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Research reveals toxic risks of herbal remedies 
 
 
Salmon Adebayo
Did you know that more than 80 % of South Africans use herbal remedies for their primary health-care needs? This is one of the interesting facts Salmon Adebayo, a Doctoral Degree candidate at the Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) Department of Biomedical Sciences revealed in a presentation about his research work at the annual Society of Toxicology meeting which was held in the United States late in March. 

The event showcased the latest scientific advancements in the field of toxicological sciences and offered delegates an opportunity for collaboration and networking.

The title of his presentation was “The cytotoxicity of extracts derived from three medicinal plant species used to treat inflammation-related conditions in South Africa”.  More information on the presentation can be obtained from the April 2014 edition of The Toxicologist, 138 (1).

Adebayo added that, the research also indicated that some of these herbal remedies may contain toxic elements.  “The toxic constituents are capable of causing adverse health effects when consumed, for instance, there are some plant species that contain cardiac glycosides that causes heart problems in humans,” he said. 

He added that the study is aimed at the assessments of the safety of some herbal remedies that are used traditionally for treatment of inflammation-related conditions like arthritis, headaches, pain and more.

This year’s event was attended by about 6 500 delegates from more than 50 countries around the world. It ran concurrently with the Tox-Expo which was held at the Phoenix Convention Centre, Arizona.

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology please contact Willa de Ruyter on tel 012 382 5352 or send an email to deruyterw@tut.ac.za.