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Date: December 18, 2018, 09:21:15 PM


Benefits of Natural Medicine : Health : - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum


Benefits of Natural Medicine

By: alagbe003 (M) |Time : August 21, 2016, 05:26:26 PM
People have practiced natural medicine for centuries. Before the advent of modern technology, doctors and their patients had to rely on natural techniques and herbal remedies to treat illnesses or heal injuries. Everything from the common cold to life-threatening conditions such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease have been purported to be successfully treated without the use of modern-day medical equipment.


Due to the widespread popularity and blatant dominance of modern medicine in Western society, natural medicine has received much criticism for being backwards and unreliable. Is there any wonder why the majority of medical students know just as much about herbal drugs as the general public?


Natural Medicine is Good for You

The healthcare system is structured in such a way that natural remedies are now widely perceived as inferior or something that people use when they cannot afford modern medicine. However, there have been many reported instances and a wealth of substantive data that prove exactly the opposite.


More people need to realize that going against the grain is not always a bad thing. Refusing to use synthetic drugs is indeed a healthy choice. Being aware of the benefits of natural medicine might cause an increasing number of people to use these resources. Remember, stigmas can be removed just as they are assigned. People have taken herbal extracts from plants long before they were given prescription drugs. Here are some of the top reasons why natural healing may be the best option for you.

Re: Benefits of Natural Medicine

By: alagbe003 (M) |Time : August 21, 2016, 05:28:12 PM
Why You Should Consider Natural Medicine

    No harmful side effects. Pharmaceutical drugs often cause adverse reactions in the patients that take them, and the worst part about it is that the companies that manufacture these drugs often do so without being aware of them.
    Herbal medicine utilizes the body’s natural healing process for treating conditions. The ingredients used are those which are regularly produced in the body.
    It is cost-effective. One of the main downsides to modern medicine is its cost. It is not uncommon for even generic pharmaceutical drugs to cost hundreds of dollars. A trip to the emergency room for treating a headache, for example, can easily cost this much money. You can also buy most herbal drugs over the counter, which means you don’t need to have expensive health insurance.
    Natural medicine is widely understood to increase the body’s ability to ward of diseases. Increased immunity and an overall healthier state of being can easily be achieved with continued treatment.

Re: Benefits of Natural Medicine

By: alagbe003 (M) |Time : August 21, 2016, 05:29:03 PM
Herbal Medicine
Common Herbs Used for Medicinal Purposes
By Jeanne Grunert

There are many advantages and disadvantages of herbal medicine. Before treating yourself with herbs or seeking advice from a qualified herbalist or naturopath, consider the pros and cons of herbal treatments and remedies.
Studying Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine remains largely an unproven, inexact science. Although the history of herbal medicine provides decades, sometimes centuries, of anecdotal information, scientific study of herbal medicine is relatively new. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has only been in operation since 1992. Compared to the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which was founded over 100 years ago, NCCAM has only begun to scratch the surface of scientific research.

Despite the criticism of herbal medicine among mainstream medical professionals, it is wise to remember that many common drugs we use today were derived from plant-based sources. For example, scientists originally derived aspirin from willow bark; herbalists prescribe white willow for headaches and pain control. Digitalis, a drug prescribed for certain heart conditions, comes from an extract of potentially toxic foxglove flowers. These are just a few examples of why it's important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of herbal treatments.
Herbal Medicine: Advantages and Disadvantages

There are numerous advantages and disadvantages of herbal medicine. Anyone considering using herbal medicine to treat health conditions should speak with a qualified health professional.

There are a number advantages associated with using herbal medicines as opposed to pharmaceutical products. Examples include the following:

    Reduced risk of side effects: Most herbal medicines are well tolerated by the patient, with fewer unintended consequences than pharmaceutical drugs. Herbs typically have fewer side effects than traditional medicine, and may be safer to use over time.
    Effectives with chronic conditions: Herbal medicines tend to be more effective for long-standing health complaints that don't respond well to traditional medicine. One example is the herbs and alternative remedies used to treat arthritis. Vioxx, a well-known prescription drug used to treat arthritis, was recalled due to increased risk of cardiovascular complications. Alternative treatments for arthritis, on the other hand, have few side effects. Such treatments include dietary changes like adding simple herbs, eliminating vegetables from the nightshade family and reducing white sugar consumption.
    Lower cost: Another advantage to herbal medicine is cost. Herbs cost much less than prescription medications. Research, testing, and marketing add considerably to the cost of prescription medicines. Herbs tend to be inexpensive compared to drugs.
    Widespread availability: Yet another advantage of herbal medicines are their availability. Herbs are available without a prescription. You can grow some simple herbs, such as peppermint and chamomile, at home. In some remote parts of the world, herbs may be the only treatment available to the majority of people.

Re: Benefits of Natural Medicine

By: alagbe003 (M) |Time : August 21, 2016, 05:29:50 PM

Herbs are not without disadvantages, and herbal medicine is not appropriate in all situations. These are a few of the disadvantages to consider:

    Inappropriate for many conditions: Modern medicine treats sudden and serious illnesses and accidents much more effectively than herbal or alternative treatments. An herbalist would not be able to treat serious trauma, such as a broken leg, nor would he be able to heal an appendicitis or a heart attack as effectively as a conventional doctor using modern diagnostic tests, surgery, and drugs.
    Lack of dosage instructions: Another disadvantage of herbal medicine is the very real risks of doing yourself harm through self-dosing with herbs. While you can argue that the same thing can happen with medications, such as accidentally overdosing on cold remedies, many herbs do not come with instructions or package inserts. There's a very real risk of overdose.
    Poison risk associated with wild herbs: Harvesting herbs in the wild is risky, if not foolhardy, yet some people try to identify and pick wild herbs. They run a very real risk of poisoning themselves if they don't correctly identify the herb, or if they use the wrong part of the plant.
    Medication interactions: Herbal treatments can interact with medications. Nearly all herbs come with some warning, and many, like the herbs used for anxiety such as Valerian and St. John's Wort, can interact with prescription medication like antidepressants. It's important to discuss your medications and herbal supplements with your doctor to avoid dangerous interactions.
    Lack of regulation: Because herbal products are not tightly regulated, consumers also run the risk of buying inferior quality herbs. The quality of herbal products may vary among batches, brands or manufacturers. This can make it much more difficult to prescribe the proper dose of an herb.

Re: Benefits of Natural Medicine

By: alagbe003 (M) |Time : August 21, 2016, 05:30:31 PM
Can Herbal Medicine Be Part of Your Healthy Lifestyle?

The bottom line is that herbs are medicines, and like other medications, they have some advantages and disadvantages. Visiting a physician for the correct diagnosis, consulting an herbalist for the proper herb and dosage, and embracing modern medicine when it makes the most practical sense may be the best of all possible worlds for those who wish to use alternative and complementary therapies.

Re: Benefits of Natural Medicine

By: alagbe003 (M) |Time : August 21, 2016, 05:33:20 PM
The side effects of herbal medicine depend upon the herbal remedy, the dosage, and any pharmaceutical medications taken by the patient. Many alternate health treatments, such as adjusting the diet or taking homeopathic remedies, are quite safe. Yet some herbs are tricky and must be taken in the proper amounts for optimal health and wellbeing. Herbs, like any substance ingested in the body, are not without side effects.

Common Side Effects of Herbal Medicine

Any substance ingested into the body can cause side effects. Even food isn't entirely benign, as anyone with lactose intolerance can attest. Herbs are plant-based substances that also act like medicine upon the body. Like any medication, they may have side effects. Many side effects can occur from the interaction of herbal medicines with pharmaceutical medications.

As with all medical information, please speak with your physician or healthcare provider to discuss any specific concerns or questions regarding drug interactions.

Individuals taking St. John's wort to treat depression or anxiety may find their skin becoming more sensitive to the sun. They may burn more easily. Typically, fair-haired and light-skinned Caucasians have the highest incidence of photosensitivity, but this herbal side effect is thankfully rare. Typical cases of photosensitivity occur when people take very high doses of St. John's wort, or take it over a long period of time. If taking St. John's wort, avoid too much sun exposure.
Skin Irritation

Topical herbal antifungal and antibacterial agents such as tea tree oil and lavender may cause rashes or skin irritation, especially if used at full strength. Before using any topical herbal product, try a skin patch test. Place a small amount of the product on the inside of the elbow on one arm only. Wait a few days. If the area remains clear, proceed with using the herbal product.

Everyone's body is different, and some people are more sensitive to herbs than other people. Herbs used to treat anxiety, depression and insomnia may cause excessive daytime sleepiness in certain individuals. These herbs include chamomile, valerian and kava kava, with valerian and kava being the most likely culprits. Avoid driving or using machinery until you're sure of the effects of the herb.

Re: Benefits of Natural Medicine

By: alagbe003 (M) |Time : August 21, 2016, 05:35:43 PM
Drug Interactions

Drug interactions are serious side effects of herbal medicine. Many commonly used medications interact with herbs. Herbs may amplify the effect of the medication, as in the case of sedatives, anesthetics, and blood thinners. Others may block the drug from working. This can lead to dangerous consequences.
Interaction with General Anesthesia

One of the most common side effects of herbal medicine is its interaction with pharmaceutical drugs. Of particular danger is the interaction between herbs and anesthetics. Many people undergo general anesthesia for outpatient procedures and diagnostic tests as well as major surgical procedures. Certain herbs, such as kava kava and valerian, may magnify the effect of sedatives and general anesthetics.

Patients must tell their anesthesiologist about all herbs, supplements, vitamins, pharmaceutical medications and alternative remedies they are taking to avoid dangerous drug interactions. The American Society of Anesthesiologists advises patients not to take herbal remedies two weeks prior to receiving any anesthesia because so many herbs can interact with anesthetics as well as cause other complications during surgical procedures. Many doctors also advise against taking dietary supplements prior to surgery for the same reason.
Liver Inflammation

Echinacea, one of the most popular herbs used to boost the immune system and battle colds, may also cause liver inflammation when it interacts with certain pharmaceutical compounds. Echinacea may also prevent certain medications used to treat lupus and other immune-system disorders from working.
Interactions with Anticlotting Medications

Patients taking the commonly prescribed anti-clotting medication Coumadin are advised to avoid all herbal medications unless discussed and approved by their physician. Many herbs interact negatively with Coumadin and cause unsafe reactions.

Herbs that magnify or increase the action of Coumadin include:

    Ginkgo biloba
    Dong quai

Some herbs prevent or block Coumadin from working. These herbs include:

    St. John's wort

Some supplements also interact negatively with Coumadin and related anti-clotting medications. These supplements include Co-Q 10 and green tea extracts.

Be very cautious when taking any supplements with anti-clotting medications, and discuss them with your healthcare provider.
Avoid Dangerous Side Effects

Take steps to avoid dangerous side effects. Always consult with your physician or healthcare provider before taking any herbs, supplements, or alternative remedies. While many modern medical doctors may not be conversant with herbal medicine, they should be able to advise you on potential interactions, or at least access reliable sources to find out for you.

Purchase supplements and herbs from well-known companies. Never try to harvest herbs in the wild. Even the experts are occasionally fooled with disastrous consequences. Harvesting the wrong plant, using the wrong part, or preparing an incorrect dose can be dangerous or fatal. Purchasing herbal supplements from reliable manufacturers also ensures that the doses are consistent, helping you to monitor and measure the success of the herbal medication more easily.

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