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Making A Choice Between Orthodox And Alternative Medicines




Doris Israel

Over three-quarters of the world’s population have embraced the alternative medicine according reports by the World Health Organisation. This trend is also said to be increasing globally.

Alternative medicines are actually herbs, herbal materials, herbal preparations, and finished products that contain parts of plants or other plant materials as active ingredients while orthodox medicines are substances which have gone through chemical processes. took to the streets to ask Nigerians their preferences between the orthodox and alternative medicines.

“Before you recommend traditional medicine to a person, make sure that they have been using it. But I don’t like it because it doesn’t have a dose of usage. People take it anyhow. Although it works faster for certain people that are used to it, it doesn’t work for me” SylvesterAfolabi said.

On her part, another Nigerian, Derinsola said “I prefer using the orthodox medicine because it is very easy for me to use unlike the traditional medicine which is not so easy to get. Alternative medicines are sometimes without measurements and it can lead to death, so it is a no for me”.

Another person, Emmanuel Maduka who spoke with said that he stopped taking the herbal medicines since he became of age.

He said: “The reason is that traditional medicines have been subjected to critical testing and the adverse effects have been weighed against the benefits. There is no expiry date too. How is it safe for human consumption?”

For Chioma Bernard, she expressed that traditional medicine is pure evil. “Truth be told, I don’t like medicine. In short I don’t fall sick, but if I eventually do, orthodox drugs will do the magic tricks. It kills the bacteria causing the disease immediately. When I take agbo Jedi for instance, it makes me want to throw up, it is tasteless and not well prepared”

But the owner of Ewe Ponmile Herbals and member of the Alimosho Association of Traditional Medicine Practitioners (AATMP) , Rukayat seemed to disagree that orthodox drugs were better than alternative medicines.

“There is no big deal in these modern drugs. The problem is there is no packaging and adequate labeling on our part. I don’t like orthodox medicine because when I use it, my body reacts. I am used to the alternative medicine. One time, I was sick and when I tried sing modern medicine, I grew very lean and was thinking I had AIDS. But I had to look for my herbs and took them after which I regained my health. That was when I knew that I had infection. So I continued taking the herbs known as abara. “

She however decried the activities of unqualified persons who are involved in the business of traditional medicines just because they see it as lucrative.

“They have been the ones causing havoc and tarnishing our reputation. If you are not trained, please do not get involved, else you will be arrested by authorities. I have my ID card. I belong to a body and I am not naive. If this is done, the government might grant us the recognition we deserve,” she said.

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