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Open Collection of Student Writing (OCSW)

The effect of reductions in medical plants

Medical plants have been among us through hundreds and thousands of years, and their usage has generated an impact among traditional systems of medicine. Plants play a vital role in forests. They produce food through photosynthesis, work as air filters, and some are beneficial in the use of medicine such as for chronic diseases. Plants are vital to the planet, as well as to all living things. My position to this topic is that medical plants play a key role in world health helping with curative aids but also by taking levels of caution. I take this position because I have done research where there are proof how medical plants have more positive benefits than the use of drugs. Medical plants are considered to be natural and synthesize hundreds of chemical compounds for functions in the body as to reduce the site effects of prescription drugs. Some of them can be taken in regular basis for general health repair or need. They have powerful ingredients and are less expensive. They need to become more known by the different doctors and communities. I think the reductions of herbal remedies are depending from factors such as lack of knowledge and experiences.

A study conducted by Neta Gupta in the article titled “Contribution of Medicinal Plants for People, Their Health and Illness”, shows that the reduction of medicinal plants has limited the knowledge inherited by younger indigenous generations, due to the fact that environmental disruption is causing plant extinction. The author Gupta stated “Through millennial of trial and error, indigenous people have gained substantial knowledge of medicinal plants which has been transmitted from generation to generation as part of oral traditions however, concerns are being raised about the loss of native knowledge and possible extinction of medicinal plants and resources due to disruption to traditional ways of life induced by colonial forces” (Gupta). Meaning medical plants are vital to those individuals who live in villages near the rain forest and plant reduction could have a negative effect to them in the future. Although some of the products are unlicensed and not required to demonstrate efficacy, there is still 16% of prescriptions drug consume herbal supplements. However, Kumar stated in his article ” Fewer, than 40% of patient’s disclosure their herbal supplements usage to health care providers and many physicians are unaware of the potential for herb drug” (Kulkarni, Wadkar and Kumar). The use of herbal medicine is also depending on ethnicity, education, and the place people live which some people are used to use medicinal plant as their main resource to cure themselves.

The Contribution of Medicinal Plants for People, Their Health and Illness article shows that many medicinal plants are trusted, and they have lesser side effects compared the generic medications. “The ongoing growing recognition of medical plants is due to several reasons, including escalating faith in herbal medicine, allopathic medicine may cure a wide a range of diseases, however, its prices and side effects are causing people to return to herbal medicines which have lesser side effects” (Gupta, 2018). The researcher expected to find a large number of individuals not using plants as medicinal aid, due to advanced generic medicine that has been produces, but his research showed the opposite. In the Review on Interaction of Herbals with allopathic medicines article shows that Warfarin a prescription medication used to prevent harmful blood clots from forming or growing larger interact with alfalfa, green leafy vegetables by increasing the risk of blood clots in the vessels. Another example where herbs and drugs have a big impact on is in the metabolism. The authors Kumar said “Most herbs and drugs are metabolized by the liver to inactive derivatives.” (Kumar, 2018). All the mechanism is relevant to interaction with herbal medicines.

Medical plants are important to many villages throughout India, they are the main source of medicine to villagers. Gupta stated, “Therefore, there is immediate need to conserve these important plant species for sustainable uses for the future” (Gupta, 2018). It is highly recommended that various plant species are conserved for future usage. The decrease of plants can alter the way of life for people who trust the plant’s natural ingredients. There are other more common substances used in health such as drugs which falls into the category of pharmacodynamic which Kumar says, “The effects of one drug are changed by the presence of another drug at its site of action” (Kumar, 2018).  This is a way where people may tend to take more into consideration than medical plants itself which one drug causes a change in patient response to another drug without altering that drug’s pharmacokinetics. One example of the interaction between medical plant and drugs stated in the Review on interaction of Herbals with Allopathic Medicines article is E.g. Shankhpushpi a plant that the main effect on brain and nerves may decrease phenytoin levels as well as diminishes drug Efficacy (Kumar, 2018). There are drugs having consequences in their use where can bring damage to other parts of the body.

Some examples stated about the consequences of drugs interaction between herbals and allopathic components in the article of Interaction of Herbal with Allopathic are garlic which if consume prior 7 days or less to surgery has been reported to aggressive bleeding. Another example is Yashti madhu which increases plasma concentration that leads to increase of potassium loss and sodium-fluid retention.  Aloe Vera increases cardiac toxicity and decreases the absorption of drug. There are factors that increase the chance of Herbal interactions with allopathic drugs “Most Ayurvedic formulations are multi-ingredient-fix dose formulations rarely prescribed alone” (Kumar, 2018). Taking some drugs by itself can be dangerous for the high amount contained and the way our body may react to them. Information related to adverse effects is scattered in Ayurvedic literature.

The methods used from Gupta article to conduct this research were started during the rainy season in India, there was a survey done every month for over three years. The results said that there was plant occurrence noted. This survey was done by locals who were plant collectors and healers. The researcher then created statistics that showed the percentages of plants and plant parts used as medicine. Medical plants have been a source of aid to people throughout centuries, they have different methods of use, although their knowledge has decrease throughout generations, they are proven to have lesser side effects than traditional generic medicine, and their conservation needs to be taken into consideration.

Some problems with using medical plants are for people who are taking medication for a heart problem. Increases the risk of bleeding when taken with blood-thinning drugs. Not all people have those resources available to them with not possibility for them to use them or get knowledge about it. Some scientists are accused of stealing plant materials as some plants are starting to extinctic. I learned that the amount of people who is aware of medical plants are less than what I thought. But I learned more benefits from them such as turmeric which is an anti-inflammatory effect. On the other hand, I learned how some herbals may have negative effects with the use of drugs such as ginger that increases bleeding tendencies, betel nut which can cause exacerbation of extrapyramidal effects. Also, about the importance of making awareness about interactions of Ayurvedic and Allopathic. Also, about how some food has drugs interactions but at the same time can have herbal plants providing nutrients. Some connections I made is that when I used to live in Mexico, it was very common hearing about the use of medical plants to heel a part of our body or to help with a disease. People even had their own medical plants sown at home. This community was poor but the use of this resource helped them to survive. Also, about reasons of why certain doctors may not fully use medical plants but used some of it to make it work with drugs. This information relates to our class in the topic of photosynthesis which plants involves using the energy to sunlight to convert carbon dioxide from the air into sugars, starches, and others. Helps me better understand of the energy we get from food originally come from plants. Also, the role of chlorophyll of making leaves green and the use of energy from the sun, to produce sugar, store chemical energy for future use. There are medical plants that go through this process.

References

Gupta, Netta. Journal of Ultra Chemistry. 02 April 2018. <http://www.journalofchemistry.org/search.php?stext=Contribution+of+Medicinal+Plants+for+People%2C+Their+Health+And+Illness>.

Kulkarni, S., S Wadkar and P Kumar. Journal Of Ayurveda And Holistic Medicine (JAHM). 2018. <http://jahm.in/index.php/JAHM/article/view/112 >.

 

 

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