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The empirical knowledge used by communities throughout the ages to prepare herbal medicinal remedies-PM keeps in its concepts and practices an effectiveness that, in General, is confirmed in laboratories. This know contributes to the resolution of small damages to health that affect members of these communities, thereby reducing official statistics of basic attention.

The Ethnology of each culture documents and interprets, in anthropological research, ritualistic practices ancestors of preparation and use of plant remedies. These practices also bring useful information to develop projects that seek to obtain products or services applicable to public policies in herbal medicine. The abandonment of rituals of collection and handling of the PM, as well as those used in the preparation and administration of medicine, has led to the Traditional Herbs, descaracterizando acculturation-the. In most developed nations, these cultural assets are preserved to the practice of herbal medicine, which dominates more than half of the European market of medicines. A discussion on herbal medicine, considering cultural, environmental and technological aspects, is the proposal from the Etnofarmácia, social technology developed as a research topic in UFPA.

In 2006, Brazil enacted national policies of Integrative and complementary Practices (PNPIC) and of medicinal plants and herbal remedies (PNPMF) which, in its guidelines, the establishment of the herbal medicine as therapeutic option in the SUS and sets the stage for if desenvolverprodutos and services in herbal medicine, respectively. Near complete ten years, these policies bring land to phytotherapy, in terms of regulation, which seeks to confer reliability and sustainability to the development and production of herbal medicines and PM, and efficacy and safety for prescribing, dispensing, administration and use of these resources. Articulated with the regulation in force in the European Union and Canada, among others, the Brazilian standards in Fitoterapiaestão improved to make the use of PM, whether in the form of tea or technological product, an option backed by prescription of health professionals, which supports the legislation, which, in turn, is of scientific basis, in terms of the effectiveness and safety of PM.

The research produces important data about the national flora, including the Amazon, but the dialogue ineffective between the company and the Academy let useful results in the drawers of the laboratories and the pharmacy shelves in phytotherapy for prescription and dispensation; Although the Brazilian State, for many years, provide resources for research on PM and, more recently, to develop herbal medicines.

In the case of Phytotherapy research, there is a dilemma that affects the pharmaceutical sciences: the technological research that makes it possible to develop new herbal remedies in General produces little new knowledge and that, for the academic evaluation system, has a cost/benefit ratio unfavorable to the curricula of researchers, this activity would be more appropriately held in industries, and is the headquarters of the transnational pharmaceutical industry. Here, the weakness is in the low activity of the productive sector, which could act more effectively in the development of herbal medicines for diseases of low gravity, but of epidemiological importance.

I don't think that's the duty of the researcher crossdress from businessman and put your idea on the market; but I understand that the State must induce the approach of these agents and thus be able to develop a very promising economy sector and that brings benefits to the whole society.

To guide the preparation and use of herbal medicine formulations, the Brazilian Pharmacopeia puts at the disposal of society, from 2011, the Phytotherapic Form. To see the form, see the website of the National Agency of sanitary surveillance using the Brazilian Pharmacopeia link:


Wagner l. r. Barbosa is professor at the Faculty of pharmaceutical sciences and the environment of the Federal University of Pará and member of the National Academy of Pharmacy.


Published in Wednesday's Edition, September 9 2015, the newspaper O Liberal, notebook Updates page. 2.

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Photo: Phil Gyford, available at, with modifications, license CC by-nc-sa 2.0