Be Careful about what you take in the name of Herbal Medicine
Herbal medicine has proven to be effective in handling many health conditions. However, the claim that “the basic herbs have the answer (to all health issues), the overall key is no side effects and effective remedies” (www.drugs.com) should not be accepted. This could be misleading as improper use or abuse of herbs can lead to serious health consequences.
Herbal medicines are just one type of dietary supplement; which in many cases, are sold as tablets, capsules, powders, teas, extracts, and fresh or dried plants. People use herbal medicines to try to maintain or improve their health. Many people believe that products labeled “natural” are always safe and good for them. This is not necessarily true. Herbal medicines do not have to go through the testing that drugs do. Some herbs, such as comfrey and ephedra, can cause serious harm. Some herbs can interact with prescription or over-the-counter medicines. (Medline Plus – https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/herbalmedicine.html)
Plants have been used for health and medical purposes for several thousands of years. A majority of the world’s population in developing countries still relies on herbal medicines to meet its health needs. Herbal medicines are often used to provide first-line and basic health service, both to people living in remote areas where it is the only available health service, and to people living in poor areas where it offers the only affordable remedy. Even in areas where modern medicine is available, the interest on herbal medicines and their utilization have been increasing rapidly in recent years.
However, if you are thinking about using an herbal medicine, first get information on it from reliable sources. Make sure to tell your health care provider about any herbal medicines you are taking.