Health Impacts of Traditional Medicines and Bioprospecting: A World Scenario Accentuating Bhutan's Perspective

Wangchuk, Phurpa (2008) Health Impacts of Traditional Medicines and Bioprospecting: A World Scenario Accentuating Bhutan's Perspective. Journal of Bhutan Studies, 18. 5. pp. 116-134.

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Life without natural products is unimaginable. It has provided mankind with oxygen, water, fire, food, clothing, shelter and medicine. Its public health impact is considerably high, especially of traditional medicines and nature-based modern drugs. The traditional medicines, despite its limitations, are addressing the health needs of millions of people worldwide. It is estimated that about 65-85% of the world population uses traditional medicines for their primary health cares. It is also estimated that about 39% of all 520 new approved drugs in 1983-1994 were natural products and out of that 74% were discovered as a result of bio-prospecting from plants used in traditional medicines. Traditional medicines are increasingly getting more popular mainly because: a) it is holistic system with less side effects; b) it is evolving as an evidence-based medicine; c) its ethno-medical knowledge is applicable to modern drug discovery programs. As there are many diseases that cannot be cured by the existing drugs and as there are increasing cases of drug resistance, there is urgent need for drugs that are effective against these pathogens. Probably, traditional medicines could provide a solution in fighting them both as a health care delivery mechanism and as a means of chemotherapeutic pool. Bhutan is fortunate to be gifted with rich natural bio-diversity and rich traditional medical knowledge. The positive health impacts of the Bhutanese traditional medicines are resoundingly felt by Bhutanese. Besides, there is huge potential for bio-prospecting in Bhutan. This paper highlights world scenario on the health impacts of the: 1) natural product-based traditional medicines, 2) the natural product-based drug discoveries, and 3) Bhutanese traditional medicine and potential of bio-prospecting in Bhutan.

Item ID: 32820
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1608-4128
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Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2014 06:21
FoR Codes: 10 TECHNOLOGY > 1002 Environmental Biotechnology > 100201 Biodiscovery @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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