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This short paper is a small paper that is written to fulfill the course of introduction to Anthropology at University Cambodia. This paper is not a research paper, but it can serve as a basic information for those who are interested in Herbal medicine. And when scientists from the University of Guelph scoured the DNA in a number of herbal products, they found that many times the labels on the merchandise didn’t accurately reflect what was in the container. In fact, about a third of the 44 products Newmaster and his co-authors tested were instances of what he called product substitution — alfalfa sold as ginkgo, for example. Though Newmaster used the term product substitution, he noted a switch might not be deliberate, at least on the part of the manufacturers or distributors. He and his colleagues shared their findings with some of the companies whose products they tested, and he said they expressed surprise and dismay.
Heather Boon, interim dean of pharmacy at the University of Toronto, said companies do have quality control measures in place and raw materials should come with a paper trail.
She said Canada has relatively new regulations meant to improve the quality of natural health products sold in this country and she believes the situation is better than it was in the past. The findings come as no surprise to David Bailey, a pharmacist and professor emeritus at Western University in London, Ont., who has studied natural health products and the way they can interact with prescription drugs.


Nearly 60 per cent of the products contained DNA from at least one plant species that wasn’t listed on the product label. Newmaster noted the numbers here are small — on average, fewer than four products per company were tested.
But two of the companies came through with a perfect record — all their products were what they claimed to be.
Herbal products are big business, part of the enormous natural health products market which is estimated to generate billions of dollars of sales a year in North America alone.
A 2010 Ipsos Reid poll done for Health Canada found that 73 per cent of Canadians admit to using natural health products of some sort, even though half of the people polled were skeptical about the health claims made by manufacturers and 42 per cent were dubious about the quality of these products.
Still, people routinely self-prescribe natural health products, said Bailey, who noted that the fact that some contents are not disclosed on the label means people who have been warned to avoid certain drug-herbal interactions can’t be sure they are going to be able to do so.
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Some were contaminated with other plant species that could have caused toxicity or triggered allergic reactions.


He and his colleagues extract DNA from the pills, capsules or powder in a supplement bottle, and compare what they find to a library of DNA barcodes for various plants.
People trying to stick to a gluten-free diet would not know to avoid them because these filler ingredients were not listed on labels. Conversely, all the products of two other companies either contained contaminants or undisclosed fillers or were not the product they were supposed to be. The same technology has been used to determine the diet of endangered animal species by mining their feces for DNA. John’s wort, for instance, contained senna, which can be toxic if taken regularly, Newmaster said, adding senna can cause chronic diarrhea and can damage the colon and the liver. It contains invaluable information that you can use in your everyday life and is so informative and such a benefit to have and to work alongside with any other holistic therapies we have on offer.




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