Test herbal medications to check their effect, says GP



HERBAL medications should be rigorously tested to check their effect, according to Gladstone doctor Graeme Cumming. Dr Cumming said people often had a bad image of what were considered traditional medicines.

'People make the assumption all our traditional medicines are unnatural,' Dr Cumming said.

'Penicillin and digoxin (for heart problems) could be considered herbal medications.'

He said penicillin was originally found in fungal spores although it had since been refined.

"My opinion is if a practitioner of herbal medicine is making claims about a medication they need to be tested in the same way as traditional medication,'' Dr Cumming said.

While naturopaths had sometimes been able to help patients he couldn't, there was very little quality control with herbal medications.

He said anybody considering or taking herbal remedies should tell their doctor.

'They should tell their GPs if they're on herbal medication and preferably bring them in so we can check if there could be any complications with the medication that we prescribe.'



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