Lets face it, many people are over-medicated, either from over the counter products or from prescription drugs, and many of their complaints could have been better handled with grandmother's old fashioned herbal remedies. But that does not mean that drugs from factories are bad, while drugs from plants are safe.
Plants can produce very potent drugs, some of which are the raw materials for medicines such as digitalis, morphine, aspirin, and quinine. When taken in their raw form, it can be a tricky thing to get the dosages right.
Much has been written and claimed about herbs, but here are a few guidelines. The following herbs can be very helpful:
- Aloe gel from the inner leaves of the aloe plant whose derivatives are natural herbal remedies for the pain of burns, including sunburns.
- Chamomile tea can relieve indigestion, and act as a mild sedative.
- Feverfew tea is said to help colds, flu, and migraine-headaches.
- Gingerroot tea can counter motion sickness.
- Peppermint and spearmint tea can help heartburn, indigestion, and cold symptoms.
- Raspberry leaf tea can help alleviate diarrhea and menstrual cramps.
With all of these, as with most medicines, there can be individual allergic reactions. However, others are not herbal remedies at all, and are downright hostile. Calamus and coltsfoot and Sassafras contain suspected carcinogens. Ginseng and licorice, when taken in large amounts, can raise blood pressure, and in the case of licorice, cause fluid retention. Goldenseal and senna can both cause miscarriage and severe stomach pains, and can be fatal in large doses.
Here's an action tip:
Just because a herbal remedy is marketed as natural, organic, or herbal doesn't mean it is free from side effects. Check with your doctor to see if your herbal remedies are appropriate for you, especially if you are on prescription medications or are pregnant or breastfeeding, and don't give them to children.
Because herbal medicines can be so powerful, they deserve all the respect you would give prescription drugs.
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