Herbal Medicines in Kenya: A Review of the Toxicity and Quality Control Issues

  • N Maina
  • J.M. Kagira
  • O Achila
  • S.M. Karanja
  • M Ngotho
Keywords: Herbal medicine, herbal preparations, toxicity, Kenya, regulations, complementary and alternative medicine

Abstract

In sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that 80% of the population depends on indigenous medicines for primary health-care. These herbs often contain highly active pharmacological compounds whose pharmacotherapeutic and toxicity profiles have not been well characterized. Toxicity may be related to several intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Most of the available reports related to the toxic effects of herbal medicines cite hepatoxicity as the most frequently experienced toxicity. However, noxious effects involving kidneys, the nervous system, skin, blood, the cardiovascular system, mutagenicity and carcinogenicity have also been published. This article presents a systematic review on safety and toxicity of herbal medicines used in Kenya.

Keywords: Herbal medicine, herbal preparations, toxicity, Kenya, regulations, complementary and alternative medicine

Published
2020-11-10
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 1022-9272