Iranians use of herbal medicine increases by 1.5 percent

July 11, 2018 - 9:20

TEHRAN – The amount of herbal medicine consumption in Iran has increased by 1.5 percent, head of the natural products department at Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said.

Natural and herbal medicines constitute 4 percent of the total amount of medicines used in the country, Nasimonline quoted Mahnaz Khanavi as saying on Tuesday.

People's willingness to use natural and herbal medicines has increased in recent years, she noted.

Referring to recent statistics released at the end of [Iranian calendar year of] 1396 (March 2017-March 2018), she noted that the amount of herbal medicinesconsumed in the country increased by 1.5 percent last year compared to a year before.

The Ministry of Health and the Food and Drug Administration’s policies are aimed at moving towards the use of natural or herbal medicines instead ofsynthetic drugs, she concluded.

According to the World Health Organization Traditional (WHO) herbal medicines are naturally occurring, plant-derived substances with minimal or no industrial processing that have been used to treat illness within local or regional healing practices. Traditional herbal medicines are getting significant attention in global health debates.

Medicinal plants still form the basis of traditional or indigenous health systems and are reported by WHO to still be used by a majority of populations in most developing countries.

WHO has adopted a strategy to promote traditional medicines between 2014 and 2023 to support member states in developing proactive policies and implement plans to strengthen the role of traditional medicine in the health sector.

Traditional remedies have long been used by the people, especially in rural Iran, and most households even in urban areas store herbal petals, essences, powders and extracts to provide relief for different kinds of ailments.

Iranian traditional medicine dates back more than 3,000 years. Persian polymath Avicenna’s ‘Book of Healing’ and ‘Canon of Medicine’ are the most authoritative sources in this field.


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