This chapter includes the review of foreign and local related literatures, which is relevant to the effectiveness of herbal medicines as multivitamins. The appeal of herbal medicine to people caught the researchers’ in sights to have further review about this matter. Any place in the world would know that herbal medicine is. Perhaps, many people have different perceptions about these herbal medicines. Many might doubt its effectiveness and other might not. The increasing population of people using these herbal medicine might tell how effective or how ineffective these herbal medicines are.
And in this chapter, the reaseracher will be viewing different of herbal medicine and multivitamins. Foreign Literature For thousands of years, plants have played a significant role in maintaining human health and improving the quality of human life. Herbs have been used as food and for medicinal purposes. According ti the sardesal’s herbal medicines: poison or potions, about 80% of world’s population relies on traditional medicine for their primary care needs and most of this therapy involves the use of plant extracts or their active components. 1.
There are many reasons why people are seeking other alternatives for their health needs. One is because many people perceive natural products to be healthier than manufactured drugs. Also, there is dissatisfaction with conventional medicine. Patients feel that their doctors do not listen to or respect cultural beliefs and traditions, are not knowledgeable or willing to discuss alternative therapies and focus on curing the disease ro condition more than the patient. Additionally, many patients who have chronic or incurable disease such as diabetes, arthritis or depression often believe that conventional medicine has failed them.
2 In regards with safety issues, before 1994, marketing of herbal medicines and other dietary supplements had been subject to approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In 1993, the FDA began scrutinizing the herbal and dietary supplement industry. This provoked a massive letter campaign or organized by the multibillion dollar dietary supplement industry that many consumers wrote to their congressman to exempt herbs and other supplement goodbye. The public response was too overwhelming that led to the passage of Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA) in 1994.
This severely limited the FDA’s ability to regulate the dietary supplement industry. It classified herbal medicine as dietary supplements. 3 Since then these products have flooded the market. The DSHEA require no proof of efficacy, no proof of safety and sets no standards for qualitycontrol for products labeled as dietary supplements. If there are any questions with regard to these herbal supplements, the proof lies with the FDA rather than the manufacturer to prove that these products are unsafe.
In contrast, regulatory agencies in Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Canada enforce safety assessment and standard of herb quality on manufactures. Using herbs may be chancy. Not because they are labeled “natural” it means that they are without risks. They do not undergo the same rigorous testing demanded by FDA for other drugs. Little is known about their effectiveness, optimum dosage, side effects or interaction with other medications. And they are subject to few controls on quality and purity. Unlike food and drugs, herbal products do not require good manufacturing practices.
4 These ensure that products meet specific quality standard, are not adulterated and misbranded and contain the ingredients as doses stated on the label. Most herbal medicines are probable harmless. In addition, they seem to be used primarily by people who are healthy and common relatively minor problems. Most such people would probably seek conventional doctors if they have indication of serious diseases. However, some people may depend on herbs and other alternative therapies exclusively putting themselves in greater danger.
Herbal medicine treats the whole person rather than individual symptoms. Herbal practitioners often see the underlying cause of an illness in terms of balance. A person’s illness indicates the body’s imbalance of yin and yang forces. Hence, targeted at excess or deficiency in either yin or yang in an individual, Chinese herbs are used, often in combination, to restore the balance of these two life forces. Thus, herbal medicine is intended to reestablish harmony and balance in a person’s body because an imbalance in the body could lead to many illnesses.
As a treatment for cancer, herbal medicine aims to bring the body back to a balanced state by strengthening its immune system. When the body is strong, it can fight against cancer, and thereby heal itself. This is different from traditional medicine, which targets at removing the tumor through surgical procedures, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. 5 Herbal medicine also emphasizes on the principle of synergy, which is the idea, that combining two or more herbs together can produce a greater effect than using only one single herb. In addition, while one herb can help another work better, it can also reduce or…