ABU DHABI, Oct 18 — Several untested herbal medicines have illegally entered the local market lately, increasing the potential of poisoning and even deaths due to random consumption of such products, a senior health official has warned.
People should be cautious not to randomly consume herbal medicines and take it for granted that they are safe, mainly because many types of these medicines are illegally being marketed, warned Dr Issa bin Jakka Al Mansouri, Director of the Drug Control (DCD) Department at the Ministry of Health (MoH).
"Random usage of herbal products could cause severe poisoning or even result in death if the components are poisonous," warned Dr Mansouri. He lamented the fact that herbal medicines used for curing chronic diseases have become popular and most used medications. "This has prompted regulating and monitoring marketing of these products to ensure protection of consumers," he stressed .
Dr Mansouri mentioned that the DCD has set some warnings and guidelines for the public to avert health hazards associated with improper intake of these medicines.
"People should buy herbal medicines that are registered with the MoH. They should also make sure therapists that use herbal treatment were licensed by the ministry".
The official advised that people should not get enticed by the medical advertisements promoting herbal medicines, stressing people should be aware of such ads and whether they were approved by the MoH.
"We warn people against buying herbal medicines from perfume shops because theses outlets are licensed by the municipalities to sell perfumes and dry herbs only," cautioned Dr Mansouri.
He singled out a group of people who should completely avoid using any herbal products unless they consulted a physician. "Pregnant and nursing women, children, old people, people who suffer from liver diseases or kidney problems as well as those who have asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure and allergies should totally avoid herbal medicines".