Herbal drugs too have side effects!


There is a myth that herbal drugs, mostly used in Ayurvedic mode of medical treatment, have no kind of any side effects. The latest study shows that this too has side effects causing kidney disorder, even failure, and bladder cancer, besides asthma and arthritis. Herbal medicines, say the researchers, contain aristolochic acids and they are the cause of aggravating the ailment to the point of cancer. There are majority of people in India having a strong belief that the ayurvedic treatment does not cause any side effects and that is most safe a medical alternative. Be it any treatment, ayurvedic or homoeopathic, as against allopathic one, how come a treatment can be without an adverse impact if it is beneficial. This is the universal law that if there is any thing that is good, it is bound to be equally bad. This is a natural cycle and no good can be there unless it is also bad. Sarvantes (sic), a great thinker, held the view that ‘most beautiful things in the world are equally worst’, and so has to be the theory in the case of herbal medicines too. Nothing can go against Nature.

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16 thoughts on “Herbal drugs too have side effects!”

  1. We use herbal medicine and you are right – some do have side effects. I also notice that many vendors arbitrarily substitute ingredients when they don’t have the ones we ask for – we avoid such shops.

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  2. I too read this piece and agree generally with the researchers. In my experience ayurvedic drugs that contain bhasms ie oxides of metals will carry the risk of metal toxicity while others that contain GRAS (generally regarded as safe) substances are effective with little risk as the individual’s susceptibility and idiosyncrasy can not be ruled out.

    Still these researches should be interpreted with caution as there are pecuniary interest involves and pharma industry is not always guided by human welfare motives.

    I would wait for more people to confirm specific ayurvedic drugs for containing aristolochic acids and in what quantities.

    Very interesting issue. Thanks for posting this.

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  3. It is very true that herbal medicines are not having side effects ,if it is taken as per the advise of the doctor,If the raw herbal is stored in a unhygenic and polluted conditions and are not of best quality and the preparation method is not proper , then we can think that the herbal drugs can be harmful other wise this is the best medicines of our old tradition/ Auyurvadic doctors..Yogi Ram Dev has established a Pitanjli peeth for the supply of all such herbal medicines.

    Raj Kumar Negi

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  4. Sir medicines are medicines. It is not the food. You have very correctly said that excess of anything is bad. No drug can be 100% harmless. But sir herbal/Ayurveda medicines are more safe than other medicines. By your blessings my son is a Ayurveda physician practicing upon herbal medicines. I understand that the results of this system are unparalleled.

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  5. Ah yes, indeed. Most commercial drugs are derived from plant life, to begin. One of the most effective things against cancer is THC. Found in cannabis. Sativa or Indica. Hemp too, without THC is very beneficial. Hemp oil has some of the very highest beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids.

    The pharmaceutical industries search for a “cancer cure”. Is very lucrative. One that is likely going to go on for a long time? Plant life cannot be patented. Which is one reason the pharmaceutical industry, ignores such findings. They are not in the business of curing people, but to make profits. Profiting from sickness, not health.

    Google, Rick Simpson and the website http://phoenixtears.ca/. While the plant has been demonized, in last 80 years. There is a reason it was spread around Asia and Europe by our ancestors. Yes, it can be harmful? But it’s use for good is well documented. It too can be harmful by overuse. But the pharmaceuticals cannot patent it.

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  6. Each & every tab/capsule/syrup of allopathy system of medicines has some sort of adverse side effect, is a proven fact. Some of the herbal drugs used in Ayurvedic system of treatment, as you have described, have side effects – adverse in nature. But now-a-days, in order to fetch quick money, some Ayurvedic doctors/Hakims use STEROIDS in their medicines, which give immediate relief to patients. But, at a later stage, their disease become more aggressive/chronic. But, to my mind, it is not true that Homoeopathy medicines have any kind of bad side effects. These may have side effects – but only positive in nature. While treating/curing the disease for which it is taken, it may also help in curing other hidden symptoms of some other disease present in the body of a human being.

    Anyway, it is an informative article. Moreso, the comments made by some of the readers of your
    Blog are also very informative/useful.

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