Traditional medicine use and the anaesthetist
This review considers traditional medicine, with an emphasis on traditional African medicine and its influence on perioperative care. Western and Eastern herbal remedies are widely used. The paucity of good quality evidence concerning these medicinal products has led to only some of the effects of these medicines being known. The wide range of preparatory methods and lack of regulation has resulted in patient exposure to unknown side-effects. The nature of the use of African traditional medicine is even less known, and probably disclosed to the Western health practitioner even less. This review aims to raise awareness of African traditional medicine healthcare practice and its implications in a perioperative population.
Keywords: alternative medicine, herbal remedies, traditional health care, traditional medicine and anaesthesia