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Herbal Medicines- How they work

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"The medical use of herbs is widespread. In a multi-ethnic group of patients attending an emergency department in New York 22% reported that they utilised herbal medicines use was highest amongst Asians, 37%. It is critical therefore for clinicians to document use of herbal medicines as component of the patients drug profile. Plants synthesize complex (organic) molecules for their structure and function, and consequently are a rich source of chemicals. Active chemical substances purified from plants are accepted successful medications e.g. digoxin, and morphine. When parts of plants or crude extracts of plants are utilized for medicinal purposes they are known as herbal medicines.
What is the active ingredient in herbal medicines?
Most herbal medicines contain hundreds of chemical substances and there is usually no agreement as to which is potentially active. An example is garlic, comprised of numerous sulfur compounds, several of which are candidates for possible therapeutic activity.
How can one particular be certain that herbal medicines contain what is on the label?
The only regulatory requirement in The US markets is that all products intended for medicinal use, which includes natural health items, are issued a Drug Identification Quantity. However, these numbers are not needed for raw materials such as bulk herbs. Herbal medicines are not essential to pass any regulatory analysis to be sold as a health food supplement. There are numerous examples of herbal medicines that have been adulterated with other (more toxic) herbs, potent drugs (e.g. phenylbutazone, synthetic corticosteroids and other prescription drugs), or heavy metals.
How are herbal medicines standardized?
The chemical constituents of plants vary based on the species, selection and part of the plant, with circumstances of growth (soil, water and temperature), and with the age of the plant. These complexities and variations of chemical content make standardization vital. In some cases standardization is attempted, but it is difficult and seldom accomplished.
Plants are rich sources of chemicals and prospective sources of effective herbal medicines. Nonetheless, much more research, regulation, and standardization are essential ahead of herbal medicines can be recommended as powerful and secure therapies. benzo fury"
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