What Is Cellulite?
April 28, 2015
Substance abuse: pleasurable acceleration to doomsday
April 28, 2015

The clamor for traditional medical therapies

Traditional medicine is a holistic discipline involving herbalism, spirituality, beliefs and experiences of indigenous cultures that are used to maintain health and prevent, diagnose or treat illnesses.

There is no doubt that lots of Kenyans make occasional choices between traditional and modern medicine. In fact, WHO estimates that about 80% of the population in some African and Asian countries depend on traditional medicine for primary health care.

In contrast, modern medicine is both technical and analytical, and still remains expensive and relatively inaccessible to large numbers in developing countries. In reality, both traditional and modern medicine are not in competition with each other. It is well acknowledged that either can benefit from the other’s practices and experiences.

When indigenous traditional medicine is adopted by other populations, this is often termed as alternative or complementary medicine. And even in developed countries, WHO estimates that 70% of the population have used some form of alternative medicine at some point. Herbal treatments are the most popular, generating billions of dollars every year.Individuals seeking traditional remedies do not suffer any different ailments from those seeking modern cures. Traditional medicine spans from treatments for infectious diseases to remedies for cancers, psychiatric disorders and even for psycho-social ailments.

But challenges with traditional medicine still exist, mainly related to standards and proof of effectiveness. National policies for traditional medicine practices are somewhat wanting. Regulating traditional medicine products, practices and practitioners is difficult due to variations in definitions and categorizations of such therapies. It is not uncommon for a single product to be defined as a food, a dietary supplement or a herbal medicine; thus complicating choices even for seasoned users.

The scientific evidence base for traditional medicine still has some way to go. While evidence exists for effectiveness of some products and practices, for example acupuncture, further studies of many products are needed. The safety, effectiveness and quality of finished herbal products are by no means easy to guarantee as research and evaluation processes tend to be complex.

You must make well-reasoned choices when contemplating use of traditional medicine. The common belief for general safety is rooted in the fact that the products are natural (herbal). However, traditional medicines and practices can cause harmful, adverse reactions if the product or therapy is of poor quality, or is taken inappropriately or in conjunction with other medicines. Increased awareness about safe usage is important, as well as more training, collaboration and communication among providers of traditional and other medicines.

But we cannot wish traditional medicine away. We must find ways of integrating traditional medicine into our health systems, and improve guiding policies and regulations to ensure safety. Next time you seek a traditional cure, ask questions and be as satisfied as you can be about safety and effectiveness of proposed regimens. This is not any different from making judgments on the quality of modern medical care.

Take a fertility test today

Traditional medicine is a holistic discipline involving herbalism, spirituality, beliefs and experiences of indigenous cultures that are used to maintain health and prevent, diagnose or treat illnesses.

There is no doubt that lots of Kenyans make occasional choices between traditional and modern medicine. In fact, WHO estimates that about 80% of the population in some African and Asian countries depend on traditional medicine for primary health care.

Comments are closed.

error: