Herbal Remedy or Herbal Catastrophe?

Despite all the latest pills and syrups that are readily available in drugstores everywhere, many people still turn to herbal remedies as a cure for their ailments. Because herbs have been used for centuries not just as food supplements but also as cures, it is no wonder that many people still opt to use them. Also, the availability of these alternatives in health stores today are a breath of fresh of air for those who are not particularly fond of chemical-filled medicines.

Herbal remedies are medications that are made from plants and their extracts. A wide range of these herbal wonders are supposed to cure different kinds of sickness and diseases. Starting with aching joints and muscles, an infusion of celery, rosemary, chamomile, or ginger might do the trick. Having a bad case of allergies? Then echinacea might do wonders for you. Meanwhile, herbs such as cloves, lavender, and rosehip can be used as antiseptics, while catmint, celery, lemongrass, and parsley can relieve the pain felt from arthritis attacks. Coughs can be treated with anise, elderflower, lemon thyme or violet, whereas fever can be cured by melissa, yarrow, or lemongrass. The list could go on and on as these herbal remedies seem to be able to cure just about any health problem we can name. It is also said that combinations of these herbs can be a more effective treatment compared to the effects of using a single herb on its own.

Now although these herbal cures cost a lot less and seem a lot safer to take than pharmaceutical drugs, they too carry a number of risks that people are often not aware of. It doesn’t seem to be very well known that these concoctions are not as meticulously tested as pharmaceutical drugs are. Moreover, these remedies may contain ingredients and impurities other than what is stated on their labels, and these may cause unwanted results such as severe side effects or further aggravation of a current ailment. Research also shows that some herbal remedies, when taken over a long period of time, weaken the immune system or increase the blood pressure in the vessels of the lungs. Therefore, these herbal cures are not advised for people who have serious conditions, as they may simply exacerbate that condition, and produce other harmful results.

A number of unfortunate events related to the use of herbal remedies have been reported over the past few years. Spontaneous bleeding, for example, has often been connected with the use of ginkgo biloba, and in a number of cases this herb was cited as the cause of bleeding in some patients. The bleeding was found to stop when the use of the ginkgo biloba was discontinued.

Of course, different results are found with different people when these herbal wonders are used. Some patients have been entirely cured, whereas others have vowed never to use the herbal remedy again.

No matter what the condition is, physicians always recommend that you stick to the prescribed medicine in the treatment of serious ailments, and that the herbal remedies should only be taken as supplements after consultation with your doctor or herbalist.

17 thoughts on “Herbal Remedy or Herbal Catastrophe?

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