Natural herbal remedies are drawing the attention of many traditional medical practitioners to rapidly recognize the ability of the hundreds of thousands of known herbs that have the ability to treat and prevent various human and animal illnesses, as well as properties that can enhance mental attitude, appearance, and performance.
Many centuries of experimentation by many cultures, for example, Indian herbal medicine (Ayurvedic), Chinese herbal medicine, and western herbal medicine have created many uses for plants either singularly or in compounds, and sometimes animal by-products to prevent and treat various conditions and illnesses.
A natural remedy can be anything from tea to complex preparations of herbal compounds used in hospitals and clinics. These formulas come in many forms such as capsules, pills, ointments, and gels.
You may be using some of the common herbs as food in your home such as:
* Garlic–natural antibiotic and helps reduce cholesterol
* Cinnamon–lowers blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides
* Ginger–prevents motion sickness and lowers the risk of blood clots
* Chamomile Tea–calms nerves and help relieve digestive problems
* Peppermint–Treats many digestion and gastrointestinal problems
These common herbs may be mixed with other proven natural products to achieve a particular result.
Traditional medicine is very useful for diagnosis, emergencies, trauma, and surgery, but often does not cut it for preventing disease from occurring. The time and wait needed to visit a doctor to get a prescription, and the ever-growing cost of medicine is allowing an opportunity for many people to try to get help from natural products.
Many traditional medicines are showing many adverse side effects. Natural, is not necessarily safe and may have unwanted side effects just as with conventional medicines, however, a large ever-growing number of the population has been using herbals, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for many years with very favorable results and no adverse effects.
Natural herbal products are now available for use by adults, children, and pets to remedy countless conditions from Angina and Arthritis to skin care remedies, thyroid treatment, urinary tract infection, and an unlimited number of other disorders.
Many new products have been compounded to remedy conditions other than a disease, such as smoking cessation, removing unwanted hair, eliminating wrinkles, and many other conditions.
One of the many natural herbal remedies could be your answer.
In the past few years, a lot of research has been done at various universities and clinics on various traditional herbal treatments.
Some have been found to actually cure and help improve the medical condition it was claimed to help. And in some cases, these herbs were found to treat other conditions as well.
For example Fennel, an anise-flavored herb used for cooking has long been known for its health benefits for a variety of issues, including digestion and premenstrual symptoms. A new study confirms that it is also effective in the management of postmenopause symptoms such as hot flashes, sleeplessness, vaginal dryness, and anxiety, without serious side effects. The study outcomes are published recently in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
Adding another twist to the ongoing debate over the value of herbal treatment for patients with heart failure, a new review of existing research suggests that hawthorn extract “significantly” improves symptoms.
A group of Cochrane Researchers looked to see if hawthorn extract was better than placebo for treating patients with chronic heart failure. They identified 14 randomized control trials that compared the effects of adding hawthorn extract or placebo to conventional therapies.
The trials involved a total of 855 patients and the data indicated that hawthorn extract:
improved maximal workload,
increased exercise tolerance,
reduced oxygen consumption by the heart, and
reduced shortness of breath and fatigue.
A few people reported mild nausea, dizziness, and heart and stomach complaints.
“There is good evidence that, when used alongside conventional therapy, hawthorn extract can bring additional benefits,” says lead researcher Dr Ruoling Guo, who works in Complementary Medicine at Peninsula Medical School at the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, UK.
“If I had chronic heart failure, I certainly would consider (using) it,” said review co-author Dr. Max Pittler, deputy director of complementary medicine at Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, England.
Beware – Quality Matters
Herbal medicine is very popular and growing. It’s big business and there is a lot of money to be made.
Many companies are eager to get a piece of the pie. Unfortunately, a few take short cuts with their products. In some cases, products are put in the market that has impurities and fillers, some of which are dangerous and deadly.
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that one-fifth of both U.S.-manufactured and Indian-manufactured Ayurvedic medicines purchased via the Internet contain lead, mercury or arsenic.
Ayurveda is a form of medicine that originated in India more than 2,000 years ago and relies heavily on herbal products. In India, an estimated 80 percent of the population practices Ayurveda. In the United States, Ayurvedic remedies have increased in popularity and are available from South Asian markets, health food stores, and on the Internet. Ayurvedic medicines are divided into two major types: herbal only and rasa shastra. Rasa shastra is an ancient practice of deliberately combining herbs with metals, minerals and gems. Ayurvedic experts in India believe that if Rasa Shastra medicines made with metals such as lead and mercury are properly prepared and administered, they will be safe and therapeutic.
Using an Internet search, the researchers identified 25 Web sites featuring 673 Ayurvedic medicines. They randomly selected and purchased 193 products made by 37 different manufacturers for analysis. Overall, 20.7 percent of Ayurvedic medicines contained detectable lead, mercury, and/or arsenic. U.S. and Indian manufactured products were equally likely to contain toxic metals. Rasa shastra compared with non-rasa shastra medicines were more than twice as likely to contain metals and had higher concentrations of lead and mercury. Among products containing metals, 95 percent were sold by U.S. Web sites and 75 percent claimed Good Manufacturing Practices or testing for heavy metals. All metal-containing products exceeded one or more standards for acceptable daily intake of toxic metals.
“This study highlights the need for Congress to revisit the way dietary supplements are regulated in the U.S.,” said lead author Robert Saper, MD, MPH, Director of Integrative Medicine in the Family Medicine Department at BUSM. Saper first published on this topic in December 2004 (JAMA). In that study, he and his colleagues found 20% of Ayurvedic medicines produced in South Asia only and available in Boston area stores contained potentially harmful levels of lead, mercury, and/or arsenic. “Our first priority must be the safety of the public. Herbs and supplements with high levels of lead, mercury, and arsenic should not be available for sale on the Internet or elsewhere,” he said.
Saper adds, “We suggest strictly enforced, government-mandated daily dose limits for toxic metals in all dietary supplements and requirements that all manufacturers demonstrate compliance through independent third-party testing.”
“The medicines which are supposed to cure sickness should not promote another illness due to the presence of toxic materials such as lead,” said co-author Venkatesh Thuppil, Ph.D., Director of the National Referral Centre for Lead Poisoning in India, as well as a Professor at St. John’s Medical College in India.
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