Mojisola Adeyeye, director general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), advised Nigerians not to take liquid herbal preparations two weeks after preparation.
Adeyeye, in a statement released Monday to commemorate World Herbal Medicine Day which is held annually on August 31, also urged Nigerians to take precautions when consuming herbal remedies.
She called for caution with the use of herbal medicine to prevent preventable deaths and complications.
âAfter 14 days, if it’s liquid, it can start to grow bacteria that can make people sick,â she said.
âThe general public should use herbal medicines with caution because you don’t know how much you are supposed to take.
“Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s not toxic.”
She explained that the toxicity of such drugs does not depend on the volume consumed, but the amount could be contaminated.
Adeyeye also said that peddling herbal preparations in the hot sun can cause the active ingredients in drugs to break down, which can pose significant health risks to those who consume them.
âThis is why medicinal plants in Nigeria must be handled with care. Some people take herbal medicines like vaccines, âshe said.
“Herbal medicines are mainly derived from plants, sometimes from animals in a few cases, while vaccines come from human or animal cells that have been programmed to cause immunological effects in the body.”
Adeyeye, who advised against combining the use of herbal drugs with other drugs, said herbal preparations may reduce the effectiveness of conventional drugs.
She said that herbal medicines generally do not go through full clinical trials, and called for collaboration between herbal medicine practitioners and medical researchers to achieve rapid development of the industry.