Herbal medicine is the study of botany and the use of medicinal plants. Plants have been the basis for medical treatments through much of human history, and such traditional medicine is still widely practiced today.
Despite its popularity, there are still a number of misconceptions about its safety and effectiveness. This write up addresses some of these myths.
MYTH 1: HERBAL MEDICINE IS NOT SUPPORTED BY RESEARCH
Contrary to this myth, herbal medicine is supported heavily by research. The history of medicine and even of pharmacy is founded on herbal medicine. The Internet is awash with journals and research findings on herbal constituents, some dating as far back as 2000 years ago. Pharmacy as it is today, is really first identifying what works in the herbal or food space, isolating the active ingredients and producing them chemically. There is no other medicine without the foundation of research into herbal plants.
MYTH 2: I CAN’T TAKE HERBAL MEDICINE IF I’M TAKING ORTHODOX MEDICINE
This is not a correct paradigm. It’s like saying I can’t take spinach or kale while on painkillers. Herbal medicine, if properly concocted and tested to be non-toxic at significant volumes are just like taking vegetables, many of which in themselves are high in medicinal value. Based on the side effects of most of the chemicals that make up orthodox medications and their side effects, taking them with herbal medicine is actually best. On one side they help manage some of the side effects. Some herbs also help to potentiate and make more effective the orthodox medicines. You are safer taking them together, and simply giving about a two-hour interval to prevent possible negative interaction.
MYTH 3: HERBAL MEDICINE IS NATURAL, SO IT’S ALWAYS SAFE
This is false. Natural is not always safe. There are herbs that have lethal doses. Also, because plants have a lot of phytochemicals, there’s a need for proper scientific process of separation so as to extract only the needed and safe active ingredients and at the right toxicity levels. There is a line between medicine and poison, and this is why toxicity tests need to be carried out. These tests also need to cover possible long term use effects.
MYTH 4: HERBAL MEDICINE IS EXPENSIVE
Herbal medicine is not cheap, but I won’t say it’s expensive. I believe it’s the lure of cheap that created the paradigm of isolating active ingredients and making them into chemicals. Herbal medicine is herbs, which are in “limited” supply and can’t be industrially synthesized/created. For these herbs to be properly packaged commercially, it’s based on the availability of the herbs, which contain the active ingredients. There needs to be a system in place to ensure they are deliberately planted and don’t go extinct. So with this process, it can’t be cheap, but it’s not expensive either.
MYTH 5: HERBS MUST BE TAKEN FOR WEEKS OR MONTHS BEFORE THEY WORK
Herbs can be quick action, and some can take time to get to the root of the problems. Natural things follow the law of the field, which means you can’t rush the seasons; you can’t skip sowing and crash harvest. Many times, people want to wish themselves out of problems they behaved themselves into. Attempting o combat in 1 week a challenge that took 5 years to develop is asking for a lot.
MYTH 6: HERBAL MEDICINE IS THE SAME AS HOMEOPATHY
No, they are different. Homeopathy is basically a system that believes that the body can cure itself and that like cures like. Herbal Medicine however works on the same basic foundation as pharmaceutical science. It only retains the active ingredients in their natural environments so they can exist as they were designed to and be able to function more at home in the body with little or no side effects.
MYTH 7: HERBS ARE FOR NON CONFORMISTS (counter cultures)
Herbs are for everyone. The people who benefit the most from it today are not the non-conformists. If you are somewhere between 35 and 80, and you are not taking any safe, quality and effective herbal products, you have no idea what you are missing out on.
In this season of world wide pandemic, it is expedient that your immune system, the body’s defense network against disease-causing bacteria, viruses and other organisms is in top shape. What better way is there to boost it than do it the natural way!