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Medication and Health

Medication or Drugs are substances which, when ingested, injected, inserted or applied affect the human body in some way. We often think of medication as originating from a test tube or laboratory, but "natural" substances have been used for centuries as drugs. For instance, the juice from the poppy produces the powerful narcotic substance, opium, a fact discovered 300 years before the Christian Age!! The Chinese 2,500 years ago used mouldy soybean curd (the first antibiotic) to treat infections, and Majan Indians in South America chewed Coca leaves (containing what we now refine as Cocaine) before battle to improve stamina and fight fatigue.

After two World Wars, pharmaceutical manufacture became a commercial,social and medical reality, and literally thousands of new drugs are developed each year. Of these, less than 1% make it onto our pharmacy shelves, because rigorous testing must be carried out over many years to make sure they are effective and carry no substantial side effects.

Simply because a substance is natural does not mean it is harmless:over 200 poisons occur in nature with enough potency to kill at a dose less than 1mg!! No manufacturer or doctor can guarantee that a medication will not have some adverse affects, because we are all complex and very different individuals. What works for some does not necessarily work the same way in others.

And because all medication carries some risk, however small, the decision to take a medication must be made in consultation with your family doctor or another health professional. When in doubt: ASK YOUR DOCTOR!!!!!!!!


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