Herbal Medicines: Important Things to Remember

herbal medicines

Herbal medicines have become the latest fad. They are cheaper and have fewer side effects than their pharmaceutically-made counterparts. People should exercise caution when they use herbal medications because even they contain chemicals and not all chemicals are good for you. Poison ivy is naturally occurring but it certainly is not good for you. So, you should be more careful when you use herbal remedies.

Self-medication is a Strict No-no

You should consult with a trained and licensed herbal medical practitioner before you do anything bad. The chemicals in some herbal medicines can clash with some other medications that you may be taking. They can aggravate some diseases like high BP, diabetes, and cancer. They can also impede the treatments for chronic problems like epilepsy, thyroid, prostate and heart diseases.

Before Surgery

If you are planning to have a surgery, you should disclose the herbal medicines that you are currently taking to your surgeon. And the surgeon can then recommend you to discontinue them till the surgery if they can have any adverse effects on the surgery or the ensuing recuperation. You should make sure that you consume the medicine as per the directions.

Not Every Part of the Plant is Equal

With herbs and such, the different parts of the plant have varying properties. So if the flower has some particular medicinal properties, that does not mean the stem has them.

Take the Right Dosage

Some people think that since herbal remedies have no chemicals, they can increase the dosage to improve the effect because these herbal remedies take time to be effective. People should desist from following such practices as they can end up doing more harm. For instance, a high dosage of Valerian can cause unconsciousness. The recommended dosage should take into consideration your age and health condition; you should not deviate from this dosage or the tenure of the treatment.

If You Are Already On Medication

Some herbal remedies could hinder the efficient working of other essential drugs. St. John’s wort is an example of such an herbal alternative that is not compatible and resists the absorption of certain drugs. There is still no strict regulation when it comes to the manufacturing of these herbal medicines. The ingredients are not always mentioned on the packing or on the label. This causes a difference in dosage and ingredients and as a result, the drugs are not uniform across the companies. The emergence of a standardized system will go a long way towards legitimizing herbal remedies as a viable alternative to other pharmaceutical drugs.

For Pregnant Women

Pregnant women should always visit their obstetrician and seek his/her advice prior to taking any herbal medicines because they can cause harm to the unborn child. For instance, papaya seeds are bad for fetuses.

Always do research on various herbal supplements and remember that they are not without side effects. Look into your herbal medication and see if there could be a chance of harmful effects.


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