Herbal or Botanical Medicine
What is Herbal or Botanical Medicine?
Herbal medicine is the use of herbs (plants or plant extracts) to help the body heal, provide nourishment and relieve symptoms while addressing the root cause of your health problems.
What conditions can you use herbs for?
There is an herb for just about everything. The trick is to know the subtleties of each and which is most appropriate for the particular person, in what dose, which format (tincture, tablet, capsule, salve etc) and from which manufacturer. Quality control with herbs makes a big difference and many products on health food store shelves contain little or no active ingredient from the herb that it is meant to contain.
I tried herbal medicine and it didn’t work, why?
There are a few reasons why an herb might not have worked:
- It wasn’t the right one for you. Just because someone posted that xyz herb worked for them on a forum, or worse a site selling herbs, doesn’t mean it’s right for you.
- Quality control. Botanical medicines contain active ingredients that can be fragile or the herb has to be picked at a certain time of year or from a particular geographical region to contain it. Premium manufacturers know this and collect and process herbs accordingly. Most over the counter manufacturers don’t.
- Dosage. For an herb to work it has to be taken at the right time of day, in the right amount and fairly consistently for the right length of time.
Because they’re natural all herbs are safe, right?
No. Herbs can be toxic if taken incorrectly. They can also interact with prescription medications. For example, St John’s Wort, a popular anti-depressant herb, should NOT be taken with prescription anti-depressants. Some herbal medicines should not be given to children or people with particular health problems like kidney or liver disease.
Some herbs should only be taken for a limited amount of time to ensure that they don’t accumulate in your system.