Be careful when taking herbal remedies, NAFDAC CEO advises Nigerians

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo

National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Director General Professor Mojisola Adeyeye urged Nigerians to use herbal medicine with utmost care to avoid preventable deaths and complications .

She further advised against the simultaneous use of herbal and conventional medicine by members of the public.

Adeyeye gave the warning to Abuja in a message to mark World Herbal Medicine Day on Monday.

Adeyeye said, “The general public should use herbal medicine with caution. First of all, we don’t know how much you’re supposed to take. And just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s not toxic.

“Toxicity is not a question of volume consumed. It is not a question of the amount. Anything can be in micro quantity and kill. It just depends on the type of drug or chemical. It is extremely important not to take it the way you see it. Just because you prepare it at home doesn’t mean you can drink it like water. This can be dangerous.”

She also advised that for safety reasons, no liquid herbal formulations should be ingested after 14 days of preparation, and such medication should always be stored in the refrigerator.

The CEO of NAFDAC, in a statement by the agency’s resident media consultant Sayo Akintola, further explained that after 14 days, if it is liquid, it can start to develop bacteria that can make people sick.

“It’s the measure, the quantity and then the stability,” she said.

Adeyeye explained that the problems associated with herbal medicine are many because people don’t understand that it is supposed to be driven by science.

“If you are making herbal medicine in liquid form, you don’t know how stable the medicine will be in water. If it’s not stable and it degrades to something else, it can hurt, ”Adeyeye said.

She cited the example of those who sell herbal preparations on the streets under a scorching sun, adding that the heat generated by the sun can cause the active ingredients of the drugs sold to break down, which can be harmful to health. . risks for those who buy and consume the preparations.

This is why herbal medicine in Nigeria should be handled with care. Some people take herbal medicines like vaccines. No. Medicinal plants are mainly derived from plants, sometimes from animals in a few cases. Vaccines are different. The vaccines come from human or animal cells that have been programmed to cause immunological effects in the body, ” she said.

Adeyeye further advised against the simultaneous use of herbal and conventional drugs by members of the public.

She said: ‘If someone is using herbal medicine and a conventional medicine at the same time, there may be a problem.

Let’s say a drug is supposed to lower blood pressure or sugar content for diabetes, and that person took a conventional drug and the blood sugar is lower and is now taking a basic remedy. plants, that person may experience hypoglycaemic shock. This means that the blood sugar level is too low because the two are now working synergistically. ”

According to her, sometimes an herbal medicine can actually reduce the effectiveness of conventional medicine.

This is why studies must be done. Many people use herbal medicine today. But if they now combine it with conventional medicine that is supposed to be used for the same thing, it could harm them, ”she said, adding,“ There is a herbal drug-drug interaction that can. cause great harm. Anyone taking herbal medicines should consult their pharmacist and doctor for professional advice. ”

The CEO of NAFDAC said that to achieve rapid development of the herbal medicine industry in Nigeria, there is a need for herbal medicine practitioners and researchers to collaborate.

She said NAFDAC established a plant protection products committee in March 2019 to advance herbal medicine research.

The goal for this was to make sure that the herbalist and the researcher collaborate so that everything the herbalist knows about ancestral history that does not have research to support it, the collaboration with the researcher will allow this herbal medicine to be advanced to be listed by NAFDAC if it is found to be safe.

“Right now, no herbal medicine has gone through full clinical trials in the way that clinical trials are supposed to be done. Of course, there could be herbal medicines that have been used to treat a symptom of COVID-19 or the like, but this has not been released. In this case, it is not an official clinical trial, ”she said.

Adeyeye said many herbal products are under review by different government agencies across the country, adding that: “In terms of clinical trials and official protocols, none have come through yet.”


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