Barriers to Herbal Medicine Research in Nigeria; Researcher’s Perspective: A Review
This paper presents the barriers to herbal medicine research in Nigeria. This is with a view to formulating appropriate strategies that would be deployed to overcome the identified barriers to herbal medicine research. The paper therefore identified and discussed some of these inherent barriers such as the standardization of herbal medicines according to western pharmaceutical clinical standards which is anchored on a single-active-ingredient approach; attitudes and perceptions of agonists of orthodox medicine; influence of traditional medicine practices on herbal medicinal products; problem of patenting inventions by researchers; lack of linkages between universities, research centres and the industries; decay of research and development (R&D) infrastructure; and government under-funding of R&D activities. The paper concluded that research in herbal medicine in Nigeria needs to be improved upon. In order to do this, herbal medicine researchers should make deliberate effort to choose, acquire, adopt, use, adapt, manage and master foreign technologies to suit local use (indigenous technology) which would enable the mass production of herbal medicines that will meet internationally acceptable standards. Government should increase R&D funding, encourage patency, and encourage the facilitation of effective linkages and partnerships between the universities, research centres and the industries. Finally, government should ensure industrial peace, and a sound educational system imbued with congenial intellectual capacity and salubrious environment.
Key words: Herbal medicine, research, barriers, Nigeria.