Statistics show that thirty-three percent of Americans use
herbal products each year. There are many people seeking
herbal remedies to gain more control over the health
decisions they face.
With all the publicity of both positive and negative
reports on herbal remedies, it leaves one wondering who to
believe. By taking heed to the following guidelines you can
learn to be a wiser consumer of alternative therapies such
as herbal remedies.
Did you know that nearly all vitamins have herbal origins?
There are also many conventional medicines in use today
that have herbal origins. Herbal plants have been used as
medicine for centuries. But… on the other hand, everything
that is natural is not necessarily safe.
Herbal remedies can be a valuable addition to your personal
wellness. However, just as with conventional means, certain
guidelines are advisable. Knowledge is the best defense
against suffering from misuse of botanical blends.
One of the most important things to learn concerning herbal
remedies is to always be sure to obtain them through
reputable sources, such as a pharmacy, or a nutritional
supplement company with high-quality and manufacturing
standards. Be sure to look for other evidence that a
manufacturer has quality control standards, such as lot
numbers and expiration dates.
Many reported problems in relation to herbal remedies are
due to poor quality products, overuse, misuse, allergic
reactions, or adverse reactions when taken along with
prescription and over the counter drugs.
Before using an herbal remedy make sure you read the
supplement label and follow the dosage instructions. If you
suspect a supplement is causing a side effect, you should
discontinue using it immediately.
Most herbal remedies are generally regarded by the (FDA)
Food and Drug Administration to be safe. These herbs can be
used safely when taken in the appropriate manner. But these
very same herbs may present risk to patients with certain
conditions or who are taking certain kinds of medications.
That is why it is always a good idea to consult your
physician before taking any herbal supplements especially
if you have a chronic disease, or are taking any kind of
drugs. Herbal supplements should not be taken by women
during pregnancy, breast-feeding or in children under
twelve, unless they are specifically recommended and
monitored closely by your physician.
Another reason to discuss the use of herbal remedies with
your physician is to avoid possible complications. There
are certain drugs and herbs that should not be taken
together because the herb may increase or decrease the
effect of the prescribed drug.
Patients undergoing certain types of surgical procedures
and/or general anesthesia should discontinue herbal therapy
about two weeks before such procedures. If you are
scheduled for surgery, tell the surgeon and
anesthesiologist what you are taking. The reason for this
is because some supplements can make you bleed easier,
cause your blood sugar levels to fall too low, or intensify
the sedative effect of anesthesia.
If you are faced with emergency surgery, remember to take your supplements along with all the drugs you take to the hospital to show the anesthesiologist. Your pharmacist will
also need to know before filling your prescriptions so they
can prevent possible drug interactions. Your pharmacist is
well trained and knowledgeable of herb and drug
interactions that can prevent complications.
Herbal Remedies have been given rave reviews by many
people. But keep in mind that everyone’s makeup and genetic
DNA is different. Herbs that work for 95 out of 100 people
may not work for you. But that is also true for chemically
manufactured drugs prescribed by your doctor.
Although herbs are natural- remember they are very potent,
and their usage should be closely monitored. Hopefully with
this knowledge in your arsenal it will put you one giant
step ahead in your quest for optimum health.