Traditional medicines based on medicinal plants have been known for ages and have been a part of Indonesia culture. Indonesia is well known as a country that has many medicinal plants, even it is the third country in the world that has the highest plant diversity.
To increase the consumption of herbal medicine, Deputy of Health Minister Ali Ghurfron Mukti suggested that herbal medicine to be included as one of medicines that was guaranteed by social security system in Indonesia.
But, the ingredients of herbal medicines that are processed traditionally or home-made herbal medicines still cannot be measured. There is a risk of side-effects if people consume them wrongly. To prevent this, there are eight tips to consume herbal medicines safely according of Indonesia Food and Drug Administration:
- Don’t consume the herbal medicine more than the suggested dosages and use it according to the rules mentioned in the label.
- Inform the doctor that is treating you when you are taking herbal medicines. There are certain ingredients in traditional medicines that can negatively interact with chemical medicines and cause undesired effects.
- If there are unwanted effects, stop the usage immediately and contact your doctor.
- Don’t consume traditional medicines where one of the ingredients is known to cause allergy.
- For patients with hypertension, heart, kidney and liver function disorders, they should be careful when they want to take traditional medicines. Some traditional medicines use ingredients that can worsen the diseases.
- If you are on low sugar diet, you should be careful to consume traditional medicine. Some herbal medicines contain sugary ingredients and use additional sweetener.
- For pregnant women or women who are planning their pregnancies, they should be careful because some ingredients of herbal medicines can affect womb.
- For nursing women, they should be careful as well, some ingredients can be excreted through breast milk. And it can cause undesired effects to babies.