MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Monday, May 30, 2022


We should not belittle medicines that we do not have the knowledge of and we should be interested in patients who find relief from an alternative branch of medicine. One of the reasons being, we should attempt to understand how a particular type of medication has helped.

However, the one thing that we should be skeptical about is metal therapy. We have seen people suffering from kidney failures and even death, so that is one therapy that we should be avoid.
Several patients have often asked their doctors about the benefits/side-effects of herbal medicines. Herbal treatment is not alien to doctors practicing allopathy.

There is a medication called Rauvolfia serpentia or the Indian snakeroot. It is a species of a flowering plant in the family Apocynaceae and the extracts of this plant has a compound called reserpine, which is used in anti-hypertensive medications. Such compounds cannot be simply called herbal medication. Rather, they should be termed `integrative medicine', the interface between herbs and allopathy.

Simply put, herbal medicines are compounds extracted from herbs. They have been in existence since ancient times. It is worth noting that 25% of the medical molecules available in the US have their origins in herbs and at least 7,000 medical compounds have their origins in plants. Modern molecules such as quinine, aspirin and digitalis - the latter is derived from foxgloves and used to treat heart failure - come from herbal parenthood.

The extracts of several herbs are put into capsules and claimed that these tablets or capsules will act on the body in the same way as the natural substance. This may not be true.

Among the herbs available in the pharmaceutical form and prescribed fairly often is the St John's-wort, which is hypericum perforatum, a flowering plant in the family Hypericaceae, a medicinal herb with antidepressant activity and potent anti-inflammatory properties. Till a few years ago, the general perception was that the medication being herbal, it was well suited to treat such conditions in pregnant women, where pharmacological molecules may be contraindicated because of their effects on the foetus. This, however, does not appear to be correct.

Another interesting herb is Ma huang, which is known in English as ephedra. It is a medicinal preparation from the plant Ephedra sinica and is widely used by athletes as a performance-enhancing drug and also for weight loss. In recent years, ephedra-containing supplements have been found to be unsafe, following which the US Food and Drug Administration have banned it.

Then there is the hugely popular Malabar tamarind or Garcinia cambogia, a weight loss supplement that people from across the India would vouch for. It is also said to stabilise blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

The Journal of Obesity in 2011 reviewed it and said that people who used it did lose about 2lbs (about 0.9 kg) more compared to those who did not. In 2009, the FDA had cautioned the doctors against its usage because of liver problems but it could not be established that the medication caused such ailments.

One must remember that many medicinal molecules are derived from herbs and when they become pharmacological, they are subject to extensive scrutiny by various organisations. Herbal medicines come under the umbrella of nutraceuticals and there is an impression that all of them are safe for consumption, which may not be true. 

As usual, we remind you to take your Memo Plus Gold daily. It will help to keep you alert and mentally sharp. For more information or to order for Memo Plus Gold, please visit : https://oze.my.

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