Staying fit and healthy these days is essential with the pandemic yet to end. To ensure this, people would need to exercise and eat smart. They should also continue following health protocols until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gives the thumbs up that people can take their masks off and go back to their lives before the pandemic started. Until then, everyone should continue putting their masks on when they go out and practice social distancing.
Pharmaceutical companies have played a significant role in the development of the vaccine to deal with the virus that caused the current pandemic. But before synthetic drugs entered the market, people used herbs and medicinal plants to cure diseases. They used trial and error to discover the different types of herbs and plants to use various ailments. The practice of medicine was even associated with religion as people used incantations to try to heal the sick.
But technological advances facilitated the gradual use of science in the medical field. Among the more significant events that helped the area included the creation of the smallpox vaccine, the discovery of anesthesia, the development of the germ theory of disease, and the discovery of penicillin.
All of these lead the way to the creation of synthetic drugs that people use today. While these drugs offer a lot of benefits, some of them also have their disadvantages. Here are some comparisons between natural and pharmaceutical medicines that are currently used today.
Herbal medicine traces its roots to an ancient culture that used medicinal plants to treat different illnesses. They typically enhance the health and the general wellbeing of a person. But some herbs may have powerful ingredients that people should also be careful with. Herbs also have specific medicinal uses, and people should not try to self-medicate using them unless they have the necessary knowledge and skill in using these herbs.
It is also essential for people to understand that while herbal medicines are generally safe to use, some may have side effects if they are not used properly. They can also interact with pharmaceutical medications that can harm people’s health.
Pharmaceuticals are commonly used medical interventions for different diseases. People use these substances in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. When companies make pharmaceuticals, they typically go through a scientific process that involves searching for molecules that can disrupt malignant cells. It requires finding a molecular key that can unlock the disease. The process also uses animal testing to check the efficacy and safety of the drug. In some instances, researchers use the orthotopic mouse model in the process.
When it comes to efficacy, herbal drugs are less effective compared to pharmaceuticals. But there are instances when herbal medicines are effective in treating diseases. One example of effective herbal medicine is echinacea, which is used in stimulating the immune system to help the body fight infection. Some people use ginseng to deal with the fatigue they feel while recovering from a disease. But herbal medicine may have more than one active ingredient. These active ingredients may add to or reduce the efficacy of the medicine.
On the other hand, pharmaceutical medicine is designed mainly to treat specific illnesses. The development and production processes of pharmaceuticals are strictly monitored to ensure they are effective and safe for use. Some pharmaceutical drugs use active ingredients that come from plants. With this, the efficacy level of pharmaceuticals is typically higher compared to herbal medicine since they go through strict standards throughout the development and production process.
As indicated earlier, the development of herbal medicine initially followed a trial-and-error process. Processed herbal medicine typically uses the fresh or dried form of plants. They also use extracts of these plants using different methods, such as infusion, distillation, and concentration. Even as herbal medicines are typically safe, there are instances when they have adverse effects on the human body due to their active ingredients. Due to this, people who are planning to use these medicines should check with their physicians to avoid any complications in the future.
On the other hand, the strict standards in the development and production process of pharmaceutical medicines ensure these medicines are safe to use. Even with this, some pharmaceutical drugs require a doctor’s prescription before people can use them since they may have some adverse effects on people with certain conditions. Like herbal medicines, people should check with their doctors before using pharmaceutical medication to ensure it’s safe for them to use.
People typically use herbal medicine when pharmaceuticals are not effective in dealing with their illnesses. But before using any medication, people should check with their doctors to avoid complications in the future.