The Problem of Herbal Medicines Legal Status

Valverde, J.L.
Pub. date
January 2000
softcover (reprinted 2005)
2 of Pharmaceuticals Policy and Law
ISBN print
Medicine & Health, Medicine: Law & Policy
€64 / US$75 Excl. VAT
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The main problem in the use of medicinal plants, discussed in this book, is that citizens are being persuaded that herbal medicine is based on its low or even absent toxicology. A good efficacy is assumed as self-evident, and therapeutic benefit without risks is expected. Many users prefer natural medicine instead of synthetic remedies. However, the number of reports on unwanted side effects of phytomedicines increased in the last years. In some instances, a lack of pharmaceutical quality was found. The unqualified recommendation of herbal medicines may represent a considerable risk to the user. The use of a herbal remedy with unproven efficacy can represent a risk for the user when a more effective and necessary treatment will therefore be stopped or omitted. These circumstances must be taken into account by the governments, inspection services, the doctors and the judges. The present approach to herbal medicines and fraud with these products does not receive the necessary punishment because it is believed that if the product does not have any therapeutic property, it cannot entail any harm either.