What is Herbal medicine?
Herbal Remedies are plants used as medicine. People use herbal remedies to help prevent or cure disease. They use them to get relief from symptoms, boost energy, relax, or lose weight.
Herbals are not regulated or tested like medicines.
How can you know what you are getting and if it is useful? This guide can help you choose and use herbals safely.
Herbs are the basis of some modern drugs: for example, quinine came from cinchona bark, digitalis from the foxglove, and aspirin from willow bark. Today, approximately 25% of all pharmaceuticals still come directly from plants.
Natural herbs have been utilized as cures over many thousands of years. By their very nature, herbs are complex, each one comprising tens if not hundreds of unique chemical compounds, so identifying the active components is not a simple thing.
Natural herbs are grouped as dietary or health supplements. Producers cannot say their product will cure a disease or reduce symptoms and therefore the labels on herbs make no promises of specific health benefits.
In usual, herbs are less potent than drugs. Herbs have several side effects but this does not signify you can take them easily and without care. Many people wrongly assume that because they are natural, they are safe. High doses taken for a long time can cause problems, and some cause allergic reactions or other symptoms. Herbs have the potential to be really effective, but they need to be used responsibly.
Quality and potency
The quality of herbal remedies varies, depending on a number of factors. Their growing season, the climate, soil conditions, whether they are organic or farmed when they are harvested, storage conditions, length of storage and so on, all make a difference to their quality. This means that the potency of the product will not be as precise as a man-made drug.
Some herbs engage with drugs, other herbs, and foods; for example, garlic and ginkgo might possibly increase the side effects of blood-thinning drugs; Echinacea may counteract immunosuppressive drugs; Siberian ginseng might enhance the effects of antibiotics and valerian may increase the effects of other sedatives.
Herbals may be called “specifics” or “tonics”. A specific target a certain symptom, such as valerian taken for insomnia. They are usually taken only for brief times or when the symptoms happen.
A tonic works on the whole body or organ: ginseng slowly strengthens the immune system. Tonics are taken long-term, sometimes with breaks. Some herbs have both specific and tonic properties.
Most herbal remedies are sold as capsules or tablets containing dried weeds or standardized extracts. Dried plants can lose potency more quickly and you may have to take several capsules to make one effective dose. Extracts are made by soaking the herb in alcohol to extract the chemical components from the plant.
Some items give their strength as a standardized extract of the active elements, for example, Bilberry with 25% anthocyanocides, Garlic with 5.4 mg of allicin, and Ginkgo biloba with 24% ginkgo flavone glycosides.
As well as the range of single herbs, there are several combination products available. Single herbs have the benefit that you can select the ones that may be right for your symptoms and determine any that cause side effects or allergic reactions.
Combination products can be convenient and maybe less expensive, but you may not have all the information and facts you need about them to make an informed choice. For circumstances, is there enough of every herb to have the desired effect? Or does it consist of a herb you don’t actually need? Some products blend the significant actions of each herb at a lesser dose.
Taking herbs safely
Be well informed – find out about the herbs you plan to consume. Don’t just observe a friend’s guidance unless they have some experience or particular knowledge about herbs.
Follow the directions on the label.
Some herbs take several weeks to have positive effects. Ensure you know what to anticipate and how long to take them for.
Start with the lesser dose and watch for side effects such as rashes, nausea or headaches. If you feel have side effects stop taking the herb immediately.
Folks over 65 become more sensitive to drugs and so need to stick to lesser doses.
If you are already taking prescription medicines you should seek advice from your doctor or a suitable health expert before utilizing herbs.
Compare products by looking at the quantity of active ingredients in each one; note the number of pills you require to take per day, and the cost.
Buy a quality product from a reputable source. Best products have clear expiry dates, batch numbers and manufacturer contact details in case of a problem or query.
How to choose herbal remedies
These herbs are believed to have the following properties:
- Ginseng – general tonic, may boost energy
- Bilberry – may develop circulation, repairs veins
- Garlic – lowers cholesterol, may help prevent cancer
- Gingko Biloba – antioxidant, may develop circulation and memory
- Green tea – antioxidant and tonic
- Milk thistle – may fix liver cells
- Turmeric – antioxidant
It is believed these herbs may assist prevent the bellow conditions:
- Bilberry – hardening of the arteries, poor night vision
- Cranberry – urinary tract contaminations
- Evening primrose oil – omega-3 deficiencies
- Feverfew – migraines
- Garlic – hardening of the arteries, high cholesterol, high blood pressure
- Ginkgo biloba – memory loss, tinnitus, macular degeneration
- Milk thistle – liver concerns
- Saw palmetto – prostate enlargement
- St John’s wort – mild depression