One medicine, cure for all; the dilemma of the sick

    /    Jun 21, 2017   /     Feature, Health  /    Comments are closed  /    336 Views
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Is it malaria, jaundice, diabetes, hypertension, hepatitis B or a sexually transmitted disease/infection, there is a cure for you. This is just but one of the many sayings herbal medicine peddlers chant as they go about their business. No matter the ailment, these peddlers seem to have a cure for it.

On a typical day, one would find these vendors pushing a trolley, carrying a bowl, a carrier bag, among others containing assorted roots, leaves (dried and fresh), seeds, tree barks, concoctions, just to mention a few, chanting catchy phrases, and inviting people to patronize their goods. Others play recorded messages on megaphones or speakers in order to ensure that their messages reach far and near.

Looking at these peddlers, one can appreciate that they have decided to engage in something worthwhile to earn a living rather than resort to begging or social vices. However, a second look gets one thinking about how genuine these products are and whether or not some of these peddlers are not in the business just to make a living, therefore putting together anything and making claims of how these medicines perform wonders.

This is not to say that they are all in the business just for the money as some genuinely want to help cure the various diseases that exist in society. As the age-old Akan adage goes “there is no household without flies”, there are many in the industry who sell only God-knows-what just to make ends meet thereby bringing the credibility of the industry into disrepute. These peddlers can be seen strolling freely in the market places, areas of residence, offices and anywhere they feel they can ply their trade.

Among the questions that come to mind from these observations are how true are the claims on the number of diseases these medicines are purported to cure, who checks what goes into the making of these herbal medicines, how they are made, and under what conditions they are made.

One may also ask if these peddlers have registered with the right institutions in order to allow them go about their business and if there are any regulations guiding their trade and practice.

Vulnerable patients are being duped into taking herbal medicines that could be dangerous. Dr. Canter of the Peninsula Medical School at Exeter University claims that they may do more harm than good. He stated: “There has been a growth of expectation that all illness can be cured or helped. If you have a chronic disease and you are desperate, you can be preyed upon.” (Fleming, 2007)

Until these questions are satisfactorily answered, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) are entreated to enforce whatever regulations that exist to guide the herbal medicine practice.

Consumers are advised to be circumspect in their purchase decisions and consult their physician or healthcare provider to discuss concerns about drug interactions. They should stick to the well known certified options in the treatment of the various conditions that ail them, as they are relatively safer in comparison to these unknown herbal brands.

Source: Queen Georgina Monney|



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