A Brief Review of Indigenous Plants as Sources of Pharmacological Interests


A Brief Review of Indigenous Plants as Sources of Pharmacological Interests


AK MOHIUDDIN
Faculty of Pharmacy, World University of Bangladesh


International Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine

The knowledge base of pharmacy medicine is changing. Even five decades ago rural people used to visit kobiraj doctors for traditional medication mostly obtained from the roots and leaves of the remote plants (As seen in old dramas and movies). During 70’s to 8o’, a modern allopathy system taken over most of it and plant medicines were completely became obsolete. Even talking about those medicines means people are looking at you saying “what old age are you living?”. Interestingly the same concept is back in the name of modern herbal medicine, anybody will be surprised to know that the sales volume of herbal medicines jumped to Tk 1,000 crore in 2010 against Tk 1 crore in 1980 in Bangladesh. In the language of the philosophers it is “the Circle of Life”. Of course, there’s no denying the effectiveness of modern medicine. The drugs used in modern medicine are powerful but quite often, the risks with these drugs are also high. Purpose of the study: An illustrated review of traditional plants, their nature and use, both pharmacological and pharmaceutical. Findings: Traditional plants are used from ancient time for various human well-being, both as life-saving and lifestyle drugs. A careful use of these plants can bring dramatic changes in the history of medicine, on the contrary abuse/misuse is just waste of money and also creates potential health hazards. The emerging use of plant derived medicines should have a proper quality control and system control of sales, distribution and use through strict vigilance.Materials and Methods: A comprehensive literature review, consulting books, technical newsletters, newspapers, journals, and many other sources are done with this review. Health professionals like qualified doctors, hospital staff, nurses are interviewed. A few folk healers’ shops are also visited to see the real situation includes their sales policy, misleading claims without valid references. Pharma company representatives are also interviewed who are selling herb medicines as white-collar business. A few company high officials also paid interest in giving suggestion about research work considering their future scope of herbal drug project extension, although no promise of funding. Few students of mine helped me by their feedback from previous experiences in visiting rural areas and use of folk medicine there. The article comprises both plant medicine and plants used for pleasure by general people.Research limitations: The limitation lies with the unlimited information about traditional medicines. Validity of those are very hard to prove. Only data obtained from books, newsletters, national and international research-based articles are given here along with surrounding facts mostly visible. A few many interesting things cannot be shared because of the relevancy with this article. It was very difficult to bring out facts of irrational use, vigilance and pharmacists’ role in those aspect because business mentality of the providers and very little knowledge about healthcare access and prospect crippled the facts. And also, a little more information could be added about poisoning and side effects from these plants derived medicine but not added with thought that article might loss its focus. A few many plant medicine books consulted earlier but article has fewer scope to add from them.Practical Implication: the article is based on plant medicine which is an easily understandable topic if we keep aside a few medical terms used. Students, researchers and professionals of different background and disciplines, e.g. Pharmacists, marketers, doctors, nurses, hospital authorities, public representatives, policy makers and regulatory authorities along with general people of optimum literacy have to acquire much from this article.Social Implication: Along with healthcare facilities, vigilance, rational use of drugs and rational prescribing from qualified doctors through pharmacists should be the integral part of healthcare system in a country like Bangladesh as there is a scarcity of resources, fewer access to general people for adequate and better treatment, treatment providers, superstition and misbeliefs about plant medicine. The article should contribute an integrated guideline for pharmacists’ role in rational use of plant medicine, for both treatment intervention or as lifestyle drugs.


Keywords: Medicinal Plants, Medical Pluralism, kobiraj Doctors, Herbs and Dietary Supplements (HDS), Western Australian Poisons Information Centre (WAPIC)

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How to cite this article:
AK MOHIUDDIN.A Brief Review of Indigenous Plants as Sources of Pharmacological Interests.International Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine 2019, 4:13.


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