What are herbal medicines? Herbal Medicines and Medicinal Plants

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The medicines herbal are defined by ANVISA (National Health Surveillance Agency) as those obtained from from plant derivatives and that the risks, mechanisms of action and where they act in our body are acquaintances. These drugs are made exclusively of raw material vegetable. It is important to highlight that a medicine that contains isolated active substances, as well as its association with plant extracts, is not considered a herbal medicine.

Every herbal medicine must have its action proven through pharmacological and toxicological studies. In addition, a survey should be made of published articles, as well as traditional knowledge about a particular plant species. Only after confirming its action and quality, it is registered.

They differ from medicinal plants in some points. First, we must know that medicinal plants are those used traditionally and that they have the ability to alleviate symptoms or even cure some pathologies. Usually, the population uses this type of plant through teas, infusions, macerates, juices, among other ways.

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When using the medicinal plant in an industrial way to obtain a medicine, an herbal medicine emerges. The industrialization process is important because it avoids contamination, in addition to correctly dosing the amount a person can consume. This last point is essential to avoid poisoning with these products, a fact that constantly happens with medicinal plants.

It is common for people to think that, because it is a natural product, it does not cause health problems. However, it is known that herbal medicines, like any other medication, can cause problems that even trigger death if not used correctly and in the right doses.

Herbal medicines have their benefits proven by the World Health Organization and, like any medicine, they should only be used with a doctor's recommendation. Also remember that the physician must be informed about the use of any of these products, including the use of medicinal plants. This is especially true for people who will be performing surgical procedures.

When using an herbal medicine, remember to look at expiration dates as well as usage guidelines. It is important to inform your doctor of any unpleasant symptoms. In addition, it must be verified if the drug is registered with ANVISA. For this, access the Agency's website and carry out the consultation. If he does not have a record, notify the Sanitary Surveillance.

by Vanessa dos Santos
Graduated in Biology

Source: Brazil School - https://brasilescola.uol.com.br/saude/o-que-sao-fitoterapicos.htm


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