7 Benefits of Herbal Medicine: The risks and benefits of home remedies


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Herbal remedies have been around as long as humans have walked the earth. In fact, even animals know what plants to eat when they are unwell.

Herbal medicine is the foundation of almost all of our modern medicines, and when practised wisely by a skilled practitioner, it can be just as effective, if not more so. 

There are many benefits of herbal medicine, here we will explore the top 7 benefits of using home remedies, as well as some of the risks associated with using traditional herbal medicines.

The History of Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine remains largely an unproven, inexact science. However, this is more because it is difficult to obtain funding for large studies when there isn’t a product to patent and sell at the end of the study. 

Herbal medicines are also difficult to study because the dosing and effect can change from plant to plant, season to season and person to person.

This does not mean that herbal medicine is not effective! There are thousands of years of history behind most herbal remedies, and chinese medicine in particular is well documented to work, even if science cannot explain the exact pathways.

Despite herbal medicine being criticized by the modern medical world, it is worth remembering that many of the medicines that they prescribe are actually based on herbal remedies. Aspirin is from the bark of willow, and digoxin for slowing down a rapid heart rate, it derived from foxglove.

Traditional medicines vary from culture to culture, and they are passed on down through the generations. This has allowed our societies to get to where we are now. If herbal medicines did not work, we would not have survived as a species.

 7 Benefits of Herbal Medicine

1 More affordable than conventional medicine.

Going to the doctor and buying prescription medicines can cost thousands of dollars a month. Many herbal medicines can be grown in your own garden, and turned in to medical tinctures at home.

Because pharmaceutical companies cannot patent naturally occuring chemicals, they have to alter the structure in some way, to be able to make decent money from it. Once they have patented a medication, they sell it to the consumer at a significant profit.

RELATED POST: Top 10 Medicinal Plants to grow in your garden

2 Effective for Chronic Illness

Herbal medicines tend to be more effective for long term, chronic illness where modern medicine is not so helpful. Conditions like PCOS, arthritis and chronic fatigue tend to be better treated with changes in diet and the addition of herbs than with conventional medicine.

3 Strengthens the immune system

Many herbs in herbal medicine have the added benefits of boosting and strengthening the immune system. This, of course, helps to ward of many illnesses. 

Herbal medicine is the foundation of almost all of our modern medicines, and when practised wisely by a skilled practitioner, it can be just as effective, if not more so.  There are many benefits of herbal medicine, here we will explore the top 7 benefits of using home remedies, as well as some of the risks associated with using traditional herbal medicines. #naturalremedies #herbalmedicine #piwakawakavalley

4 Herbs are easier to obtain than prescription medicine

Yet another advantage of herbal medicines are their availability in most areas. Herbs are available without a prescription. You can grow some simple herbs, such as peppermint and chamomile, at home. In some remote parts of the world, herbs may be the only treatment available to the majority of people.

Learning to use herbs safely is a key survival skill that everyone should add to their skill base.

Herbal Academy is my go to place for learning all things herbal. Their courses are detailed and thorough, and they are affordable as well. Find out more here

5 Herbs can Stabilize hormones and metabolism

Some herbs are perfect for balancing hormones. Vitex is a great example for women with severe PMS or PCOS. Vitex is a balancing herb, that supports your body in balancing the hormones naturally.

This is an effect that modern medicine has no answer for. Herbs contain so many effective compounds that work together, that if you remove one and try and use it alone, the overall beneficial effects of the herbal medicine is usually lost, or greatly reduced.

6 Fewer side effects

Generally, herbal remedies are well tolerated, and have less severe side effects than modern medicines. This might be because the herbs are made of natural compounds, whereas pharmaceutical medications are all modified so that they can patent them.

7 Synergistic effects

Herbs often work best in combination. Several herbs together often give significantly better effects than the herbs on their own. One example of this is using fenergreek and blessed thistle work together for breast milk production significantly better than either herb working on their own.

 

Disadvantages to using herbal medicines

There are also disadvantages to using herbal medicines. Herbal remedies are not appropriate for all situations.

1 Not a cure-all

Modern medicine treats and cures most acute illnesses much more effectively than herbal medicines. Asthma attacks, heart attacks, broken limbs, severe injuries and infections are all better off getting emergency medical care.

2 There is no label

Because strengths of plants change from plant to plant and season to season, and the required herbal medicine treatment dose will vary from person to person and condition to condition, it is difficult to know exactly how much to take and how often.

3 The risk of poisoning is real

Identifying wild herbs or medicinal plants is best left to the person that knows what they are doing. There are many herbs that look similar, and just because granny called it chamomile, does not mean that it is.

There was a lady hospitalized on our medical ward with a dangerously low heart rate that was making her collapse. Eventually the nursing staff found out that she was drinking self harvested chamomile tea each night. It turns out it was actually foxglove that she was drinking, which is very effective at slowing cardiac output.

4 It can react with your usual medications

Also mention any herbal treatments that you are using to your doctor, and your medications to your herbalist. The interactions can be deadly.

5 No regulation

If you are buying your herbs from a company, you need to know there is no regulation governing the harvesting, processing or selling of legal herbal medication. Buyer beware.

7 Benefits of Herbal Medicine: The risks and benefits of home remedies

It is really important that if you want to use herbal remedies to treat yourself and your family, that you learn how to do it properly and safely.

Herbal Academy is my go to place for learning all things herbal. Their courses are detailed and thorough, and they are affordable as well. Find out more here

 

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Herbal medicine is the foundation of almost all of our modern medicines, and when practised wisely by a skilled practitioner, it can be just as effective, if not more so.  There are many benefits of herbal medicine, here we will explore the top 7 benefits of using home remedies, as well as some of the risks associated with using traditional herbal medicines. #naturalremedies #herbalmedicine #piwakawakavalley

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