Herbal Medicine Purchase By The Road? A Recent Case of Over Dose in Herbal Used!

Do You Buy Herbal Medicine On The Road? A Recent Case of Over Dose in Herbal Used!


‘A trained herbalist’ recently used an overdose medicine for herself as reported in BMJ Case Reports this week. The doctor who reported the case, associated the increasing use of herbal remedies and medicines, to the commonly notion that natural substances are safe. The doctor warned of the dangers posed by herbal remedies. He found overdose on the “deadly nightshade” herbal medicine on the patient. Deadly nightshade is also refers to as Atropa belladonna; a poisonous plant that can be purchased legally. He reported that the herb in question is usually used to treat ‘nervous pain’ and muscle spasm, and to reduce secretions. ‘The 50-year-old patient drank a small amount of 50mL from the bottle to help her insomnia one evening. However, this was equivalent to a very large dose of 15mg of atropine – a naturally occurring poison found in A. belladonna – which produced almost fatal effects’ ,he said.

The patient was admitted to the emergency department with acute anticholinergic syndrome – symptoms included confusion, flushes, a fast heart rate, and hypersensitivity. Due to severe agitation, she was sedated, and consequently admitted to intensive care overnight. She made a full recovery by the following morning. The doctor explained this episode provides an “important insight into potentially dangerous products available legally within the UK,” says BMI .The reviewer explain their ‘is no mandatory training or registration for individuals practicing as an herbal practitioners, and minimal legal safeguards or specifications relating to the herbal remedy industry.’

This is the situation in most countries. What caught our attention was the fact that the herbalist was trained. Most of the herbal medicines people use in Nigeria are put together by an untrained herbalists. The indulgence of buying herbal medicines on the road with no trade mark has caused a lot of damages than good. We are not ruling out on the efficacy of Herbal medicine, but the industry needs to be regulated so that Nigerians can distinguished who is who.





BMJ Article: ‘Accidental overdose in the deep shade of night: a warning on the assumed safety of ‘natural substances

Case Presented by Dr. Andrew Chadwick



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