Guidelines for the Appropriate use of Herbal Medicines
(1998; 88 pages)
Table of Contents
View the documentForeword
Open this folder and view contents1. Introduction
Open this folder and view contents2. Goals and objectives of the guidelines
View the document3. Definitions
Open this folder and view contents4. National policy development
Close this folder5. Development of a national programme on herbal medicines
View the document5.1 National management body for the herbal medicine programme
View the document5.2 Use of herbal medicines in health care
View the document5.3 Research on herbal medicines
View the document5.4 Preparation of information on medicinal plants
View the document5.5 Conservation of medicinal plants
View the document5.6 Training and education
View the document5.7 Collection and exchange of information on herbal medicines
Open this folder and view contents6. Regulation of practitioners
Open this folder and view contents7. Regulation of the manufacture and distribution of medicinal herbal products
Open this folder and view contents8. Regulation of herbal medicines
View the document9. Use of the guidelines
View the documentAnnex 1: Report of the meeting of the working group on herbal medicines
View the documentAnnex 2: List of temporary advisers, consultants, observers and secretariat
View the documentAnnex 3: Agenda
View the documentAnnex 4: Opening Speech of Dr S.T. Han, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Region Working Group on Herbal Medicines, 8 December 1997, Manila, Philippines
View the documentAnnex 5: Closing Remarks of Dr S.T. Han, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Working Group on Herbal Medicines, 12 December 1997, Manila, Philippines
View the documentReferences
 

5.2 Use of herbal medicines in health care

In many communities and families in the Region, herbal medicine is an available, affordable, effective and culturally-acceptable health care modality. The use of herbal medicine can meet certain primary health care requirements of the people, particularly in less developed, rural and remote areas. The existing community-based traditional medicine projects in several countries have demonstrated the vital role that can be played by herbal medicine in primary health care. In more developed countries, it can complement modern pharmaceutical medicines.

The knowledge available in communities about the use of medicinal plants should be collected and collated, preferably with the participation of the communities themselves. Medicinal plants commonly used in the communities should be selected. The basic criteria in the selection of plants should be: (1) locally available; (2) useful for common health problems; and (3) availability of references on their safety and efficacy. Educational and training materials on these selected plants should be prepared and disseminated. Community health workers should be trained in the identification, collection, processing, storage and utilization of the plants. Villagers should be encouraged to plant medicinal plants in their gardens or backyards.

The herbal medicine practices should be coordinated and integrated into the country's health care system. They can be components of health care establishments at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels or can stand alone. Countries are encouraged to be aware of recent developments in herbal medicine throughout the world and to adopt such treatments into their health care services as and when appropriate if it is beneficial to the community.

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