Friday, 27 November 2015

Substance Misuse: Herbal Medicine


Many herbs have been, and continue to be, used as medicines, and their use around the world seems to be rising. At the same, the sale of over-the-counter remedies is widely prevalent across the world. Despite widespread use, cases of toxicity are relatively rare. Few formal toxicity studies have been conducted and a majority of information comes from case reports only. The inherent problem is lack of standardization and regulation of herbal medicines. Consequently, cases of substitution, adulteration, and contamination of herbal products exist, which have led to cases of serious toxicity. Diagnosis of herbal toxicity is thus complicated as components in herbal remedies are often unknown.


  • Adulteration;
  • Aristolochic acid nephropathy;
  • Cardiotoxicity;
  • Chromatographic fingerprint;
  • Contamination;
  • Drug–herb interaction;
  • Ephedra;
  • Hepatotoxicity;
  • Herbal medicine;
  • Traditional Chinese medicine