John W Rothwell III
University of Central Florida
April 11, 2013
The Lord hath created medicines out of the earth: and he that is wise will not abhor them (Ecclesiasticus 38:4, King James Version). Botanical medicine has been a part of our world since the beginning of time. During a recent review of the nursing process in my facility, it was noted that herbal remedies continue to be part of our patient’s daily regimen. Though herbal medicines are controlled by the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act and cannot be marketed using specific medical claims, the American consumer is utilizing herbs for their therapeutic effect (Fontaine, 2011). By increasing awareness of botanical medicine the professional nurse will be able to provide an increase in quality of care. Purpose
The purpose of reviewing botanical medicine is twofold. My first interest is that as an emergency department nurse I am finding more patients utilizing herbal remedies as part of their daily regimen. Secondly is the fear of the unknown. Increasing my knowledge on the utilization of herbal medicine will allow me to provide a higher quality of care. It is becoming more and more critical for the professional nurse to understand the interactions between conventional and herbal medication so that we can ensure the greatest possible outcomes. Position
My knowledge of herbal medicine is minimal. Though traditional nursing school may review common regimens like St. Johns Wort, Saw Palmetto, Cranberry and Chamomile the mainstream media is playing a significant role in marketing herbal remedies to the consumer. I believe that as health care reform is implemented, and the costs of conventional services remain uncertain, society will continue to look for alternatives that offer an increased quality of life.
* Is the use of herbal medicine an option to embody both conventional and alternative therapy to provide the best quality of care? * Should herbal remedies be integrated into conventional formularies? Thinking
Herbal medications, over the counter medications, and prescription medications can be quite complex. Having studied organic and biochemistry, I understand that medicine whether in its natural or synthetic forms are derived by the bonding of carbons, hydrogen and oxygen. I understand that many pharmacological interventions are derived from natural substance though many medicines end up going to market in their synthetic form due to lake of resources and cost. I may not consider myself a novice when addressing herbal medication but I believe that there is significant value in an alternative approach to medicinal therapy. In my review of the literature I found that it is imperative for nurses to know what their patients are taking, that there is substantial fragmentation between health care provider and patient, and there are communities who are integrating herbal remedies and conventional medicine. Upon completion of my review the articles support that herbal medicine is a significant part of our patient’s lives and that despite the increased frequency of use, there is still little research that focuses on the integration and implementation of herbal medication into our conventional system. Literature
My initial review entailed searching for professional nurses who understood the importance of their client’s current medicinal regimen. The article OTC meds: Know what your patient is taking. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy; describes the role of professional nurses as the primary information gatherer (Dahlstrom & Piras, 2011). The article shows the connection between prescription and over the counter medications (OTC), in addition to herbal remedies and dietary supplements. The writers provide examples of current regimens being utilized by consumers. One example of connecting a common herbal remedy like St. Johns Wort with blood thinners shows the professional nurse the...