Balancing policy, practice and cost of using medicinal plants in disease prevention and treatment
This study explores opportunities to increase medicinal use of natural products obtained from a class of plants, medicinal plants. It is widely believed that continued efforts in screening plant material may lead to additional medicines, however, that does not guaranty benefit, use or access for all sectors of population. The recent increase in demand for natural products for treatments is not widespread evenly among all socioeconomic sectors of many communities. Affluent sector may enjoy availability of easy access and better education about useful natural products while members of undeserved communities either lack resources and financial ability, or are not aware of presence of these natural medicines. This is exact opposite to recorded historical facts where poor used medicinal plants and rich confidently used synthetically manufactured medicines. Recent discoveries include extraction of vincristine and vinblastine from Catharanthus roseus that are cancer treating alkaloids (Sobiczewski, 2011; Yadev, 2011), and reserpine, an alkaloid extracted from Rauvolfia serpentina, for use in treating high blood pressure (Jerie, 2007; Sim, 2011) and depression (Slattery, 2004). We aim to present effective steps to introduce new health and economic policies aiming to increase access to natural products for patients, to assure higher confidence among health care providers on prescribing natural medicine, and to address economical and health cost. We recommend, (a) building support structure for research and discovery of new quality natural products, (b) create effective communication and education strategies, and (c) establish a commission to identify the most feasible partnerships among professionals in traditional and modern medicine.
Advocacy for health and health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Discuss use of natural products in disease prevention
Compare a set of cultural belief and acceptable use of essential oils
List application in various medical practices
Keyword(s): Challenges and Opportunities, Community Preventive Services
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PhD degree was received in 1998 from Plant and Soil Science Department of University of Massachusetts. Have practiced chairmanship of three international symposia on medicinal plants and natural products. I have been teaching for over 10 years in this field, have been a member of Scientific Advisory Committees for international events since 2009.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.