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Traditional and Alternative Medicine: Research and Policy Perspectives

Tuley De Silva (Author) Theeshan Bahorun (Author) Manoranjan Sahu (Author) Le Mai Huong (Author)

Herbs and traditional medicines are being extensively used for healthcare in almost all the countries. Ancient religious texts are replete with references on the use of natural products with medicinal properties. Because of local beliefs and cost considerations, herbal medicines remain a popular mode of treatment in the developing countries. Even in the industrialised society, rising cost of prescription drugs and ensuing side effects of the treatment, make it highly attractive to use the traditional medicine particularly for minor ailments.

Modern system of medicine is based on sound experimental data, toxicity studies and human clinical studies, however pharmacopoeia on herbal products is usually not available. Precisely, herbal industry lacks good manufacturing practices as standards of the medicinal plant products are not well regulated and the quality of finished herbal products is often not up to the mark. For this reason, many medicinal plants are either getting scarce or are on the verge of extinction resulting into genetic erosion due to a huge public demand and extraction of massive amount of modern drugs from these plants. If this trend continues, the human race will lose some of the most important sources of future drugs, which will be lost by the mankind forever.

The focus of this book prominently encompasses the importance of traditional medicine in our modern health systems and discusses the potential applications of phyto-chemicals to assist bio-molecular mechanisms, and hence offer realistic and therapeutic possibilities. It includes review papers on production strategies, projection trends, regulatory status and IPR issues, and reports on the characterization and isolation of useful medicinal plant phyto-chemicals, clinical and bioactivity studies comprising antifungal, anticancer, antioxidant, enzyme inhibitory, hepato-protective and acetylcholinesterase assays. Finally, a series of comprehensive country reports provide an evaluation of the use of traditional heath care systems and related research output in many developing countries.

This book is chiefly based on the discussions and presentations during the International Workshop on 'Herbal Medicinal Plants and Traditional Herb Remedies', 20-21 September 2007, Hanoi, Vietnam. It is likely to contribute to an understanding of the status of research, policies and regulatory status of medicinal plants and their products in developing countries, and the information presented herein would hopefully serve as a valuable material for the scientists and professionals engaged in this subject area.

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Bibliographic information

Title Traditional and Alternative Medicine: Research and Policy Perspectives
Format Hardcover
Date published: 06.06.2009
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8170356148, 9788170356141
length xviii+594p., Col. Plates: Figures; Tables; 25cm.