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Friday, May 27, 2022

Why herbal medicine cannot be ignored

By Maryse IsmaSpecial to CSMS MagazineOnce you find out, or are reminded, that aspirin was developed from extracts of the willow bark tree, you may begin to view herbal medicine a little differently. Around most of the world outside North America, herbal or botanical medicine is in fact traditional medicine. To the contrary, in our culture, we have come to think of our pharmaceutical-based, in tech healing system as “traditional” and the other systems around the globe as “alternative.”            In herbal medicine, “herb” means any plant or any part of a plant that is used to make medicine, food flavorings or aromas (for aromatherapy). You can find herbs in whole form, extracts, tinctures, oils, ointments, teas and tablets. Because everyone’s physiology is different, some experimentation is necessary to find the right herbal remedies for you.            The chemicals that occur naturally in herbs have been observed and studied for centuries but have only recently achieved “scientific” recognition by American doctors and researchers. Despite great strides in the acceptance and understanding of using herbs as medicine, there is no licensing body to regulate herbal medicine in the United States; thus, herbs some quite powerful can now be bought in health food stores, supermarkets, herb shops and specially drugstores. Herbs are regulated as dietary supplements like vitamins, not as drugs, even though some of them can have the same effect as drugs. (In brief, manufactures can’t make clams on the label.)            Care must be taken when seeking advice from an herbalist, for training can be quite varied or even lacking. Consumers should be prepared to research herbal medicines on their own before starting any kind of serious regimen. A naturopath education includes training in both herbal medicine and physiology in a medical school like setting. And always consult with any doctor who may be treating you for a particular ailment before going on an herbal regimen.            In near future, we can foresee that many more people will experiment with herbal medicine for everyday aliments like coughs, colds, sore throats, menstrual problems, minor cuts, scrapes and burns. In such cases, natural herbal remedies may be effective, no more expensive, and have fewer side effects than conventional over-the-counter drugs.Also see 10 Tricks to Lower Your Blood Pressureand The importance of skilled chiropractors

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