Speakers call for scientific uplift, regulatory enforcement of herbal drugs

ISlAMABAD     –       Speakers at an international seminar held at COMSTECH on Monday highlighted that there is an urgent need for research-based scientific development and standards-based quality control of herbal drugs, efficacy and relevant regulatory enforcement. The seminar titled “Herbal and Traditional Medicine: A Sustainable Alternate for the Greener Future” was arranged by COMSTECH and the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia. In his welcome address, Coordinator General COMSTECH, Prof Dr M Iqbal Chaudhry, said that many countries in the OIC member states have been historical custodians of such traditional knowledge for centuries. Particularly, countries like Pakistan and Indonesia are rich sources of herbal medicines and have the potential to meet global demand. Interest in herbal medicine and traditional knowledge is increasing day by day; however, to utilize this opportunity, there is an urgent need for research-based scientific development, and standards-based quality control of herbal drugs, efficacy, safety as well as relevant regulatory enforcement. Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Indonesian Ambassador to Pakistan, Adam M Tugio said that there has been a significant increase in the use and trust of traditional methods of treatment and alternative medicine after and during the coronavirus. He added that after the last epidemic virus, major pharmaceutical companies have not only shown interest but also attracted investment in the traditional medicine and herbal medicine industry. The Indonesian ambassador said that Pakistan and Indonesia are rich in the blessing of herbs which can be utilized by building large platforms. He said, “Herbs are also perceived as important sources of healing and precautionary properties; therefore, the consumers are also demanding green label products”. He mentioned that the practice of using traditional Greco-Arab and Islamic medicine was quite common among the Muslim countries during the Golden Age of Arab-Islamic civilization from the seventh to the fifteenth century. Its influence continued to expand from Spain to Central Asia and India and now we are observing a kind of revival of those practices again with the growth of the herbal medicine sector, he continued. In Indonesia traditional herbal medicine known as Jammu is believed to be an authentic natural way to cure ailments and maintain beauty. In Pakistan, Unani and traditional medicines are considered as reliable sources of healing.

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