An Abuja-based Pharmacist, Osa Egwebe, has advised against indiscriminate use of herbal medicines, saying the action can cause liver cirrhosis.
Egwebe told the News Agency of Nigeria in an interview in Abuja on Tuesday that some herbal medicines in use in Nigeria were not scientifically tested.
According to him, herbal drugs just like other medicines if not clinically tested, could be potentially poisonous and harmful to the body.
Egwebe said if drugs were not clinically assessed, they had a high risk of causing adverse reactions.
He said consuming such drugs was harmful to the body as the practice posed the risk of toxicity to the kidney, liver and other organs.
"Consuming herbal drugs can lead to infection due to poor hygiene.
"There is risk of overdose as there are no specific doses. There is high risk of adverse drug interactions with other medications.
"Most of the drugs are not standardised, purity and potency standards are not confirmed," Egwebe said.
He added that the safety of many herbal medicines had not been established in certain key groups, such as the elderly, children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.
The pharmacist advised patients with kidney and liver diseases or other health conditions to avoid the use of herbal medicines.
He, however, advised those who consumed herbal medicines to seek the doctor’s opinion since there was insufficient clinical evidence to determine their efficacy.