Do you want effective results using herbs for your health problem?
#1; Make sure you are clear about the focus for your herb program. You need to know the focus for your herbal programbefore you spend money. If it is cleansing your blood stream, that is a specific group of herbs. If you are taking herbs to support your immune function that is another set of herbs. Perhaps you want to use herbs to help with your painful arthritis and the arthritis in general. That involves another set of herbs. So determining why you are taking herbs is the important first step. If you have no idea, then get the help of a holistic physician. You can experiment but that can cost you valuable time and money. Taking herbs that affect blood sugar is not going to do much for your sore throat.
Herbs have many different effects on the body. Some herbs cleanse the different body systems; some herbs support the immune response; some herbs decrease pain and have anti-inflammatory effects; some herbs support heart function such as hawthorne; others support your digestive system and stomach; herbs affect different parts of the body and body systems. They should not be taken without knowledge and education. Research herbs and alternative medicine first through alternative medicine sites. Standard medicine sites such as Web MD will give you a biased view on herbal medicine.
Herbs affect each person differently. You may only need one capsule of an herb formula and another may need three caps to get the same effectiveness. You need to start off slowly the first week with a new herbs. Start out with the minimum suggested dosage to begin with. If you are highly sensitive to everything, start out below the min suggested dosage. Don't take three different new herbal formulations all at once. Start with one, wait a week, then add the second one. You will not know how each herbal formula is affecting you unless you give each one a few days. Combining herbal formulas could increase cleansing, causing you to spend more time in the bathroom than you would like.
#2: Research herbs that may benefit your health goal. You need to do this so you feel confident in your program. I would suggest that you visit a holistic doctor or experienced healer to get advice and direction with the steps to your health goals.
#3: If you are taking prescription drugs do not stop your medicine without the direction of your doctor. Stopping the medicine cold turkey can cause serious withdrawal symptoms that could end you up in the hospital. This is extremely important with heart meds, blood thinners, lung meds, and prescriptions for depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues. Herbs are potent and can either enhance or decrease the effectiveness of your medication. This could be lethal. Tell your doctor you want to go off your medication with his help and stand your ground. If he knows you are adamant about trying an alternative therapy, he may help you even though he doesn't believe it will help or refer you to another doctor perhaps. An example is blood pressure medicine. He may supervise your blood pressure while you decrease your prescription medicine. You would then have your blood pressure monitored while you try the herbal remedy. You will have withdrawal problems with some medications that are unpleasant and in some cases severe. If the medication and its effects are still in your system, you will not know how the herbal formula is affecting you. Some medications stay in the blood stream for a few days or up to two weeks. The withdrawal effects of depression meds, for instance, may go on for for several months after you stop the drug. Chemotherapy drug reactions can also last months after you stop the chemo. There are immune system support herbs that cannot be taken while on chemo. They nullify the effects of the chemo treatments.
#4: Do not take medications and herbs at the same time during the day. Wait 3 to 4 hours after your medication dose to take herbs. Some herbs cannot be taken with medications under any circumstances. An example is herbs for depression or other mental health issues. Using both can be dangerous in their combined use. You need to have supervision by a doctor.
#5: The dosages on herb and vitamin bottles are just a suggestion. The FDA will not allow manufacturers to put anything else on the label, because that constitutes practicing medicine and makes the herb qualify as a drug. A drug then requires drug trials and millions of dollars to get it cleared through the FDA system. The FDA is going after many companies for health claims. Even it it is true, they are not allowed to state it on the labels.
An example is Vitamin C. The dose depends on the individual need of the customer. Lets say you are a person with severe allergies or you smoke. Your demand for Vitamin C would be higher than a person who has few health problems. If you have a cold, you would raise the dose. So look at a reference book on the subject, to get more of an idea on dosage. Your health rep cannot give you advice legally either. They can get shut down by the FDA for giving customers advice on dosage. The FDA makes it really hard for you, the consumer, to know how to take the herb or vitamin properly. The dosage for any herb or vitamin should be tailored to your specific needs. There is no cookie-cutter solution that is correct. That is why your program may not be working. You are either taking too much and often, not enough. You must take enough of the herb or herbal formula to be effective for the problem and at times take them several times during the day. That is why you need to do some research yourself, so you can be more educated on the subject. That is why getting the advice of an experienced holistic doctor or healer will often help you to get well sooner.
#6: Buy quality herbs formulas! Why? If the herb formula is junk, you will not get the health results you expect. How do you tell if the herbal formula is junk?
It is very difficult for you, the consumer to tell that by looking at the bottle. You must really research the brand name to see what tests and procedures they perform on their products to make sure they are safe and effective. That is why I do not buy generic store brands. You have no idea what company manufactured it and what steps were performed on the supplement.
Critical Steps in the Processing of Quality Herb products:
- You must grow the proper form of an herb. Not all herb plants in a species are medicinal such as thyme. There are many varieties of thyme but only a few possess medicinal properties.
- It takes testing to determine if the plant material is the medicinal form of the species.
- Herbs must be grown in fertile soil with water that does not contain industrial pollution. They must be picked at a certain stage of growth for optimal essential oils. Herbs may need to be picked at a certain time of day, to ensure the potency of their essential oils.
- Once the herb is picked, it must be cleaned and dried properly depending on the herb. Often people are not allergic to the herb itself but the dirt, weeds, and other properties that are present in the product due to improper cleaning and processing. In some cases it is the low quality herb product that is the problem. Adulteration is common is low quality herb products. There have been many tests on different brands that prove they don't contain what the label states.
- The herbal material should be tested for mold, bacteria, dirt, insects, and tested to determine the potency and purity of the herbal material. If the herb is dried under improper procedures, it destroys the oils and properties that make it effective for healing. This potent herb is destroyed by the procedures used to manufacture it. Each step is critical in the process from planting to finished product.
Most companies perform only minimal testing on herbal material. AZX company imports goldenseal from another country. They may test it for mold and mildew, but do not test the product to make sure that it is pure Goldenseal root. Goldenseal is often adulterated by cheaper herbs or fillers that are yellow in color as well. Looking at it is not good enough. Even tasting it may not be accurate. Each herb has an individual footprint that can be viewed by testing and a microscope. That is the only way to tell if it is pure product. That costs money and raises the end cost for the product. There are more companies that only perform minimal testing than companies who do it the right way. The FDA does not require the more extensive testing. That is up the individual company. Profit gets in the way more often over quality.
Nature's Sunshine is the hallmark example of what testing and procedures should be performed at all herbal manufacturing plants but are not in most cases. A company who performs these tests will usually be proud of that, giving you, the customer, that information.
Companies who perform minimal testing hope you won't ask or inquire. They are banking you will buy on price rather than quality. You are throwing your health and money away when you do that.
You can keep throwing away your money on ineffective low quality herbs or buy herbs that you know are safe and effective. You don't have to guess with Nature's Sunshine herbs if there is mold or mildew in your product. You know that the herbal formula has been tested for effective essential oils and other factors.
You have been buying without really knowing how to review and purchase herbs. It is pretty daunting out there with all the brands available. I hope this article sheds some light to help you make better choices in the future.
Buy USDA Organic Certified Moringa Powder, Tea, and Capsules from Ecuador. The products are tested and shipped from a US/GMP compliant lab in Connecticut.
Thanks, Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin
Thanks, Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin