Although modern medicine is well developed in most of the world, large sections of the population in developing countries especially in rural areas more than 80% of the population live still rely on Traditional Medicine (TRM) for Primary Care (PHC). THPs include Traditional Healers (THs) and Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs). Medicinal plants constitute 95% of the total components of TRM. The major reasons for use of TRM and its practitioners for healthcare needs in these countries are inadequacy of health facilities, medical personnel, drugs and other medical supplies. Most of the useful herbal plants are collected from the wild. TRM and its practitioners are interwoven in the communitys culture with its beliefs and taboo. Importance of traditional medicine is also underscored by the African Union Head of State because conventional medicine and other medical supplies are increasingly expensive and most of these countries cannot afford to buy for meeting peoples health need. Legal framework should be developed to safeguard the practice of TRM and sustainable conservation of medicinal plants.
One of the main reasons for increasing use of TRM in developed countries is the growing trend for patients to take a more proactive approach to their own health and seek out different forms of self-care for betterment of their health. Medicinal plants are important for pharmacological research and drug development as starting materials for the synthesis of drugs or as models for pharmacologically active compounds. Sustainable development of TRM in developing countries requires serious investment on medicinal plants conservation and TRM for provision of better health care.
Last date updated on July, 2014