DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Nephrologists or doctors specializing on kidney diseases are alarmed with the increasing number of dialysis patients due to unregulated sale of herbal medicines.

Dr. Vida Rose Acosta Villanueva, an internist specializing in adult nephrology said most patients who undergo dialysis have a history of heavy use of herbal medicines.

Because of how costly the medications are, the Department of Health (DOH) have come up with promoting herbal and traditional medicines.

Ten medicinal plants have been promoted by the DOH through the Republic Act 8423 which is the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act.

Dr. Villanueva said the promotion of herbal medicines, though, have resulted in the unregulated use of these products.
She said although herbal medicines could alleviate the pain, what most people do not know are its side effects to the kidney.

“We, on the nephrology side, know that these compounds, these supplements contain bioactive substances and these are not very well studied. Unlike other drugs that have clinical trials, these meds are not backed up by adequate studies,” she pointed out.

She said doctors want to hear and know about the herbal medicine’s safety and toxicity profile including clinical trials to back up their claims.

She added people “might be misinformed” that these medicines can cure them from cancer, leukemia, cyst,diabetes or any other illness.(davaotoday.com)

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