In the latest years, herbal remedies are becoming more popular, as people began questioning the safety of modern, synthetic drugs. People want access to pure, organic and natural solutions to their health problems.
Herbal supplements may help you with anxiety, depression, joint pain, blood pressure, menopause, acne, prostate, weight loss, stress just to name a few.
Modern physicians no longer have training in herbal medicine. Many doctors are totally against herbal remedies and supplements, all the while knowing synthetic drugs have dangerous side effects. Prescription and OTC medicines treat one problem but sometimes can do more harm than good in the long term.
Herbal remedies, on the other hand, are much less toxic. Let’s not underestimate the power of Mother Nature!
Herbal remedies can reduce enormous health care costs and can play a great role in managing common health issues.
More people in areas of Europe and North America are recognizing medicinal herbs to treat health problems and maintain their well-being.
A Little History Of Herbs
Before I write an article about a subject, I always do my research. Particularly on this topic, it fascinates me how much we can learn from our ancestors, allowing us to make sense of our world and all things in it.
For thousands of years, humans have searched for cures and remedies, compiling their knowledge of botanical & herbal solutions we cannot ignore.
If we look back into the history of humankind, herbs have been used in healing and cooking for centuries. From ancient Sumerians, Egyptians, Romans, ancient practices from China, India, Greece, and the Mayan civilization, people all over have used botanical properties to heal, prepare and spice food. There are countless herbal traditions from all over the world, but 3 major stands out.
- Ayurveda – Traditional Treatments from India
- Western Herbal Medicine based on Roman and Greek practices
- Chinese Herbal Medicine
Many herbal medicines, remedies, and mixtures that we use today evolved from these sources. Before synthetic drugs came into play, people used herbs for treating illnesses, coping with pain management and even daily tasks, such as preserving food. Egyptians even used herbal solutions to preserve the bodies of important people, using cinnamon, cumin, anise.
In the Middle Ages, the “Western” people started to explore the world and bring spices and herbs from other countries and continents. In those times, monasteries, places where medicinal studies were conducted, grew their own herbs, studied them and performed medical experiments & developed treatments. We cannot discuss Homeopathy, we have to mention the name of its founder, Samuel Hahnemann (born: 1755 died: 1843), a German physician and the word Homeopathy was his invention.
At the beginning of the 20th century, many medical schools merged with big universities. Traditional Medicines were threatened by homeopathy and naturopathy, resulting in Homeopathy courses dropped from the medical curriculum. The last homeopathic College closed its doors in the 1920s, homeopathic doctors were shunned and denounced by traditional doctors. The principals of Dr. Hahnemman proposed significant economical and principal alternatives to traditional medicine. Although, doctors influenced by pharmaceutical companies have been trying for many years to suppress homeopathy as a form of medicine.
In the 19th century, many discoveries were made, marking the beginning of the scientific pharmacy. With upgraded chemistry, many other active substances were discovered such as vitamins, oils, and hormones.
Herbalism And Herbal Supplements Now
More people are beginning to take an interest in herbal and organic forms of treatment, simply because they’re natural, healthier choices. Eliminating dramatic side effects from synthetic drugs, which sometimes act like an overkill, suppressing the immune system.
According to NJP, (Journal of Nephropharmacology) 8% of hospital admissions in the U.S are due to adverse side effects of synthetic drugs. Every year, 100,000 people die due to these toxicities, at least three times more than the mortality rate by drunk drivers. To put this plainly, people are suffering at the hands of pharmaceutical companies.
Herbalism is gaining popularity nowadays. It is popular in Europe, specifically in Britain, where the Royal Family has used homeopathic care since the 1830s. Homeopathic treatments are very popular across Asia. In the United States, homeopathy is in the resurrection stage, restoring interest on this subject from consumers and doctors. Future growth of Homeopathic Medicine is expected to reach up to 18%, creating a product market of $111 billion by 2023. What drives this market? The aging population and consumer attention to health and well-being.
Of the 20,000 people recently surveyed by NCH, over 90% were extremely satisfied or very satisfied with the results of over-the-counter homeopathic medicines. About 95% were likely to purchase homeopathic medicines again in the future and over 85% would recommend homeopathic medicines to others.
Take Safety Precautions
Before you buy any commercial herbs and mixtures or supplements, educate yourself about what you are buying and how to use it properly. It is best to consult your physician before using any herbal therapy. Even more so, if you are consuming prescription drugs, learning which herbs do not interact well with specific drugs should be considered carefully.
The practice of Herbal Medicine is not a licensed profession in U.S. Herbs sold as dietary supplements and are available over the counter to anyone, so consumers should educate themselves before purchasing.
Be careful mixing herbs that have similar purposes and avoid mixing herbs and drugs that have an opposite reaction. Parents should be very careful giving herbal remedies to children. Some herbs are not safe for small children. Pregnant and woman who are breastfeeding should seek advice from a doctor before taking any herbs or to discuss any medicine-herbal combinations.
Herbal Supplements Delivery Method
There are many ways to include herbs in your life:
- Pill or Capsule (most popular)
- Tea (part of plants mixed with hot water)
- Tincture (essential plant components are dissolved in water and alcohol solution)
- Topical (comes in form of a lotion, ointment or cream)
- Food (edible herbs)
I’m going to be including new blogs about each one of these herbal remedies and best natural supplements
Please feel free to include a comment or a question down below and I’ll be happy to answer them!
- National Center for Homeopathy, survey results, July 29, 2015.
- NPJ Herbal versus Synthetic drugs: beliefs and facts by Ali Karimi, Maedeh Majlesi, and Rafieian-Kopaei 2015