Australia’s most popular medicine
People in Asia and the Pacific who live in areas with high levels of natural medicinal herbs are also likely to use them in their daily lives, a new study has found.
Photo: ABC News “The natural medicine niche has always been there,” said Dr Robert Gough, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Adelaide.
“It’s been growing in the last 10 years, but I think it’s now more than ever.”
Dr Gough said people in the Australian medical profession needed to develop more targeted approaches to their natural medicine use.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) says that a patient must have an annual GP appointment with a doctor and must be able to show evidence of “medical use”.
The report said that people who have a medical need should seek advice from their GP or nurse practitioner about the benefits and risks of the treatment.
Dr Grough said he had seen people in his research area who had taken a herbal supplement.
“I saw people that had taken the plant-based medicine and used it as an analgesic or a stimulant, which is the most common use for natural medicine,” he said.
Dr Paul Sperry from the University the University, Sydney said people who took a herbal medicine for chronic pain were more likely to seek out complementary treatments than people who didn’t. “
So there’s a lot of potential for using herbal medicine in the right context, and I think this is just another example of that.”
Dr Paul Sperry from the University the University, Sydney said people who took a herbal medicine for chronic pain were more likely to seek out complementary treatments than people who didn’t.
He said natural medicines were often prescribed in combination with complementary treatments, such as acupuncture or massage.
“This is one of the areas where there is the potential for complementary therapies to become a part of natural medicine, especially in populations that have a greater propensity to take prescription medications, but for some reason, there is not the awareness and support for natural medicines being combined,” Dr Sperries said.
The Australian Health Professions Council said its role was to provide professional education and advice about natural medicine to all practitioners.
It said its website also provided information about the various forms of herbal medicine, which were “under scrutiny by the Australian government and industry”.