Alternative medicine has become quite popular once again. One aspect of alternative medicine is the use of herbs for common ailments and disease prevention. Many people tend to believe that because herbs are all natural they are much safer than a man made drug. This is not true. Here are some things you need to consider when using any herbal remedy…
Herbs ARE medicines. Man has made many of the medicines we know and have used from plants with medicinal properties. However, man has regulated the strength and dosage of the medicinal ingredients. In the plant itself the medicinal strength may be so strong that a unsuspectingly small amount could be fatal. The best thing you can do is to remember that natural does not always mean safer. Always read all package labels and follow directions precisely when using herbal products. Although the use of herbs in pretty safe and beneficial, overdose on herbs is as real and deadly as overdose on prescription drugs.
Not all herbs are created equal. Each herb does a different thing for the body and mind. Most herbs are user friendly and do not harm the body while helping it. However, there are some herbs that do more harm than good. The following herbs should be avoided at all costs…Chaparral, Coltsfoot, Comfrey, Ephedra, Lobelia, Pennyroyal, Senna, and Yohimbe. The first three of these herbs can cause serious liver damage. They contain the chemical NGDA, along with other liver damaging chemicals like Allantoin and Pyrrolizidines. Ephedra is an herb that has also been known to cause liver damage, along with high blood pressure, heat problems, and strokes. It has caused deaths in some of it’s users, and severe complications in others. Lobelia can possibly lead you to coma and death if misused. Pennyroyal has been used throughout early history as a means of inducing miscarriage in pregnant women. In other words, abortion. Senna can irregulate your heart. Yohimbe can cause a variety of minor ailments, and some severe as well. It is definitely a good idea to steer clear of these specific herbs, for the sake of your health and safety.
Herbs have been used for thousands of years for their medicinal and preventing qualities. It’s no wonder that in modern times people are once again discovering just how beneficial that they can be. God has given us all seed bearing plants and herbs to use, states Genesis 1:12. It is up to us to realize that they need to be used in a safe and cautious manor.
Just as you wouldn’t double the dosage of your prescription medication, the dosage of an herbal remedy or medicine should never be increased. This goes for all herbs, not only the ones on the list to avoid. ALL herbs, if misused or abused, can cause you very serious side affects and health problems. This includes but is not limited to Ginseng, St. Johns Wort, and Chamomile. Common side affects that may arise with the overuse of herbs are stomach cramps, trembling, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath and impaired abilities. Please, always follow directions and speak to your doctor before using any herbal remedy.