Have you Considered Using Herbal Medicine?
What do you do when you have a headache or a stomach upset? You probably go to the medicine cabinet to look for pharmaceutical pills. We are so accustomed to treating ailments with conventional medicine that the notion of using herbal medicine seems outdated. Some people think that the medicine is made by inexperienced people while others think it’s the best alternative for those who can’t afford artificial medicine. Both assumptions are wrong.
According to the World Health Organization, majority of the population in some African and Asian countries depends on herbal remedies for critical health care. The medicine is also popular in the US, France, Germany, Spain, and Scandinavian countries. As the grave side effects of pharmaceutical drugs are revealed through research and scandals (like how Prozac causes suicidal thoughts in teenagers), more and more people are turning to herbal medicine.
What Is Herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine is also referred to as botanical medicine and denotes using plants or plant extracts for medicinal purposes. The medicine comes from raw or processed plant parts, including roots, leaves, seeds, flowers, and stems. Under the existing US law, herbs are considered dietary supplements.
Herbal medicine is the oldest and most widely used medicine system in the world. Different cultures around the world have different types of herbal medicines but share one common feature, they all use medicinal plants. Each culture uses different plants, different preparation methods, and different application techniques. Some cultures use the same plants but differ in the parts they use and how they use them.
In the US, public dissatisfaction with the high cost of prescription medicines, combined with an interest in natural remedies, has augmented the use of herbal medicines. In Germany, there are approximately 700 plant based medicines that are recommended by 70% of the doctors.
Who Is an Herbalist?
An herbalist, also called an herbal practitioner, is a person specially trained in the field of herbal medicine. He uses plants and natural elements to prevent and treat illnesses, to promote healing, and to improve health. He is a master of herbology and uses flowers, seeds, leaves, barks, and roots of plants for medicinal purposes. Herbalists are certified by professional organizations or schools. To become one, you must be formally educated and must have completed an apprenticeship.
Herbalists focus on holistic health; they concentrate on wide-ranging healthcare that deals with the mental, physical, social, emotional, economic, and spiritual needs of a patient. Some serve as consultants in healthcare teams while others offer primary healthcare. Some herbalists work as educators, researchers, or manufacturers of herbal products.
When you use herbal remedies as directed by a licensed herbalist, you will not experience any serious side effects. Many herbal medicines can be used together with pharmaceutical drugs, minerals, vitamins, and even foods. When buying herbal products, make sure you get them from a reputable herbalist.
The History of Herbal Medicine
Herbal medicine has been used long before recorded history. Ancient Egyptian and Chinese writings reveal plants were used for medicinal purposes as early as 3,000 BC. Indigenous cultures used herbs in healing rituals while others created conventional medical systems (like traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine) where herbal therapies were used. Modern researchers have discovered that different cultures used the same plants for similar purposes.
When chemical analysis became available at the beginning of the 19th century, scientists started to extract and alter active ingredients from plants. As time went by, chemists started manufacturing their own versions of plant compounds. As a result, people started using these drugs more than herbal remedies. These days, only ¼ of artificial drugs are obtained from plants. But herbal medicine is becoming popular again as clinical research, analysis, and quality control improves. These three fields show the value of botanical medicine in preventing and treating disease.
The Most Popular Medicinal Herbs
Herbal medicine is used to treat many conditions including asthma, arthritis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and cancer. When taking herbal remedies, do so under the guidance of a trained herbalist. Some herbal medicines interact with prescription drugs and worsen medical conditions so talk to a doctor or pharmacist before mixing the two. Here are some popular medicinal herbs and their uses.
- St. John’s Wort: Very popular for its antidepressant effects. It is an effective treatment for mild or moderate depression and doesn’t have serious side effects like most prescription antidepressants. St. John’s Wort also contains melatonin which can help you to sleep better.
- Turmeric: This herb contains curcumin, a strong anti-inflammatory that functions like Cox-2 inhibitors, medicines that lower the Cox-2 enzyme that brings about the pain and swelling of arthritis. Curcumin can also prevent colon cancer and Alzheimer’s disease when taken together with a little quercetin (an antioxidant found in cabbage, onions, and apples).
- Cinnamon: When consumed daily, it lowers blood sugar. Cinnamon also reduces cholesterol and decreases related heart risks in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Saw Palmetto: A powerful cure for benign prostatic hyperplasia, a non-cancerous swelling of the prostate gland. It treats symptoms like trouble starting and maintaining urination and frequent urination.
- Gingko Biloba: Used to enhance memory and treat circulatory disorders. It can be very helpful in decreasing the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The herb enhances blood circulation by dilating blood vessels and decreasing the stickiness of blood platelets.
- Garlic: This herb lowers the risk of colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, and other cancers. It also decreases blood pressure thanks to its 70 active phytochemicals.
Herbal Medicine Is A Wonderful Choice!
There are 1000’s of herbs that can be helpful with virtually any malady. There are 100’s of books and free information available for you to google and learn more. This is a powerful, easy and healthier way to approach most any issue you have going on.
The nice thing is that you can eliminate serious issues if you use herbs to catch your illness early.
Herbs come in tablets, capsules, tincture, drops, lozenges and virtually all forms of delivery. Most are safe for children but it is always a good idea to check this out before using them on small children.
Also keep in mind that the quality of the herb is very important. You want to be sure you have organic or clean harvested herbs that have not been grown with pesticides or other harmful chemicals.
Do your homework before you have a need for an herb.
You may have grown up using conventional medicine, but it’s never too late to change. The bad thing is that our minds have been programmed to think that herbal remedies don’t work while artificial drugs do. It seems crazy that simple herbs can be so powerful. But the truth is that they are. Many studies have shown that herbal medicine works. The best part is that the products have no side effects. The next time you are ill, don’t rush to the nearest pharmacy, get some medicinal herbs.
Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.