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How safe are herbal supplements? (2) August 9, 2009

Posted by paripl110707 in Banned Mahogany Seeds, Better Feeling, Lowered Body Pressure, Whole Leaves, Whole Plant.
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I knew one story of a woman who was diagnosed with cancer. Doctors prescribed her to undergo a chemotherapy. But then her friend told her stories of people cured by herbs.  So she decided to try the herbal therapy. Several months after taking the herbal teas she said she was feeling much better. But then she died soon after.

We have heard of herbals that used to be “miracle cures” of this or that disease. The fads didn’t last long, however. Now these miracle cures are no more.

I’m sure that some of you heard the mahogany seeds.  They said that the mahogany seeds lowered blood pressure. The mahogany seed was the rage only about a decade ago.

There is this story of one journalist who started chewing the seeds because he heard of the story about the mahogany seeds.  And he believe that it will cure him, so he tried that.  The seed was turned out to be toxic to human.  And it was banned.  But it was too late for that journalist.

It is the same thing with other herbals. Some plants really have medicinal value. Indeed, many medicines are taken from plants. But separating the medicinal ingredients from other parts of the plant is one thing; taking the whole plant or its leaves as a tea is another.

A plant or a leaf has many chemical properties. The medicinal property may be only one, but there may be many others that could be harmful. Herbals should be taken with caution because we don’t know the harmful ingredients they contain. Studies must first be made before a certain plant is prescribed as medicine.

Pesticides harm babies – 2 December 26, 2008

Posted by paripl110707 in Autistic Child, Behavioral Activities, Blood Pressure, Convulsion, Death, Diarrhea, Environmental Toxicants, Excess Salivation, Hyperactivity Disorder, Insect Killer, Low Heart Rate, Mentally Retarded, Natural Insecticide, Shock, Toxic Chemicals.
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Grave statistics

Dr. Ostrea recites the sad statistics in the United States. “Nearly 12 million children (17 percent of the total) under the age of 18 years suffer from one or more learning, developmental, or behavioral disabilities. Approximately one percent of all children are mentally retarded and learning disabilities affect approximately 5 to 10 percent of children in public schools. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder affects approximately 3 to 6 percent of all schoolchildren, though recent evidence suggests the prevalence may be as high as 17 percent.

“The incidence of autism is as high as two per thousand children. Within the state of California, the number of children entered into the autism registry increased by 210 percent between 1987 and 1998. Although improved detection, reporting or record keeping, or some combination of these factors may account for some of these increases, nonetheless, these trends likely reflect a problem of epidemic proportion and environmental toxicants have been implicated as a probable cause.”

How about the Philippines? Though there are little statistics here, there may be many children with disabilities. Of course there can be other causes for their illnesses, but perhaps pesticides can be a probable reason.

To determine the effects of pesticides here, Dr. Ostrea and his team have been conducting an ongoing study of more than 700 pregnant women (and afterward, their babies) in Malolos, Bulacan. Funded by the US NIH and the US Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with our local NIH, the study delves into pesticide use in the homes of these pregnant women. The survey reveals widespread use of commercial insect killers, in the form of spray or smoke, in their houses, and popular pesticides in their farms.

Toxic chemicals

“These pesticides comprise two of the most common classes used worldwide,” Dr. Ostrea says. “Organophosphates/carbamates and pyrethroids.” The former are widely used in homes, gardens and agriculture and have largely replaced DDT due to low cancer potential.

But this does not mean that they are safe. In humans, poisoning with these compounds can result in convulsions, excess salivation, diarrhea, low heart rate and blood pressure, shock and death.

Pyrethroids are natural insecticides produced by certain species of the chrysanthemum plant. Called “knock-out” pesticides, they quickly penetrate and knock out the nerve system of the insect. They are present in most of the popular home and farm pesticides. Their safety is still under study. Next week we’ll look at the study results.


Ref: dailyinquirer