alternative medicine

Effect of modern drugs on the environment and the role of alternative medicine

Ganesh Murugan
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Effect of the modern drugs used extensively for treatment of humans and animals could be detrimental on the environment. The reported near extinction of several vulture species in India and"careless and casual" use of Diclofenac sodium on livestock being attributed as the cause, shows the extent and depth of this issue. Effects of drugs like Ivermectin and organophosphates in the environment need to be understood. Traditional plants have the potential to be used as alternatives, but a lot of constraints, including a lack of hard evidence to support the use of many of them, which can raise ethical concerns in using them. Environmental impact has to be considered to especially of rarer plants. This paper aims to stress the importance of pursuing alternative medicines like herbs/plant products and constraints in using them on animals are discussed. Potential natural products that could be used in place of modern medicines wherever possible especially in mobile veterinary units are discussed.

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