Mad Rush for the "Active Ingredient"

Mad Rush for the "Active Ingredient".
- Jagannath Chatterjee

It is the mindless quest for the "active ingredient" that leads to side effects. In herbs and herbal preparations we find many components. These exist because, as the texts say, the medicine has to be effectively assimilated, judiciously used, and also be eliminated from the body after the work is over. Allopathy has provided a bad name to excellent herbs like Rawalfia Serpentina for instance by trying to isolate and use only the active ingredient which caused serious side effects. According to Dr Pushpa Mittra Bhargava who I approached once on this topic, drug companies have to give a twist to nature to obtain patents, hence the mad rush for the active ingredient which is of course a different product than the herb which cannot be patented.