Dennis Awang

Traditional Application and Effectiveness


HerbFest 1996

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Canadian and European regulatory authorities permit medicinal claims for a botanical if no significant record of adverse health effects has been registered during its history of traditional use, and if the conditions for which it is used are appropriate to self-treatment. Generally categorized as non-prescription (over the counter OTC) drugs, such botanicals are approved for self-diagnosable, self-limiting conditions. Specific therapeutic applications characterized by readily measured end-points ought, however, to be supported by clinical data acceptable by modern medical standards. The historical record provides some interesting examples of congruence, as well as disagreement, between traditional claims and modern evaluation.