Doctors in Cuba frequently prescribe alternative medicine to their patients. This practice is known as “medicina verde,” (naturally sourced green medicine) because of its natural sources, its usefulness in the treatment of disease, and the lack of negative side effects of these medications. There is also many an occasion where these doctors will prescribe not only a prescription medicine, but also accompany a natural therapy with something as simple as a high dose of vitamin C to boost the immune system. Cuba’s natural medicines can be found in the pharmacies and hospitals across Cuba, priced in the national currency.
Medical specialists and research centers in Cuba view organic, alternative homeopathic therapies as a first line of treatment for patients by doctors. The use of alternative medicines depends on the case presented and also the availability of pharmaceuticals. Like many other countries, Cuba also experiences shortages of pharmaceuticals from time to time.
Havana’s La Pradera International Health Center, a leading medical tourism center uses a range of natural products and alternative therapies successfully for many of their health and wellness programs. The cancer treatment at the Pradera Health Center uses green medicine in combination to boost the patient’s immune system.
An alternative therapies department can be found at La Pradera where the staff has been trained in alternative therapies and acupuncture by leading Chinese experts. Physicians and nurses in this specialty study in a four-year program of traditional Chinese medicine and then followup with a two-year master’s degree program. These highly trained specialists then pursue continuing education in various courses and seminars.
Acupuncture, a commonly used therapy was brought to Cuba by Chinese immigrants. In some cases it is used as a substitute for general anesthesia for surgeries, as well as for bodily aches and pains.
Currently 42 plant species are used in Cuba for the production of natural homeopathic medicines, nutritional supplements and phytomedicines. Medicinal plants obtained from plant mass and in high demand in Cuba include anamu, the wall, lime, passionflower, lime, kidney tea, ginger, French oregano, turmeric, wall, aloe vera, linden, banana leaves, mangrove, majagua, guava, eucalyptus, German chamomile, indigo bighorn, calendula, sweet orange, Japanese mint, male pine and others. These plants are not only used in the manufacturing of homeopathic medicine but also used to make herbal teas, tinctures, ointments and creams.
Specialized organic farms for the cultivation of herbs and plants used in homeopathic medicines can be found across the Island. Their harvests produce two million bottles of syrups, creams, milks, lotions, dyes, natural shampoo and medications.
Rodoldo Arencibia Figueroa, president of the department of medicinal plants at the Cuban Association of Agricultural and Forestry Technicians, recently told a press conference that it is the ideal time for green medicine, nutritional supplements and phytomedicines to be considered a viable choice for doctors and their patients.
Arencibia, a specialist in the field of natural medicines, explained that it is healthier to ingest anti-inflammatory drugs of a natural origin. He believes these herbal medicines, very popular among the aging Cuban population, will also become in high demand internationally.
Manufacturing of alternative medicine products takes place at Cuba’s Labiofam which sells approximately 50 natural products. Health Laboratories in Ciego de Ávila also produce more than 40 tons of dried of medicinal plants as a botanical alternative in the prevention and cure of diseases.
Two homeopathic centers can be found in the cities of Ciego de Ávila and Morón which sell LabioFam products.
List of Green Medicines in Cuba
- Migramenstrual and Migraprecol are two new Cuban plant-sourced medicines for the treatment of migraine. These migraine natural medicines are made from a combination of chamomile, lime, kidney tea, mint and ginger.
- PV2: PV2 is natural medicine effective in the treatment of stress. PV2 is sourced from the moringa plant, and has been proven to be very effective.
- PPG 5: PPG 5 is used for reduction of high levels of bad cholesterol.
- Vidatox: Vidatox is made from the blue or brown scorpion venom (Rhopalurus junceus) and is used in cancer treatments. It has proven successful in treating certain types of cancers .
- Policosonal: Policosonal is derived from sugarcane extracts and also from wheat and is used for treating high cholesterol.
- Human Placenta is used as an ingredient for both Melagenina and for the treatment of skin conditions such as vitiligo and psoriasis These treatments were created by the research specialists at the Placental Histoterapia Center in Havana.
- Vimang Extract: Vimang extract is an anti-inflammatory, analgesic homeopathic medicine. It boosts the immune system through antioxidant mechanisms.
- Flormaj: Flormaj is an antihistamine, anti-asthmatic, expectorant and bronchodilator.
- Nutrisol: Nutrisol is the treatment for immune disorders.
- Ferrical: Ferrical is used by patients with iron deficiency anemia.
- Nutrivin: Nurtrivin is used in the treatment of anemia.
- Propolina: An antibacterial, antiparasitic, healing, normocolesterolemic medicine for such conditions of parasitism by Giardia lamblia, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, hypercholesterolemia, wound healing, skin and stomatological disorders.
- Mieleos: Made from organic honey is used as an antiseptic and antioxidant and in wound healing.
- Mud therapies are commonly used with a high rate of success in spas throughout Cuba for the treatment of stress, and psoriasis.