Revista médica de Chile
versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887
AVELLO L, MARCIA y CISTERNAS F, ISABEL. Origins and situation of phytotherapy in Chile. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2010, vol.138, n.10, pp. 1288-1293. ISSN 0034-9887. doi: 10.4067/S0034-98872010001100014.
Phytotherapy is defined as the use of medicinal plants for therapeutic purposes and it uses a variety of complex vegetal structures. In public health, it is considered a type of alternative medicine, in which auto medication with herbs is common and there is a lack of quality assurance of herbal products. While the World Health Organization is proposing strategies to include complementary and alternative therapies as public health tools, in Chile this type of therapy is emerging. There is a lack of interest and underestimation of conventional medicine towards popular knowledge. At the present time, the Chilean Ministry of Health has recognized 103 plants aiming to promote the use of medicinal plants that are registered and certifed, according to the regulations of the National Control System of Pharmaceutical Products. Therefore, health care professionals should be educated about the association between pharmaceutical products and medicinal plants. Consultation systems about Phytotherapy should also be available, information should be provided about where to purchase safe herbal products and publicity about these products should be regulated.
Palabras clave : Drug therapy; Phytotherapy; Plants; medicinal.