Mojisola Adeyeye, director general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has advised Nigerians not to consume liquid herbal mixtures for two weeks after making them.
Adeyeye urged in a statement issued on Monday to commemorate the 31st of March annually.
She called for caution in the use of herbal medicines to avoid preventable deaths and complications.
“If it’s liquid, after 14 days it can develop bacteria that can make people sick,” she said.
“The general public should use herbal medicines with caution as they are unaware of the amount to take.
“The fact that it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s not toxic.”
She explained that the toxicity of such drugs is not about the amount consumed, but that the amount may be contaminated.
Adeyeye also said that offering herbal supplements under the heat of the sun can cause the active ingredients in the drugs to break down, which can pose significant health risks to consumers.
“Therefore, herbal medicines must be handled with care in Nigeria. Some people take herbal medicines like vaccines, ”she said.
“Herbal medicines are mainly derived from plants, sometimes from animals in a few cases, while vaccines come from human or animal cells that have been programmed to produce immunological effects in the body.”
Adeyeye, who advised against combining herbal medicines with other medicines, said herbal supplements can reduce the effectiveness of conventional medicines.
She stated that herbal medicines usually do not undergo full clinical trials, and requested collaboration between herbalists and medical researchers to achieve rapid development of the industry.