There is a lot to be said for herbal medicines that have been used for centuries by civilizations around the world. The Chinese have their teapills from traditional herbal formulas; the South Asian Indians have Ayurvedic herbal remedies; the Native American Indians have their own traditional remedies derived from berries, roots, leaves, flowers, twigs, trees and barks to cure illnesses. Now American drug companies rely on these ancient herbal sources to produce many of the common drugs of Western Medicine we use today. While herbalism is an inexact science, there are many known benefits in its use for illnesses ranging from back ache to Alzheimer’s.
Benefits of Herbal Medicine:
#1 No side effects: There are few side effects known to be related to herbal medicines, and this is its biggest advantage over mainstream medicine. Almost everyone can tolerate herbal formulations. And in addition, they can be safely used over time. They are all-natural.
On the other hand, patented drugs in supposedly the world’s best healthcare system in the US are often linked with fatalities. According to a report titled Death by Medicine and published in the American Medical Association journal, ‘adverse drug reactions’ have been considered as a leading cause of death in the country.
#2 Effective against chronic conditions: Many chronic conditions like arthritis that don’t always respond well to mainstream drugs have an excellent response to herbal medicine. In the case of arthritis, for example, alfalfa, boswellia, black cohosh, ginger etc. are recommended herbs that, along with dietary changes, can be effectively used for the illness with no side effects. In contrast, the prescription drug Vioxx commonly prescribed for arthritis had to be recalled because of its effects on the heart.
#3 Low cost and easy availability: Herbal medicines do not come with heavy out of pocket payments or the need for prescriptions. Prescription medicines are generally expensive because of the research, marketing and testing that goes into their preparation. Herbal medicines on the other hand are inexpensive and easily available at local drug stores. Some useful herbs like chamomile and peppermint can also be grown at home.
Caveats to Keep in Mind:
While there are many advantages to herbal medicine, especially in combating obesity and other chronic illnesses that don’t respond to prescription medication, there are some things to keep in mind.
They are not as effective against serious illnesses or sudden illnesses that need immediate attention. Herbal medicines tend to take longer to be effective, and therefore must be used only for illnesses that don’t need urgent treatment.
Correct and complete knowledge of herbs is also essential to avoid the risk of poisoning. Resources like urbol.com help provide detailed information on the identification and benefits of various herbs.
Some herbs may interact with other medications, so it is important to discuss herbal supplements and prescription medications with your doctor before use. It is also important to only buy the best quality herbs from reputed sellers. There is little regulation in the herbal product market, so inferior brands and products can easily find their way into the market.
Overall, people looking for holistic medicinal alternatives to prescription drugs for ailments such as arthritis, diabetes, eczema, piles and others can safely try herbal medicines for a better quality of life.