Obviously I am an advocate for the use of herbal and natural remedies for achieving wellness but as with most things in life there is a downside that must be considered. In this article we will touch on both the good and the bad of herbs and herbal remedies for treating illness and achieving optimal long-term health.
If you were hanging around during the stone age chances are you would have used plants and roots for general wellness and healing. Sometimes you would have been successful, and other time maybe not so much. But one thing is for sure is that if you were frantically chasing your dinner around with a club and suddenly went into sudden cardiac arrest it is almost certain that ingesting your favorite herb or herbal concoction wouldn’t be enough to bring you back to life. And that brings us to today.
One disadvantage of herbs and herbal remedies is that for serious illnesses such as a stroke, heart attack, serious trauma, or appendicitis herbs simply don’t work fast enough to make much of a difference. For instance if you stepped in hole and broke your ankle you will need a doctor to reset the bone and monitor the healing process not a herbal remedy. Though one that accelerates the healing process might be helpful in a supporting role.
Another disadvantage of herbal medicine is the chance of overdosing. Certainly this can easily happen with over the counter meds and prescription medications as well. Nevertheless, taking large doses of herbs can put a great deal of stress on the body particularly the liver and kidneys. So it is important to following dosage instructions just as you would a prescription medication.
A third disadvantage of herbal remedies is the possibility that they may not mesh well with other medications you may be taking. For example herbal stress medications such as St. John’s wort, passion flower, and valerian root don’t interact well with most prescription antidepressants.
A fourth disadvantage is problems with quality control. Generally speaking if you are dealing with a well respected company you will be getting the best quality available. After all their reputation depends on it. On the other hand if you are dealing with companies that don’t meet this criteria or even worse trying to harvest or buy and then mix herbal remedies yourself all bets are off and the risks rise exponentially. Not only that it is difficult to get the dosage just right when it comes to home brewed herbal remedies due to inconsistencies in blending and the unpredictable potency of the herbs themselves.
Yes, there a some negatives in the world of herbal remedies but for most of us who have taken these type of remedies and supplements for years and have noticed the long list of side effects that must be listed when pharmaceutical are advertised the risks are well worth taking.
Another advantage is that herbs that they are generally much safer for long-term use and may produce some unexpected benefits such as immune system support.
In conclusion, herbs are not for everyone and should be taken with care. Nevertheless, they are a valuable wellness tool that are worth considering by those searching for a more natural path to both short and long-term wellness.