countries of the world, medicinal herbs may be the only treatment available to the majority of people for some specific ailments.

- Low or reduced risk of side effects

Herbs generally tend to have reduced side effects when compared with the modern drugs. This is because most drugs are well tolerated by the patients. This is also another advantage of herbal medicines over pharmaceutical drugs.

- Effective for complicated and chronic conditions

Another great advantage of herbal drugs is that they tend be more relaible and effective for complicated and resistant health complications. In some cases like arthritis, were drugs like Vioxx that was used for its treatment was recalled because of its risk of increasing cardiovascular complications, herbal medicines tend to become the next option.
Alternative arthritis treatments like change in diets which may include addition of simple herbs, elimination of vegetables and reduction in the consumption of white sugar are some ways of treating arthritis.

Disadvantages of Traditional Medicine Over Modern Medicine

Like we all know and always say, herbal medicines also have its advantages and are not appropriate for all health conditions. Some of the disadvantages of herbal medicines include:

- Lack of dosage instructions

Every drug should have a prescription in order to avoid over-dosing. However, in Nigeria, what we mostly see it take one spoon daily of which many people don't keep to. Another issue is when people grow and prepare this herbs themselves, they tend to take them without being careful of the best dosages and proportions thereby leading to accidental overdosing.

- Risk of using inferior herbs

Another great disadvantage of using herbs is the risk of purchasing adulterated products. This is very popular in under-developed countries or countries with high rate of poverty. Although you might see also see this in the case of modern drugs, the case is reduced because companies tend to provide means of verifying your drugs in the pharmacies before paying for them.
Many modern drugs that are being manufactured now come with different methods of authenticating the originality of the drugs. One of the methods is by sending an SMS of a pin that can be gotten by scratching the packet of a drug to38351 (Pharmasecure), 38353 (Sproxil), 1393 (Goldkeys), 20966 (UBQ) etc., the number varies with the service the drug manufacturers chose to work with and you'll always see it in the drug packet. After a few minutes of sending the SMS, you'll receive a reply showing the name of the drug and whether its fake or genuine.

- Medication interactions

Many people warn against combining the use of herbal drugs with modern ones. This is because traditional drugs can interact with different medications. This is the major reason most herbal drugs come with warnings prompting people to use them with caution. To avoid this, it becomes necessary for everyone to discourse his or her herbal supplements with experienced medical personnel to avoid complications and dangerous interactions. 

- Not appropriate for all conditions

Drugs from the pharmaceuticals tend to treat serious and complicated ailments more effectively than other alternatives. A herbalist can't be perform a surgery on an individual or run modern diagnostic tests. Also, he can't be able to stop a heart attack heal an appendicitis faster better than a conventional doctor that would use modern equipment and facilities.

- Wild herbs are usually associated with poison risks

Going to the forest to harvest herbs is usually risk and you need to take proper measures in order to survive some wild animals and other things. Also, you might enter the forest only to encounter weeds that look like the herbs thereby posing a risk of you picking the wrong plants or the wrong parts of the right plants.

Are Herbal Medicines Good for Me?

Just like every other drug, they are good but should be taken with caution. Be careful if you are the person to pick the herbs to avoid picking the wrong ones as many weeds tend to contain poisons. You need to take the following tips in order to get the best of of every drug.

Tips On How You Should Use Drugs

- Visit a physician or experienced herbalist for a correct dosage, if possible avoid self-medication.
- Check the expiry dates in the drug packets
- Check the authenticity of the drugs
- Purchase from the manufacturers directly in the case of herbal drugs or from good pharmaceutical stores for the other drugs.
- Don't take drugs without eating, your doctor should also tell you this.

Research sources

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