An article on AMA talks about a recent article that ran in the Medical Journal of Australia and calls for more stringent regulation on alternative therapies.
The article's author, Winnie Chau from the Flinders Medical Centre of Adelaide, stated that Internet shopping has made herbal medicines more readily available--and regulation more difficult to keep up.
Chau and co-authors studied a 75-year-old man who had developed renal failure due to chronic exposure to nephrotoxins. It was suspected that the man's Chinese herbal products caused the renal failure. After being analyzed, it was proven that the products contains aristolochic acid--an known nephrotoxin that can cause cancer.
Chau stated that while bans on herbal products suspected to contain this nephrotoxin were instituted in January 2002, the man was still able to buy the product.
What do you think? Should there be more strict regulations on herbal medicines?
(Picture Credit: Discovery Health)