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PrecautionsSafety Guidelines When Using Herbs for Holistic Healing of
Your Mind, Body and Soul...
|The beauty of herbs lies in their ability to help your
own body/mind heal itself, a process that it does most efficiently. The problem
with herbs lies with the users, they have a tendency to become their own
doctors. Herbalism is a natural way to supplement conventional medical care,
not replace it. Learning about herbs and how they react in the body can be a
dangerous knowledge if common sense rules are ignored.
descriptions of herbs you will find comments like "may prevent", "may help",
"may ease", "may be effective", and so on. The reason these phrases are used is
because limitations are placed on them by the FDA. A 1990 federal law, the
Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, gives the FDA authority over health
claims by dietary supplement products such as medicinal herbs and vitamins sold
over the counter. A new pharmaceutical medication can cost $500 million and
require 10-15 years of testing. To make actual claims that an herbal supplement
works would require the same procedure. Perhaps you can understand why
manufacturers simply don't make "factual claims" and instead use the word
"may". However, those of us who believe in the effectiveness of herbs have
centuries of time testing to back up our beliefs, not to mention our own
successes in using herbs.
In most cases, if you go to a store and peruse
the herbal items for sale there, you will find little, if any information on
the label regarding what the herb does for you. Again, this is because of FDA
restrictions. It is best to purchase books that describe the use and benefits
of herbs to go along with the supplements that you buy. Suggested doses are
usually found on the labels but remember even these vary greatly between
manufacturers, strengths vary as well. Other factors need to be taken into
consideration, too, like individual circumstance, allergies and effects on your
system. Always start with the lowest dosage recommended and proceed from there.
Learn first how the herb reacts in your system, if you experience any negative
side-effects, discontinue use immediately. Many people have a tendency to
believe "if this much works, more will work better..." however, this axiom
applied to almost anything, including herbs, can be dangerous.
herbal supplement industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade
and especially over the last few years. At this time it is approximately a $6.1
billion per year industry (some reports are much higher). Many folk remedies
have led to modern medicines, and today a growing number of scientists and
physicians are turning back to nature for sources of new drug compounds.
Natural medications continue to help fight age-old scourges and to offer
promise in developing cures for cancer, heart disease and mental health
problems. Today about 40 to 50% of synthesized drugs are based on herbal
Let's discuss some common sense guidelines in the use of
herbs. Please pay particular attention to them and remember that any serious
condition needs to be dealt with by a licensed medical doctor or herbalist. Do
not attempt to treat yourself for serious medical problems without guidance. In
any case, when visiting your doctor be sure to inform him/her that you are
taking herbs because medications he/she prescribes for you may interact with
Rarely does an herb at the
prescribed dose cause stomach upset or headache. This may reflect the purity of
the preparation or added ingredients such as synthetic binders or fillers. For
this reason, only high quality, standardized extract formulas are
and nursing women should consult with their doctor before using any
remedies are usually not appropriate for children under two years of
have different sensitivity levels to medication. Begin with the lowest
dosage and increase gradually.
should be used with caution by those over 65 and they should consult with their
doctors before using.
suffer from a chronic illness, seek professional help.
If you are
on prescribed medications, check with your doctor due to possible drug
If a minor
condition does not respond to herbal treatment in two or three weeks, seek
attempt to treat any serious illness yourself. Seek professional
experience any negative side effects with an herb, discontinue
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