A medical expert, Dr Stephen Aderemi of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), in Kwara state has warned people against excessive consumption of locally prepared herbs to avoid causing serious damage to their health.
Herbs are plants with savoury or aromatic properties used for flavouring food, in medicine, or as fragrances.
Aderemi explained that not all the plants reported to be useful were harmless.
According to him, if plants are taken without adequate knowledge, they can cause kidney and liver dysfunction and death in some cases.
He said that many of the available herbal products being marketed in the country had no clear statement of content, adding that there was no information to show that they were certified by a recognised medical body.
“Herbal medicines contain toxicity and the risk that comes with it outweighs its benefits. That is why Nigerians need to refrain from its consumption, in order to prevent health mishaps. I pity some patients who go after traditional medicines for their ailments without knowing that they are risking their lives.Some of the herbs are harmful to the extent of damaging kidney and even resulting to death,” he said.
Aderemi expressed concern at the rate some Nigerians patronised herbal medicines because according to him, such medicines worked faster and cheaper than the conventional medicines.
The doctor, who also expressed worry about proliferation of herbal concoction, said many of the people who engaged in the business did so without any formal training.
“Most of the local herbs are deadly that should be avoided, because many of the sellers go into the business without training, but to flee from the grips of unemployment to make ends meet.”
He cautioned patients who found solace in local herbs to be health conscious and stop the intake of such products because such herbs had not been subjected to laboratory analysis.