Herbal medicines have existed for centuries and can offer a valuable alternative to standard medical practices. From ancient Chinese secrets to holistic plants from aboriginal tribes, Herbal medicine have been developed for every illness or injury ever encountered. In more recent times, Herbal medicine or supplements have become available to help improve or enhance body functions like weight control and muscle tone.
Herbal medicine can also be known by other titles such as alternative medicine, holistic medicine, alternative therapies, natural healing, herbs, medicinal herbs, or even nutritional therapies. No matter what name is used; Herbal medicines are known to use what is considered natural ingredients rather than processed medicines. Ingredients of Herbal medicine or supplements may be as simple as a single herb or as complex as a multi-vitamin.
Characteristic of these remedies is usually the lack of scientific evidence associated with them. Many Herbal medicines have not been thoroughly scientifically evaluated to determine the validity of their claims. For instance, it is scientifically unproven that chicken soup will cure the flu, but mothers still use it. Other common items like Vitamin C in citrus fruits have been scientifically studied and used for decades to prevent diseases like scurvy.
Evaluation of an Herbal medicine:
As with any medical or therapeutic treatment, careful evaluation of available information should be conducted. In order to adequately evaluate an Herbal medicine claim, the source of any evidence should be scrutinized. A careful review of studied remedies should include test results of double blind or placebo controlled methods. Other evaluations of effectiveness would include approval by a countries health ministry or such agency.
Unfortunately, in many cases “buyer beware” is the only valid research that exists on a company or their remedy. The herbal or supplement market is a much uncontrolled market that offers little standardization. With very little governmental regulation in most countries quality control and even ingredient quantity is suspect.
While Herbal medicine may or may not have been studied or approved, it does not necessarily mean they are all worthless. Many western countries are beginning to notice the effects of these Herbal medicines. Thus more scientific research is also being conducted on their physical and psychological effects.
Cure to be taken:
Even though readily available, and becoming more standardized, Herbal medicine may not always be the best choice. Before starting any medication, traditional or herbal, it is important to disclose all medicines that are being used. Severe, adverse reactions can occur when mixing medications. Physicians, or pharmacist, should be consulted to avoid possible reactions.
Additionally, some Herbal medicine were not designed to be used long term or under certain conditions. According to the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy, Herbal medicine like Gingko Balboa used with a common, over the counter, medicine like Aspirin may result in unusual bleeding. While medicines like Ephedra (otherwise known as ma huang) used when taking Caffeine, decongestants, or other stimulants may result in various degrees of Hypertension, insomnia, arrhythmia, nervousness, tremor, headache, seizure, cerebrovascular event, myocardial infarction, or even kidney stones.
Herbal medicines have their benefits and can be used for a variety of conditions. Herbal medicine can even be an affordable alternative to more western style medicines. To understand their real value, Herbal medicine research and a consultation with a physician should be conducted first.
Jenny Richards is a free lancer writer and content builder of www.symptomsofheartattack.org/