For years this question has been under a lot of controversies. Most people believe in Western medicine, while others put their faith in herbs. But, what true behind all of this and who can we make a right decision. Almost all traditional medicine is based on the plants, scientist and doctors extract active components, isolate them and make a drug out of it. In most cases, they forget about the plant, they don’t study other health benefits and are there any other way to use that same herb that provides us a drug?
Mostly there are two reasons for this action. First of all, the scientists isolate only one compound; it makes the research much easier. Single compounds are more stable and can be produced in standardized dosages, which makes easier for pharmacists to do clinical trials. In recent years, the technology has been progressing so much, and now scientists use more sophisticated methods to produce drugs which have whole – plant-based compounds.
The second reason why we are getting only the fraction of the herb in the drugs is because big companies don’t want to hurt their business. They want to keep making profitable drugs that will bring them a lot of money. If they are only analyzing and synthesizing one molecule, it will give them more time to work on the drug. On the other hand, making even the slightest alterations, it will require additional patients and time. Considering that in a modern world time is money, this type of exclusivity can cost company millions of dollars and use a whole herb offers fewer possibilities for earning.
Considering that pharmaceutical drugs can be expensive and this faith in singe compound would be acceptable if they provided us better results, which is not the case with many medications. If we could use whole herbs in our treatments, it would be both beneficiary and safe, then one isolated agent the companies are using.
When we look at the structure of medicinal herbs, they contain a broad range of chemicals which go unexplored or neglected. Chemicals in medicinal herbs have a distinctive order. Selection in nature makes plans and herbs to create various molecules to increase their chances of survival in the wild. Usually, the most dominant compound in the plant has the biggest effect on the human body.
For instance, Andean Indians use coca leaf as their number one remedy; they use it to treat various digestion issues. But when we look at the structure of this plant we discover that cocaine, a highly addictive substance, us the main compound. This plant has 14 bioactive alkaloids, which cocaine, which is dominant and they together help people to restore their digestive fictions.
On the other hand, when we go into an anaphylactic shock, we don’t have time to search herb that will help because we are only seconds away from death. In this case, only pure epinephrine can help you save your life.