Marriage of medicines
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CTA. 2003. Marriage of medicines. Spore 104. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47894
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore104.pdf
The value of locally available herbs in cost-challenged health systems grows by the day
The value of locally available herbs in cost-challenged health systems grows by the day. In several countries, herbal medicine is being matched up with conventional (also called modern, Western or allopathic) medicine and official medicinal research. In Mozambique, a government programme encourages liaison between traditional medical practitioners and its National Health Service; herbal and conventional medicines may now be put on a par with each other. A survey of medicinal herbs is in progress. In South Africa, the role of traditional medicine has been recognised with the formation of a National Traditional Healers Council. Traditional healers have to sit qualifying examinations and those who pass receive certificates. Provincial and national structures are being set up and the Council is advising the South African government on traditional healing. In Kenya, however, the government's intention to introduce herbal drugs in public hospitals has caused controversy. The Kenya Medical Association, allopathic to the core, claims that the effectiveness of most herbal drugs has not been scientifically proven. But at the School of Alternative Medicine and Technology herbal practitioners can update their knowledge of traditional medicines, bringing it in line with the demands of allopathic medical practice. Herbal and allopathic remedies can work with each other, giving the patient the benefit of all-round treatment. And, in a sense, the 'marriage' between the two disciplines took place long ago - herbal plants are the basis of many conventional pharmaceutical drugs.