The Syrians are replacing herbs for medicines because they are expensive

All this prompted citizens to resort to the option of herbal medicine and folk medicine, despite its ills and health risks, in light of the high prices that afflict the prices of food, clothing and medicine.

To the extent that the perfume shops that sell spices and herbs are competing with pharmacies in being a destination for sick Syrians, looking for something that can cure them and relieve their pain, and even for those looking for cosmetic and slimming treatments through “alternative medicine.”

Although many are aware of the dangers of substituting herbs and spices for medicine, the narrowness of hands, the spread of poverty, unemployment and high prices make them compelled to do so, while others argue that the use of herbs as medicine remains less harmful than the side effects of medicines, in addition to being cheap and in accessible to all.

On the prevalence of this phenomenon and its catastrophic effects on the public health of Syrian citizens, the Syrian pharmacist, Nermin Muhammad Saad, said in an interview with Sky News Arabia: “The culture of herbal medicine has spread recently due to the high prices that the country is witnessing, so it has become the most economical and cheapest shelter, and it has been traded among the People mistakenly and randomly without realizing the risks and interactions that they carry, and are relied upon as natural products and believing that they are completely safe.”

She adds: “Recently, most medicines have similar compositions with herbs, and work has been done to manufacture similar compositions as much as possible to reach the required efficacy. Herbal products have been effective in treating many diseases, as turmeric has been used as an anti-inflammatory because it contains curcumin, and mint has been used to relieve stomach pain and cramping, and the use of cinnamon. To reduce sugar, rosemary to improve cognitive awareness and memory, chamomile to calm nerves, in addition to ginger to treat many digestive problems.

But the danger of herbs lies in the indiscriminate use of them, so people believe that they are useful along the line and there is no harm in consuming them, as Saad believes, adding: “and that they do not carry any risks and are taken in large quantities without a specific standard, or attention to the possibility of interference that may occur with a drug or Another herbal product that may amount to toxicity.”

And about the examples of these dangerous interactions, the Syrian pharmacist says: “Ginger interferes with metronidazole, as it causes the failure to excrete metronidazole and its accumulation in the body and reach toxic effects, in addition to the interaction of rosemary with aspirin and the risk of bleeding in patients treated with aspirin coinciding with taking rosemary.”

In conclusion, it should be noted that herbs contain substances similar to the composition of medicines in most cases. For this reason, Saad added: “They should be taken with caution and in a specific quantity to avoid any toxicity resulting from the accumulation of large concentrations in the body, and in the event of taking any medications or having any chronic disease in the patient, the Tell his doctor or consult a pharmacist before taking herbal medicine to avoid a patient’s herbal medicine interaction.

There are many uses of these herbs by the Syrians as an alternative to medicines for the multiplicity of diseases, for example, flowers and chamomile are used as hot drinks on a large scale to combat colds and flu, while mint and anise drinks are used in cases of colic, stomach cramps and digestive system, while ginger and cinnamon are used for slimming, and so on.

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