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Traditional and Herbal Medicines, Regulation: Latin America

Traditional medicines are those medicines used by indigenous people in the prevention, treatment, and overall maintenance of their health. These medicines include herbal preparations as well as animal and mineral components, but plants occupy the bulk of indigenous peoples’ treatment modalities. Medicines are selected by native healers after considering the existing relationship of the patient with the cosmos and his or her environment, and not in isolation. In Western society, this would likely be referred to as a “holistic approach.” Therefore, although traditional and herbal medicines have been used since ancient times, legislation to specifically address regulations on their manufacture, commercialization, and distribution has been slow to come. Legislation in Latin American countries, nevertheless, has seen significant advances in recent years.

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