Herbal medicine has long been recognized as an integral component of traditional health care worldwide, due to its relative low cost, more closely reflecting patient ideologies, and reduced adverse side effects than chemically synthesized medications (Engebretson 2002; Conboy et al 2007; Rishton 2008).
Before beginning to take herbal medications, it’s essential to fully comprehend their potential interactions with both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.
1. They are natural
Many people turn to herbal medicines in an effort to alleviate various maladies and conditions, finding relief at an affordable price without needing a physician’s prescription. Furthermore, herbal remedies tend to be safer than pharmaceutical options with fewer side effects and are generally considered more natural remedies than synthetic ones.
Herbal medicine seeks to restore your body’s ability to protect, regulate and heal itself through holistic means. It takes into account both physical and emotional wellbeing when making treatment recommendations.
Folk medicines have long been utilized by humanity; however, using herbs does not necessarily indicate their safety or efficacy for every individual.
Some herbs can pose health risks when taken in high doses or when combined with other medications or taken together with one another, for instance kava (an herb often prescribed to treat anxiety and insomnia) can lead to liver damage if combined with certain other drugs or taken alone in large amounts.
St John’s Wort, an herb used to treat mild to moderate depression and anxiety, may interact with certain birth control pills and drugs, rendering it unsafe for use if pregnant or breastfeeding women are taking them.
Yohimbe, an herb used to treat erectile dysfunction, can cause side effects including high blood pressure and increased heart rate, as well as possible interactions with certain antidepressant medicines.
Herbal medicine is a multibillion dollar industry that helps millions of people manage their medical symptoms without turning to conventional drug stores. If you want to use herbal medication, however, first consult with your physician first.
Herbs can be obtained in teas, syrups, oils, tinctures or liquid extracts. Tinctures contain small doses of the active herbal ingredient that has been mixed into liquid (typically water, alcohol or glycerol).
Liquid extracts come in capsule or pill form and typically come at a 1:1 concentration ratio; making them more concentrated than tinctures but not as intensely potency as dry extracts.
Herbal medicines can be created from all sorts of plants, making them available for treating many health conditions and diseases such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, premenstrual syndrome migraine menopausal symptoms cancer chronic fatigue irritable bowel syndrome among others. You can find herbal medicine products at various health food stores pharmacies online.
2. They are safe
Herbal medicine offers an alternative, safe and cost-effective solution to treating common ailments and conditions. Many opt for herbal treatment because it does not cause side effects as with conventional medication that may.
Herbs come in many different forms, from teas and syrups to oils, liquid extracts and tinctures. Some products can be taken alone while others should be combined with other medicines for maximum effect.
While herbal treatments may provide relief for various medical conditions, they should never be used as replacements for traditional medications without first consulting with a healthcare practitioner or being under direct supervision. St John’s Wort is one such herb often prescribed to treat mild depression; however, its use could potentially interfere with certain prescription and cause them not to work effectively.
Note that herbal products are not subject to the same regulations as pharmaceutical drugs and thus may contain contaminants and additives not listed on their labels. Therefore, it is crucial that consumers select high-quality products tested by an independent third party organization.
Studies have demonstrated that herbal medicines may present serious risks if taken improperly or at excessive dosage levels, especially if taken alongside conventional medication prescribed to treat conditions like heart disease, cancer or high blood pressure. This risk becomes especially potency when combined with medications taken for cardiometabolic conditions or high blood pressure treatment.
Herbal medicines carry the potential risk of adverse reactions that could cause kidney and liver failure, with effects being particularly serious in children and elderly patients.
There is currently little knowledge regarding whether certain herbal medicines could be harmful for pregnant or nursing mothers, so if you are planning to become pregnant or nursing it would be advisable to discuss taking herbs with a healthcare provider or pharmacist first before beginning.
Herbal medicines in Australia are regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Based on risk levels, herbal products can either be “listed” or registered before being sold commercially in Australia. A registered product undergoes further assessments prior to being made available on the market.
Herbal remedies can be safe and effective when taken alongside traditional therapies like acupuncture and massage, helping restore equilibrium within the body while mitigating adverse reactions caused by other medications.
3. They are affordable
Herbal medicine can be an economical and accessible alternative to prescription drugs. No matter whether it is your first time trying it or you have been taking herbal medicine for some time, the savings could be substantial. Herbal medicines contain plant compounds found in conventional drugs but prepared more naturally – offering greater savings.
Herbs come in various forms, from teas and oils to liquid extracts and tinctures. Tinctures are perhaps the most widely-used method of herbal preparation; this process entails dissolving herbs in liquid (usually water or alcohol) before shaking it up for consumption.
Aromatherapy treatments are an ideal choice for relieving common ailments and conditions like the flu, colds and coughs, allergies and digestive issues. Unlike traditional medications, they usually work quickly without harming the body in any way.
Herbal medicines can be easily found at most health food stores and online, making it simple for you to find something suitable. If you need assistance in selecting which herbs may best fit your needs, speaking to a trained practitioner like one trained in Chinese medicine could help identify what remedies would work for you, and which products may pose risks or side effects associated with any particular herb or supplement you are considering taking. It’s always wise to purchase from reliable sources when searching for supplements to purchase.
4. They are effective
Herbal medicines can be highly effective at treating many common ails and conditions with few side effects compared to prescription medications, due to using plant parts from various species as medicine to address the problem at hand. Herbal remedies can also reduce symptoms while encouraging healing within the body naturally – an invaluable asset when recovering from illness or injury.
Herbs can be used for treating various conditions, from digestive issues to depression. Furthermore, herbs can also serve as preventive measures against future illness by strengthening immunity.
Herbal remedies can be purchased both in stores and online and can be an ideal way to avoid pharmaceutical drugs if taken on an as-needed basis. When selecting herbal remedies from reputable vendors, however, to reduce risks from harmful ingredients or additives.
Ginger, turmeric and chamomile are among the most widely used medicinal herbs, often combined with other remedies to address various health concerns. Although safe when taken alone or combined with other herbs to treat ailments such as chronic back pain or digestive disorders, medical advice must always be sought prior to taking these remedies on their own.
In many countries, herbs are subject to law regulation, ensuring they meet quality and label requirements and contain all listed ingredients. This regulation is essential as herbs can cause side effects including allergies and digestive disorders if improperly manufactured.
Noting the potential interactions between certain herbs and medications is also key; interactions may either increase their effectiveness or diminish them; therefore, it’s wise to discuss any new treatment plans with your physician first.
As pregnancy puts your risk of bleeding higher or interferes with anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medications, it is especially important that any potential risks be communicated to your physician before beginning use of herbal products or remedies. It would also be wise to inform them if you suspect they could increase it; so always inform your physician of any concerns about how using them might impact on anticoagulant (blood-thinner) medications before you use them.
Herbal medicine use is increasing globally and increasingly common, which can be seen as a positive development; however, not everyone is aware of the risks associated with self-medication or require expert consultation for advice before starting on their own regimens. Therefore, raising awareness on this matter among users and physicians so that appropriate action may be taken by both.