Suppositories are remedies that are inserted rectally or in the vagina to correct certain ailments of the concerned tissues or distal body parts such as hemorrhoids, prolapsed rectum, vaginal infection and tissue irritation etc.
Scientifically, “A suppository is a drug delivery system that is inserted into the rectum (rectal suppository), vagina (vaginal suppository) or urethra (urethral suppository), where it dissolves or melts and is absorbed into the blood stream. They are used to deliver both systemically and locally acting medications.”
There are several ways of producing a suppository, one of the easy methods for home use is done in this fashion.
The medicinal herbs for a suppository should be thoroughly dried, powdered and sieved. The herb or mixture of herbs is added to and mixed with an edible mucilaginous binder to arrive at a thick, viscous consistency that can be molded into desired pill shapes.
The molded pills (suppositories) are then properly dried before storage.
Organic mucilaginous substances that can be utilized as binders for the making of suppositories include; water extract of Cissus populnea root, water extract of Abelmoschus esculentus fruit, edible starch and ready-to-drink corn starch (pap) to mention a few.
Aside procuring a good binder, other additives such as fillers (to increase the bulk size), flavours, emulsifiers, colourants and gliders etc. are often added in the making of pharmaceutical suppositories or tablets.
These additives however are of no health value and sometimes could adulterate and lessen the potency of the active ingredients and as such are avoided by good medical herbalists and naturopaths when making suppositories . I strongly discourage herbal medicine producers from adding such items.
Dr Gilbert Ezengige is a licensed natural medicine practitioner, lecturer and writer on health and social issues. Visit www.healthbubbles.com for more.