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Consultant tasks herbal medicine practitioners on standardisation of products


Lagos- Dr Chris Okunji, a Consultant with the Bio-Resources Development and Conservation Programme (BDCP), says herbal drugs should be standardised to make the desired impact on the management of chronic diseases.

Okunji made assertion in a paper he presented on Thursday at HerbFEST 2014, an Herb, Health Food and Natural Products Expo in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the paper was titled “Herbal Drug Standardisation Approach in Coping with Challenges of Holistic Management of Chronic Diseases’’.

He said standardisation of products made their quality consistent such that a product produced today could be seen to be the same as the one to be produced next year.

He noted that standardisation was a process which started from the field to the finished products.

Okunji urged herbal medicine practitioners to be sure of the plant materials used in making herbal products as well as keep record of them so as to make the drug consistent.

“You need consistency in the product you are producing so that there will not be any variation.

“We have to make sure that the process is the same so that subsequent batches will come out the same product,” he said.

The consultant said that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 1,200 plant species were currently used as traditional remedies in the treatment of diabetes.

He advised herbal medicine practitioners to put factors such as age, temperature, altitude and seasonality into consideration in preparing herbal drugs, saying this could also affect their clinical consistency.

NAN reports that the expo was organised by the BDCP in collaboration with the Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency.

The other collaborators are the Federal Institute for Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO) and the International Center for Ethno-medicine and Drug Development.

NAN also reports that the overall goal of HerbFEST was to showcase the achievements of herbal medicine practitioners and enhance patronage, recognition, productive capacity and the income status of small producers. (NAN)

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