T&CM contributes significantly to the health coverage of the population of MA, particularly in poor and underserved indigenous communities . Similarly, to the situation in MA, in most regions of the world, a wealth of information on T&CM has been recorded. Yet these data are often scattered, making it difficult for policy makers to regulate and integrate herbal products into primary health care. Despite over 400 million estimated regular users of T&CM in Latin America, systematic approaches to integrate T&CM in formal health systems are widely lacking (Caceres Guido et al., 2015). Given the shared cultural history, harmonizing regulations between different nations of MA is recommended (WHO, 2013, p. 41). A lack of pharmacological and toxicological data on even the most commonly used herbal drugs is often considered the principal limitation to integrative medicine in MA (Caceres Guido et al., 2015; Alonso-Castro et al., 2017a).
- Most of the 98 herbal drug species are either grown in home-gardens or thrive in the vegetation surrounding the villages and are thus easily available.
- Permitted indications for these medicines are based on traditional use, provided the pharmacological effects are plausible on the basis of long-standing use and experience.
- Mirroring its outstanding cultural heritage, MA is also one of the world’s most biodiverse regions and among the most eminent centers of plant domestication (Vavilov, 1992; Smith, 1997; Myers et al., 2000; Ranere et al., 2009).
- Due to a belief that as “natural” products, HMs are “safe” or “safer” than conventional medicines, consumers have turned to plant-derived preparations .
- Meanwhile, depressive and chronic diseases are becoming major health concerns (Frenk, 2006; Stevens et al., 2008; Mokdad et al., 2015; Gómez-Dantés et al., 2016).
To inform such a proposal, the authors conducted a four step research study using Anderson’s policy framework, which emphasizes using reliable evidence to inform future policy design and implementation . The second study consisted of a review of relevant implementation literature (Alostad et al., under review). The third and fourth studies consisted of a qualitative exploration of an established system , which similarly to Kuwait, relies on registering HMs manufactured elsewhere, followed by an investigation of Kuwait’s system and readiness for implementation .
What Is Western Herbal Medicine?
If a patient has a reaction to a herbal medicine they should stop taking the medicine and inform a healthcare professional such as a pharmacist or a doctor. All herbal medicines registered under the THMRS will include a number starting with the letters THR on the product container or packaging. If you’re consulting your doctor or pharmacist about health matters, or are about to undergo surgery, always tell them about any herbal medicines you’re taking.
For marginalized people, experiencing excessive financial, physical, or cultural barriers to care, traditional medicine often presents the only accessible healthcare option. Meanwhile herbal products provide popular treatment alternatives for urban socioeconomic elites and Latin American migrant communities (Lozoya and Zolla, 1984; Taddei-Bringas et al., 1999; Waldstein, 2006; Loera et al., 2007; WHO, 2013; Ladas et al., 2014; Alonso-Castro et al., 2017a). However, integrative efforts and official recognition of Mesoamerican Traditional Medicine are limited. Several countries lack national policies and programs on T&CM and Mexico is the only country in MA with a national pharmacopeia (WHO, 2005; Caceres Guido, 2015). Yet, from the 129 herbal drugs listed in the Mexican Herbal Pharmacopoeia only around 36 are native .
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Traditionally, most herbal medicines available in the UK were unlicensed, a situation that was permitted through exemptions within two sections of the Medicines Act 1968. The list of medicinal species reviewed in Table 3 constitutes a data collection that can be drawn on by the Mexican Herbal Pharmacopoeia Committee for increasing the Appendix VI . Appendix VI is the prelude to the monographs of medicinal plants contained in the Pharmacopoeia and could be used to promote a better integration of native Mesoamerican species into that regulatory document. It should also be considered that knowledge about herbal remedies is increasingly shaped by literature and popular media, through which global trends in T&CM are introduced to local communities. Many traditional herbal products are popular with consumers who are looking for products with health benefits. Such products are often on the borderline between regulated categories of goods such as medicines, foods and cosmetics.
You can find THR-registered products in your local health shop, pharmacy or supermarket. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice before trying a herbal medicine if you fall into one of these groups. You may experience a bad reaction or side effects after taking a herbal medicine.