Herbs are desired for their special qualities, scent, and flavor. Herbal supplements have been used for centuries for the purported healing qualities that they possess. The use of these products to heal various diseases and conditions on a broad spectrum of severity is a holistic approach in the medical world. Holistic, as the name implies, is a natural remedy that focuses on the body as a whole, and works to heal it in that manner. While these products may not get much attention from health care providers, they are increasingly becoming the remedy of choice. Many consumers aren’t well equipped with information about these products, and this article is intended to fill that gap.
In today’s world, the approach to health is often looked upon in terms of “treatment.” The problem with this traditional medicine is that hardly any measures are taken to prevent illness. The common practice is to go to the doctor when symptoms present themselves; rarely is a trip made to the doctor’s office for the sole purpose of getting nutrition advice. The goal right now is to get health care providers to put more emphasis on healthy lifestyles in order to prevent illness so people can have fewer health conditions that may have serious consequences. Chemically-loaded prescription drugs are often the number one choice for treatment. Herbal therapy is a healthy alternative to ordinary methods. Doctors are shy about suggesting these types of treatments or preventive measures because it is completely out of the norm.
Organic simply means that these products are natural; they are extracted straight from the Earth. In fact, many prescription drugs today are synthetically derived from the natural elements that make up herbs. Herbal supplements are not even considered to be drugs because in order to have this name, it must have added chemicals. This product comes as either a single herb or a combination of multiple herbs, depending on the desired effect.
When To Use Herbal Supplements
Many people relish the option of having a natural remedy because they do not like putting a myriad of unidentifiable chemicals into their bodies. The idea of using herbal supplements is to reach the highest level of health possible. Herbal supplements are coined as “supplements” because they are to be used in conjunction with proper diet; if used in the proper way, they will complement the body’s natural healing processes. Herbals should not substitute anything in the diet. Some have been reported to enhance the immune system (Echinacea), provide essential nutrients, have positive effects on the memory (Gingko), and lower blood cholesterol (Garlic). Ginseng is a popular Chinese herb that has been studied for its uses on exercise and sports performance, and is suggested to have a positive impact on exercise- and mentally-induced stress. Heed to the advice to check with a physician before starting on any supplement, whether it is herbal or not, because there are some conditions, such as heart, liver or kidney, that can result in adverse reactions if these supplements are taken.
Drawbacks of Herbal Supplements
“Natural” is not synonymous with “safe”, as is commonly believed. There are risks and limits to anything that is put in the body; after all, anything that goes into it is unnaturally put there. Be sure to check with a doctor or consult a credible source for information on interactions that the supplement may have with other drugs. Unfortunately, the regulation of herbal products is very limited, so many products do not contain what they reportedly do. Manufacturers are not required to have all ingredients listed on the label. A product may claim to have an amount of a specific ingredient, when in fact it has much less or much more of that ingredient. All herbal supplements are different and it is important to check with the company’s website for any added ingredients.
The ultimate choice of using herbal supplements should completely be left up to the individual. As with any “medicine”, there are pros and cons to be weighed. In order for this to be done fairly, it is important to know all of the benefits and all of the risks. Consult with a physician, especially one that specializes in alternative therapy.
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