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SINCE time immemorial, herbs have been used by man for the relief of various ailments and the maintenance of health and general well-being. A vast amount of useful information on the therapeutic uses of herbs has been accumulated and preserved by various cultures around the world.
The regulation of pharmaceutical products is based on evidence of quality, safety and efficacy. For the development of a new pharmaceutical product, the whole gamut of pharmacological and toxicological tests, clinical trials and registration protocol may take up to 10 years or more and costs hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Kacip Fatimah is a small plant, but it is reputed to have numerous uses, including increasing a woman#8217;s libido. For the first time, a clinical trial funded by the government and involving several universities and research institutes is being conducted to verify the efficacy of the traditional herbal medicine.
Herbal and nutritional supplements feature a broad range of numerous different food and medicinal products. With so much at stake and so much diversity in regulation, there is a need for some form of control, at least in terms of quality and safety, if not efficacy.
There is a growing trend to consume health and nutritional supplements to maintain health and general wellbeing. For a person who has never taken health supplements before, it's not uncommon to be confused by the wide range and variety of health products available on the shelves in a pharmacy or Chinese medical hall.
HERBAL medicine has been practised for thousands of years. It offers hope for conditions as varied as the common cold, depression and Alzheimer#8217;s disease. As more and more research and clinical studies become available, increasing numbers of health care professionals are beginning to recommend herbal treatments for their patients.