Drugs and herbs
Synthesis of drugs and their origin in herbs
Date: 5/13/2005 5:14:03 AM ( 17 y ) ... viewed 3375 times
Everyone around wants a more scientific explanation to herbal medicine.In these series of articles we will try to take alook at various facets of herbal cures and the scientific explanations to the same.
herbs herbal remedies and drugs need to be understood to understand the scientific basis of herbs.
Herbs Can Be Drugs, But Drugs Cannot Be Herbs!
Drugs are from the legal viewpoint, is "any substance for which the claim is made that it can cure or prevent a disease, or alter a bodily function."
A "herb" which can cure is then definitely a DRUG.
In this sense, foods, herbs and medical drugs can be classified as "drugs."
All modern day drugs have their origin in some sort of herbal usage prevailent for centuries. You can see that many herbs, particularly when taken in large doses, can "cure or prevent a disease, or alter a bodily function" and therefore would be legally classified as "drugs."
Here is a web site http://www.herbsandcures.com which has listed all diseases with their cures using herbs. This is an honest representation of these herbs and cures as availaible from thousands years of research.
now we will try a real life example of how drugs come from herbs with lots of IMPURITIES.
Let's look further into this. It is often true that today's "drugs" started off with some herbal ancestry. Let us talk of the drug Aspirin
White Willow Bark (Salix alba)
The white willow was introduced into the United States from Europe and can be found next to rivers and streams throughout the country. The bark is the part of the willow used, and is easily removed in the spring when the sap begins to flow.
Willows have been used for centuries for pain relief and reduction of fever. The leaves can be chewed, and contain salicylic acid. This compound has been synthesized into acetylsalicylic acid, otherwise known as aspirin.
Natural salicylic acid is nearly as potent as aspirin, however, the compound salicin from willow does not cause gastric or intestinal upset or bleeding as aspirin can, This is because willow does not block prostaglandins in the stomach or intestines.
Here is one of the dirty secrets of the drug industry. Many drugs have their origin in some natural substance -- some herb or even some food. But, drug companies cannot possibly succeed financially by just buying willow bark, putting a label on some form of it (powder, or whatever) and selling it -- because every other Tom, Dick and Harry could do the same.
The secret of the drug companies is PATENTS. They need and want patents so that they can have a monopoly on whatever they sell. You cannot get a patent on a "natural substance." So, the drug companies then have to take some natural substance, like willow bark and make it different enough so that they CAN get a patent. In the case of willow bark they do their thing and instead of having "natural salicylic acid" (as you would get chewing the leaves) you get "acetylsalicylic acid." I won't try to get into the chemistry of this difference, but this "acetyl" added to the front of "salicylic" changes this stuff enough to be able to get a patent.
Now, patents are not quite enough. In order to protect the ignorant consumers in America (the ones who might otherwise chew willow bark) the Government decided to invent the Food and Drug Administration to "protect" society from harmful foods and drugs. How can the FDA protect you unless they get proof that some substance is not harmful. So, they put the burden of proof on the drug company to prove that the substance is not only safe, but also effective.
The drug company takes the willow bark, creates an artificial form of it -- called acetylsalicylic acid" and then has to spend millions of dollars to prove it is safe and effective. They got the patent just by changing the natural form of the bark, and they got the Government's permission to make claims and sell it (at extremely high profit margins) by spending millions of dollars on "scientific studies" that are ultimately accepted by the FDA.
You now have a drug -- aspirin. Herbs + Impurities (all causing Side effects)
You can also buy willow bark! You probably don't know where to buy it. And, because aspirin can now be made so efficiently, from cheap raw materials (NOT willow bark), it is probably even cheaper to buy aspirin than to find and buy willow bark.
Is aspirin a drug? It is very similar to willow bark!
Is willow bark a drug? It is used for relief of pain!
Do you want to try more such herbal cures.
Yes try http://www.herbsandcures.com
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