The health benefits of herbal medicine are being realised in India, as the country prepares to celebrate its 50th year of legal medicinal use.
Herbal medicine is a powerful treatment that has been used by many in the developing world, but is often neglected in developed nations, where people rely on the traditional remedies of Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicine tradition.
Herbal medicine has been widely prescribed in India for over a century, but it has been increasingly neglected.
“The medical profession has been completely oblivious to the health benefits that herbal medicine provides,” Dr. Arjun Kher, founder and chair of the Center for Medicinal Chemistry at India’s National Institute of Health (NIH) told The Next Wires.
“It’s not only that the medicine is not being used in traditional settings, but also that there are no guidelines in place for the use of herbal medicines in the developed world,” Kher added.
Dr. Kher said India has been working towards establishing guidelines for the treatment of chronic illnesses for the past 50 years, but there was no consistent system in place.
He said the country has the best herbal medicine certification system in the world.
“India is a country of more than 1.4 billion people and the country is one of the most populated countries in the global community,” said Dr. Jitender Kumar, director of the Indian Centre for Medical Research (ICMR), a research institute that conducts and publishes studies on herbal medicine.
“There is a lot of work being done in this area in India and it’s important to get it to other countries to help them understand the benefits of using the herbal medicine,” Kumar told TheNext.
He said India had the second-highest proportion of herbal treatment centers in the country, but only two in the United States and the United Kingdom.
“If we want to be a leader in the field, we need to work on the education of the medical profession in this country and also the awareness about herbal medicine among the general population,” he said.
The lack of awareness and scientific rigor in herbal medicine has caused many people to be frustrated by the medical system.
The practice of herbal therapy has become so common that many people find themselves not taking their medicine in a timely manner.
“For example, when I was in the hospital for pneumonia, I didn’t take my medicine because I was not sure about its efficacy,” said a man who asked not to be named.
The man told The next Web that he was prescribed herbal medicine to treat his acute cough, and the medicine made his cough worse.
The problem is exacerbated by the lack of information on herbal medicines, according to Dr. Khel.
“In the past few years, the Indian government has launched a programme to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information about herbal medicines,” he added.
“We have a very good health care system here, but I feel that it is not yet up to par with the rest of the world,” he told Thenext.
Dr Kumar said herbal medicines have a lot to offer patients, but some people do not understand the medicine’s benefits.
“People don’t know what they are getting in it,” he explained.
“They think it is the same as other medicines, but we have made a lot more progress in terms of understanding herbal medicine.”