One of the unexpected side effects of humanitarian crises in countries like Zimbabwe is that people abandoned by broken healthcare systems are turning toward herbal supplements as a way to address health care problems. In many of these countries, traditional healers who have long used herbs have practiced usually among rural clients, but now even city dwellers are turning to them for help.
People with experience harvesting herbs in such regions of the world are discovering a burgeoning market in herbal health remedies, and knowing what herbs are used for what conditions is proving to be valuable knowledge here in the 21st century. It has resulted in herbal practitioners being taken more seriously. In fact, international researchers for traditional Western sciences have started looking to the great biodiversity of certain regions of the world like southern Africa for leads in developing drugs for a wide variety of diseases and health conditions.
New Communication between Conventional and Herbal Practitioners
The World Health Organization has tried in recent years to facilitate better communication between Western medical scientists and traditional healers. They estimate that in Zimbabwe, up to 80% of the population rely on natural herbal supplements and remedies for their regular health care. These numbers hold up throughout many countries in Africa. Because herbal medications do pose some risk, herbal practitioners are raising awareness of importation of herbs from other parts of the world, where their provenance cannot be assured due to lack of standardization.
While most Westerners have access to medical physicians as well as herbal treatments, many of them are beginning to question the long-held authority of conventional Western medical practice and demand that herbal remedies receive more respect and be researched more thoroughly. Gradually, some physicians are coming around, with some of them admitting that herbs may have a role in maintaining good health and in treating some common health conditions.
Herbal Medicines Make Inroads in Western Medicine
It is not uncommon for even patients with serious diseases like cancer to work with their physicians to supplement their hospital or clinical treatments with herbs when there are no bad interactions between the herbs and the drugs. People who want to lower cholesterol through natural means are now starting to use dietary modification and herbs to control cholesterol without conventional drugs. Herbal supplements have been around for millennia, and even some of the most modern health care practitioners are starting to recognize that they can have legitimate medical uses.
By Heather Hemmings
All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.