Herbs are natures medicine chest and are found in abundance throughout the plant kingdom. The medicinal component of the plant can be whole plant or some of its parts i.e. bark, roots, leaves or berries. For thousands of years herbs have been used by every indigenous culture to help treat and cure a variety of mental, physical and spiritual aliments. Herbal Medicine offers a gentle genuine alternative to the sometimes harsh side effects of medical drugs.
Unfortunately, there are some people, medical professionals and even pharmaceutical companies that believe and even perpetuate the school of thought that herbs are not safe and are not scientifically proven, even though they have helped the human race evolve for thousands of years. A quick google search shows 179,000,000 results when typing in 'scientific papers on herbal medicine'. So why the negative attitude? It could be that herbs are relatively cheap to grow and so it their processing into more potent medicinal tinctures and supplements. The fear factor could also play a role; the fear of loosing people to herbal medicine, fear of the loss of income and control and for some medical practitioners the fear of not being revered by their patients. Medicine has a great deal to offer the human race as does herbal medicine, it's a shame that the two modalities cannot work more closely to benefit the health of the patient.
Interestingly many of the drugs on the market today are derived from 1 or more chemical comments found in herbs. For example Aspirin is derived from White Willow Bark, while Codeine and Morphine trace their origins back to the Opium Poppy.
Yes, herbal medicine can benefit anybody. Herbs are complexed foods that contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and intricate phytonutrients that support, nurture, rebalance and revitalise body systems, organs and cells, thus improving health. Herbs have the added benefit of being broad acting and promote healing in more than one organ or body system. For example Chamomile has far reaching health benefits including calming the nervous system, which helps insomnia, anxiety and depression, it has anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory properties, offers relief of teething, calms an angry child and inhibits sorbitol for causing diabetic blindness. Not bad for a herb that is available in supermarkets everywhere.
Herbs are not only beneficial in times of illness, but they help support and strengthen the whole body, thus helping to prevent or reduce the severity of future illnesses and disease.
Generally, herbs are a safe form of medicine with minimal side-effects. However, there are certain herbs that are contra-indicated in pregnancy, lactation, certain health conditions and that may react with different pharmaceutical drugs.
To ensure your safety it is always best to consult with or purchase from a herbalist who is qualified in prescribing medicinal herbs. A herbalist knows and understands herbs and any contra-indications that they may have. It is not recommended that a person self prescribe herbs for a major medical illness just like they wouldn’t self prescribe with medical drugs.
Herbal medicine comes in a variety forms depending on the need and health condition. For medicinal strength herbs there are herbal tinctures or tonics as well as powders, tablets and capsules, which are generally of a higher strength. In addition there are now a wide variety of herbal teas available making them a pleasurable and beneficial way of receiving their therapeutic benefits. Growing your own herbs provides a convenient and cost effective way to not only add flavour to meals or use as herbal teas, but also to provide their healing benefits on a daily basis. Culinary herbs have amazing medicinal properties and are generally quiet safe to use.
If you have a serious health complaint please don't try to treat yourself, but seek the help of a professional herbal medicine practitioner who knows how to use and prescribe herbs for various health conditions.
The information provided here is of a general nature intended for educational purposes only. We make no claims to diagnose, treat, prevent, alleviate or cure illnesses or diseases with any information or product stated. With any health issue we suggest you consult your healthcare professional before undertaking any health treatment.
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