Herbal Medicine Research Paper

973 Words 4 Pages
As herbal medicine benefits claims on internet become wilder and wilder, the public becomes more and more confused about what herbs can actually do. Ironically, the public is not the only one confused. Even the scientists are asking the same questions: does herbal medicine works? How does it work? What is the optimal dosage? The safety issues are what? Who can use it and who cannot?... As the list grow longer, the confusions also grow greater. Luckily, as we speak, more and more research studies are being conducted or published about the use of herbal medicine as the alternative medicine for conventional medicine. This article will summarize some key points about herbal medicine that will help you understand the current state of herbal medicine. …show more content…
In order to become conventional drugs, these plants had to go through a complicated process that consists of identification (to identify the chemical compound that treat a specific condition inside the plan), extraction (the previously identified compound), refining (chemists slightly alter the original compound from the plan to increase efficiency or reduce side effect), and mass production. The process increases the effectiveness of the drugs by concentrating certain active chemical compound(s) of the plants and removing other compounds. However, it may also remove some compounds that have protective properties against many harmful side effects. As a result, conventional drugs have many serious side effects while herbal medicine’s side effect are generally far milder and …show more content…
Determining the effective dose of herbal medicine can be confusing and difficult. Because herbal medicine generally has lesser side effects, people can tolerate wider range of dosage, thus making it a lot more difficult to determine the accurate dosages.

The most common method to determine the dosage of herbal medicine is the standardized extract. First, one ingredient is selected as the marker, usually the presumed active ingredient. In ginkgo, the marker is flavone glycosides; in Saint John wort, the marker is hypericin, and in ginseng, the marker is ginsenosides. Then, the marker of each herb will serve as a guidepost for the strength of all the ingredients inside the herbs or herb-related products.

Labeling laws and restrictions

In the USA, most herbal products are regulated as dietary supplements. In 1994, the US Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) set new guidelines to regulate the labeling, packaging, and marketing of dietary supplements (herbal products included). Under these regulations, the DSHEA allows manufacturer of herbal preparations to make “structure and function claims”, but not “therapeutic or prevention claims”. For example, St. John wort extracted products can claim to “optimizes mood”, but can not say that it is a “natural

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