Traditional herbal remedies for primary health care
AbstractHerbal medicines constitute the main component of traditional medicine, which have been used since thousands of years. They have made significant contribution to human health through their health promotive, curative and rehabilitative properties and in the prevention of illnesses. Indeed, many herbal remedies used traditionally have become modern medicines through drug development. Digoxin, morphine, colchicine, and artemisinin are some notable examples. Long tradition of use of many herbal remedies and experiences passed on from generation to generation has brought about reliance by the people on herbal remedies. At present, the use of medicinal plants for health benefits is increasing worldwide. This publication contains 28 monographs on common ailments which can be readily treated with simple herbal remedies. They can be prepared easily and used within the ambit of primary health care. Each monograph provides description of the ailment, the form of traditional preparation, its composition, English name, Latin name and family of the plant, plant part used, main chemical constituents, quality standards, method of preparation, dosage form, therapeutic properties, indications and uses, dose and mode of administration, precautions and safety aspects, and important references. It is an attempt to promote the rational, safe and appropriate use of herbal medicines and mainstreaming of traditionally used herbal remedies. This manual can be used by health planners, policy makers, national and district health authorities and others involved in the health sector development and reform. It is also an attempt to increase availability and accessibility to cost-effective treatment of commonly encountered health problems with herbal remedies. It will be useful for education and training of community health workers as well. These efforts would eventually promote 'health for all' in the context of primary health care.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2010). Traditional herbal remedies for primary health care. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/206024