Self-medication, herbal treatment are dangerous

AL AIN — Herbal treatment, coupled with self-medication, are dangers that diabetics in the UAE are especially exposed to. This is because 30 per cent of them are into herbal treatment with many not even consulting a trained herbal therapist or physician.

By Lana Mahdi

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Published: Wed 19 Jul 2006, 10:40 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:12 PM

These disturbing facts were revealed in a recent survey conducted by scientists from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of UAE University. The study aimed at exploring public perception towards herbal medicine used in diabetes treatment.

The survey addressed the incidence, reason and the type of herbs or therapies used by such patients. Another disturbing finding was that many of the patients were not even aware of the name or the source of the herbal medicine they were taking.

According to the study, 70 per cent of the respondents were into conventional therapy while 30 per cent were using herbal treatment, some combining it with conventional drugs to manage diabetes. Only 22.9 per cent of the patients knew the name of the herbal medication they were using and 19 per cent understood the active compound or the source of herbs. About 65 per cent reported that herbs, even if they are not effective, are not harmful. About 90 per cent of patients using herbs depended on friends for advice and had not consulted a physician, pharmacist or even a licensed herbal therapist. Dr. M. Y. Hasan, Department of Pharmacology, conducted the project in collaboration with a number of faculty members. The project aimed to assess patients' awareness of possible side effects of herbal medicine.



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