Skeptic News: Efficacy of herbal drugs in doubt

20120705-131748.jpgA study conducted by the Central College of Indian Medicine (CCIM) casts doubt on the claimed efficacy of a number of herbal medicine remedies.

Certain Ayurvedic and Siddah based herbal medicines efficacy has been called into question because the ingredients they claim to be composed of are in short supply. There simply are not enough raw materials to support the amount of remedies on the market.

The herbal medicine industry in India has more than tripled in size since the 1990s. In Kerla alone 200 units producing herbal remedies has grown to 700 and this puts a stress on raw material availability and the environment.

More worryingly there are over sixty plants listed as endangered used in alternative herbal remedies that the government of India has banned from commercial use. Many of these plants are endangered through over use in the herbal medicines industry. Biodiversity spots are being depleted and destroyed at an alarming rate.

The study from CCIM recommends high tech modern farming methods be employed to provide the raw materials for the industry before many species disappear.

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