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Project File Details


Original Author (Copyright Owner): Bethsheba Ijanada Wampana

3,000.00

The Project File Details

  • Name: Potential Health Implications of Liquid Herbal Medicine in Jimeta-Yola Region, Northeastern Nigeria
  • Type: PDF and MS Word (DOC)
  • Size: [1.27 MB]
  • Length: [46] Pages

 

ABSTRACT

No studies have been conducted, to examine the negative impacts of liquid forms of local herbal medicine sold in Yola and Jimeta in Adamawa state, Nigeria. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the potential negative health impacts of these medicines, by conducting lab experiments to investigate the presence of pathogenic bacteria in purchased herbal medicine samples. 17 samples were purchased from Yola market and Jimeta. Standard laboratory experiments were conducted, using Lysogeny Broth Agar to culture bacteria, numerous selective media to identify different bacterial species, and bacterial load of the herbal medicine samples were determined, using serial dilution. The result showed that all samples purchased were contaminated with bacteria. Out of the 17 samples analyzed, 15 were contaminated with Escherichia coli, 9 with Salmonella sp., and 4 with Staphylococcus aureus. Half of the samples from Jimeta had microbial load that exceeded the limit set by WHO and the European pharmacopoeia, and their microbial load ranged from 6.0x105cfu/g to 3.4x105cfu/g. The other half purchased from Jimeta, which did not exceed the limit, ranged from 1.9x103cfu/g to 3.1x104cfu/g. The results showed that, most locally
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prepared herbal medicine in Yola and Jimeta, are likely to be contaminated with pathogenic microbes. Herbal medicine users are therefore at risk of getting infections, while trying to cure ailments. Regulations on the preparation of liquid herbal medicine should be implemented, to ensure safety and efficacy of herbal medicines, as this is a serious public health issue. The public should also be wary of buying from unlicensed practitioners.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CERTIFICATION ………………………………………………………………………………………. ii
READERS’ APPROVAL ……………………………………………………………………………… iii
DEDICATION ……………………………………………………………………………………………… iv
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS …………………………………………………………………………….. v
ABSTRACT …………………………………………………………………………………………………. vi
TABLE OF CONTENTS………………………………………………………………………………viii
LIST OF TABLES ………………………………………………………………………………………… ix
LIST OF FIGURES ……………………………………………………………………………………….. x
CHAPTER 1 …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
INTRODUCTION …………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
HYPOTHESES, AIMS, & OBJECTIVES ………………………………………………………. 19
CHAPTER 2 ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 20
METHODS …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 20
Study area and sampling ………………………………………………………………………….. 20
Materials ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 21
Lab methods ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 21
Serial dilution ……………………………………………………………………………………. 23
CHAPTER 3 ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 25
RESULT ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 25
CHAPTER 4 ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 28
DISCUSSION ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 28
CHAPTER 5 ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 33
CONCLUSION ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 33
REFERENCES …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 34

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION
It may not be breaking any world records right now, but herbal medicine once used to be the only solution to bring back our ancestors from the brink of death before the development of synthetic drugs. The use of herbal medicine reduced as modern medicine evolved. Today, many people are finding their way back to the use of herbal medicine, for the treatment of numerous illnesses.
Traditional medicine
Often, the term herbal medicine is confused with “traditional medicine.” Traditional medicine comprises of different health practices, knowledge, beliefs and approaches that consist of plant, animal and mineral-based prescriptions including profound treatments, and practices used singularly or in combination with others to keep up sound health, to additionally treat, prevent or diagnose ailments (WHO, 2003). Herbal medicine on the other hand, is an integral part of traditional medicine (TM), which means it is only a part of traditional medicine.

Herbal medicine
The World Health Organization defines herbal medicine as that, which is made up of herbs, herbal materials, preparations, and finished natural products, which consists of active ingredients parts of plants or other plant materials (WHO, 2003). Other natural substances such as fungal, honeybee, and mineral products are incorporated into the scope of herbal medicine (Awodele, Daniel, Popoola, & Salami, 2013).
Fig 2.2. Herbal medicines
History of herbal medicine use
Synthetic drugs were not always used for curing diseases, and illnesses; in fact, a significant amount of herbal medicine knowledge was put into the development of synthetic drugs. The synthetic anti-malarial drug known as quinine for example, is derived from a species of a flowering plant, known as Cinchona, a native of the Andean forest of western South America (Adeleye, Okogi, & Ojo, 2005). Furthermore, the discovery of the famous pain reliever known as Aspirin is highly associated with the Willow tree (Mahdi, Mahdi, & Bowen, 2006). The historical
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analysis of Aspirin discovery began with a clinical investigation in the 18th century, when the willow, and its extracts where used to relieve pain. The advancement in organic chemistry especially in the pharmaceutical disciplines during this period made possible the discovery of the tree’s salicilin, salicilic acid, and acetylsalic acid properties. The tree’s extracts were later known to have an effect on prostaglandins (PGs). Modern epidemiology in the 1980s further discovered that there is an inverse relationship between aspirin, and risk of colorectal cancer development, which means that aspirin is a potential anticarcinogenic drug (Mahdi et al., 2006). Many more herbs, which were used in ancient times, have been used as the basis of synthetic drugs (Table 1.1). Our ancestors therefore, were in tune with the use of herbal medicine to cure an unimaginable number of diseases.
Table 1.1. Medicinal plants, their synthesized drugs and functions.
Plant name
Synthetic drug
Function
Gaultheria procumbens
Methylsalicylate
Used to relieve muscular pain, and for lumbago, scartia and rheumatic conditions
Papaver somniferum
Morphine
Used as a potent pain killer
Rauwolfia serpentina
Reserpine
Used as an anti-hypertensive drug
Digitalis lanata
Acetyldigoxin Used to treat cardiac arrest, congestive chronic cardiac failure class II, III, and IV Taxus brevifolia Paclitaxel
Used as anti-cancer drug, especially for breast, ovarian, and lung cancer
Artemisisnin annua
Artemisinin
Anti-malarial drug Sassafras tree
Morphine
Commonly used pain medication, especially after surgery, and for terminally ill patients
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The antiquated Chinese and Egyptian papyrus, which dates as far back as 3,000 BC, showed record of plants, and their medicinal uses (Farrell, 1998). The availability of this record implies that herbal medicine has been in use for centuries, amongst people with different cultural practices and traditional backgrounds.
Fig 1.3. The ancient Egyptian papyrus, which is an early form of a book.
(“Ancient Egyptian Medicine – Smith Papyrus – Ebers Papyrus,” n.d.).
Herbal medicine myth
There is an herb for every illness according to popular belief; all that needs to be done is identify the specific herbs for the cure of specific ailments. In addition, it is believed that, any part of the world that has the capabilities of giving rise to a disease, has the potential of producing an herb that can be used to cure that disease (Braide et al., 2013). This believes mean that one can find the cure for a disease such as Ebola in West Africa (Guinea to be exact), because it is believed that the disease sprung from there.
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Trends in herbal medicine use
Almost everyone used herbal medicine in the early days of human existence, because it was the only available option for curing illnesses. As modern medicine developed, most people abandoned herbal medicine for the use of synthetic drugs. Today many people are finding their way back to using herbal medicine, for many reasons, some of the reasons still unknown to researchers.
The World Health Organization has estimated that about 80% of the world’s population use herbal medicine as a form of treatment, which could be either as a first option or as an alternative medicine (WHO, 2014). Studies show that about 158 million of the total adult population in the United States used complementary medicine as of the year 2000, and the number is still drastically growing. According to WHO, 70-95% of the population of Africa, Middle East, Latin America, and Asia use herbal medicine. Furthermore, in African countries like Ghana, Mali and Nigeria, the initial line of treatment for 60% of children with malaria fever is herbal medicine prepared at home (WHO, 2003).
Report shows that the herbal industry today is worth a huge amount of money. The global herbal medicine industry is estimated to be worth over $100 billion (WHO, 13). In the year 2012, the sales of Chinese herbal medicine alone reached a total amount of 83 billion USD (WHO, 2015). This amount is more than what China made in 2011. In Nigeria, as reported by the BizWatchNigeria.Ng, herbal medicine has the potential of contributing about $500 million to Nigeria’s annual revenue.
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Reasons for herbal medicine use
In respect to the data on the percentage of people using herbal medicine, scientists conducted researches to identify reasons behind the use of herbal remedies by such a large population. Research showed that, some people use herbal remedies, often-homemade remedies for conditions such as sore throat, bee sting or cold because it is cheap and readily available.
According to many users, the ingredients for making these herbal medicines are more effective than orthodox medicines, and herbal medicines have very low negative side effects as compared to synthetic drugs (Ekor, 2014). Other factor such as cultural believes influences an individual’s preference to herbal medicine. Research also shows that some people just have a man-earth relationship, which means they believe in use of all things natural (Huffman, 2001). Furthermore, patients with incurable or chronic illnesses such as AIDS, diabetes, arthritis and cancer use herbal medicine as a sense of control (Gunjan et al., 2015). It is perceived by most people with these incurable illnesses that modern medicine has dissatisfied them, by not completely curing them of their diagnosed ailments (Winslow & Kroll, 1998).
Limitations and risks associated with the use of herbal medicine There are numerous risks associated with the use of herbal medicine on human health. Some herbal medicines can interact with prescription medications used to treat heart and circulatory problems, such as high blood pressure, and heart failure. Furthermore, there is a strong believe amongst some herbalists in Africa that, the Africa Flower is antiviral, and has the ability to treat HIV symptoms. It is believed that the flower is used to boost the immune systems in AIDS patients (Kumar et al.,
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2010). A vitro pharmacokinetic study suggests that the Africa Flower also has the potential of interfering with vaccines when ingested into the body. Therefore, results from a lab experiments on animal models showed toxic effects of herbal medicine on the liver, at high doses, which means that the herb may have the same or similar effect on human health.
The use of herbal medicine throughout history has been limited to its use on the skin (as ointment or bath liquid), through nasal cavity (for inhalation) and by oral ingestion (Kunle, 2012). Unlike modern medicine, traditional medicine does not allow for injections into the human blood streams (Bone & Mills, 2013). Medicines that can be injected into the body are all synthesized and programmed to function with blood cells.
Herbal medicine products are perceived by a large number of people to be healthier than synthetic drugs (Oreagba et al., 2011). This sometimes is because more reports show the negative effects of synthetic drugs than that of herbal medicine. An example is the synthetic allergy drug known as Benadryl. Although the drug reduces allergy symptoms, it also restrains acetylcholine function in the body, which leads to drowsiness, and dry mouth. This therefore instills fear of consumption in people. The fact that there is little information on the negative side effect of herbal medicine however, instills fear in others. There are systematic steps taken to track the negative and positive effects of conventional medicines whereas data for self-treatment or herbal medication is harder to ascertain because almost all are done in homes and uncontrolled environments, especially in Nigeria.
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There is a general misconception among users of herbal medicine that “natural means safe”; therefore, they believe herbal medicines do not pose serious threats on their health (Ekor, 2014). This is not the case in reality. Herbal medicines have a wide range of disadvantages just as they have advantages. These include lack of standardized doses. According to Paracelsus (1493-1541), “all substances are poisons; there is none that is not a poison, the right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy. This therefore means that herbal medicine taken into the system at an inappropriate dose could cause a harmful effect on its user. Furthermore, there is no scientific proof of the functions of most of the herbal medicines sold in markets of countries like Nigeria.
There are very few studies conducted by scientists to know if some of these products really cure the illnesses, they are said to cure (Ebel et al., 2004). In addition, it is often not advisable to use herbal medicine in open wound cases because the herbs might be contaminated with bacteria or fungi, which can infect open wounds (Noor et al., 2014).
Fig 1.4. Containers in Jimeta, used for the storage of herbal medicines, sold to the public.
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One of the most detrimental risks of herbal medicine is the fact that the effects of the multiple herbs combined into one are unknown in many cases. Concoctions are often sold in countries like Nigeria, and it is difficult to tell what happens when one herb is combined with another. Some herbs are not harmful as a single drug, however, they may be harmful when combined with other substances (Odera & Memuletiwon, 2016). Contamination of herbal medicines for the most part, is one of the world’s leading health concerns, as there are limited measures in place for regulating the methods of preparations of these medicines (Bent, 2008).
In a country like Nigeria, herbal medicines are produced in homes or shops in very large quantities. The production of these drugs is not in any way controlled or supervised by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), whose function is to safeguard the public health of the nation. There are no NAFDAC approvals on most of the herbal concoctions locally produced, and sold in the markets. There are no concrete proofs on the use, and effectiveness of most of the local herbal drugs sold, therefore, a large number of people just trust and rely on the herbal medicine functions as stated by the herbalists. The most shocking aspect of these medicines is the fact that little attention is given to its components. As earlier stated, herbal medicines sold in Nigeria are often in the form of concoctions; there is often a mixture of two or more different herbs in one portion, believed to work simultaneously to cure several diseases, and there is no evidence to back up these claims (Awodele et al., 2013).
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Apart from the alarming fact that little knowledge of most herbs are known, little research is done to know their level of safety, considering the fact that a large number of people use them on a regular bases. The environments in which these medicines are displayed expose them to many forms of bacterial and fungal contaminations. Like so many items, herbal medicine can be contaminated with microbes and parasites depending on the storage, and the way they are handled. Most of the herbal medicines sold in Nigeria are mishandled during collection, cleaning and piling, transportation, drying and storage.
Few microbes in these herbal medications are negligible and might not be seen as a big threat to the human body. However, large amounts of microbes like bacteria and fungi in herbal medicines can be harmful for human consumption. There are standard limits of microbes allowed to be present in any consumable drug. According to the limits set by the European pharmacopeia and WHO, nothing more than 500 colony forming units (CFU)/g should be found in drinking water (Council of Europe, 2007). In purified water on the other hand, only 100cfu/g should be found to ensure that the water is not posing danger to human health (WHO, 2004). Escherichia. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella typhi should not be found in any substance meant for consumption, as most of these microbes are very dangerous.
Fungi also affect herbal medicines (Bugno et al., 2006). Fungi are pathogens that affect mainly plants that grow on animal hosts, and they produce diseases collectively known as mycoses. The most significant class of toxin found in herbal medicine is Aflatoxin (Ali et al., 2005). The toxin is to be mutagenic, carcinogenic and teratogenic (Bugno et al., 2006).

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