Herbs and Natural Cures

Herbal health products are safer than other medicines just because they come from plants, although the intake of natural herbs should not be self-prescribed, especially for those with any medical condition or problems such as high blood pressure, blood clotting problems, epilepsy, liver problems glaucoma, thyroid problems, enlarged prostate gland, diabetes, heart disease, history of stroke, psychiatric problems or Parkinson's disease.

Herbology, the Chinese herbal medicine, and Herbalism, the Western herbal tradition based on Greek, Roman and medieval sources, are both based on traditional medicinal practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts, as the Ayurvedic tradition of India. Today herbalism is widely practiced under the name of Phytotherapy, a popular form to treat diseases prescribing remedies based on natural plants.

Although many physicians consider that natural herbs products have not been tested enough to be sure they are safe, is more likely that minimal problems or none may arise in the use of herbal remedies in comparison with the huge damage caused by chemical medications.

Certainly, some plants may cause side effects but as with traditional medicine, your health care provider is the person who can advice you on the use of natural herbs, or prescribe you a natural medication after a routine examination. Even after, be sure to tell your doctor if you are having any side effect taking herbal products, even if they were prescribed.

It is known that certain herbs cause such undesirable condition, including ginkgo biloba, which may have bleeding as a side effect. St. John's Wort may cause upset stomach in some individuals or a tired feeling, dizziness, confusion or dry mouth. Indian Tobacco is an excellent aid as substitute for tobacco, but it is toxic so using it without consulting your doctor is an attempt against your health.

Of course, you can prevent such side effects by observing some simple precautions, for instance, do not take ginkgo biloba if you are taking aspirin, warfarin, ticlopidine, clopidogrel or dipyridamole. Double check your medications to find if any use some of these compounds. Avoid St. John's Wort if you're taking an antidepressant. If you are currently taking a prescription medicine, ask your doctor before taking any herbal health product.

Regardless of the increasing number of people moving to natural herbs therapies or the evidence of their effectiveness, Skeptics keep their position ignoring the origin and properties of many natural herbs just as these, to describe a few ones as an example:

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium or Asteracea Compositae), the plant that also is known as feverfew, midsummer daisy, or nosebleed, is classified also under the genera of Matricaria, Chrysanthemum, Pyrethrum and Leucanthemum, mostly cultivated but also found wild in waste lands and along roadsides and wood borders from Quebec to Ohio and from Maryland and Missouri, as well as in California .

This medicinal herb dates from antiquity, approximately from Dioscorides time, circa 60 A.D. The active ingredient of this plant is parthenolide, and the bulk of this compound is found in glands on the underside of the leaves. Both leaves and flowers are medicinal parts of the plant used to treat a wide range of disorders including insect bites, rheumatism, arthritis, fever, migraine, asthma, headache, toothache, stomachache and menstrual problems.

The reported range of historical usage suggests that Feverfew contains antihistamine and general anti-inflammatory agents, today marketed in brand names such as an herbal therapy for the alleviation of migraine, but it is also used in cooking as a bitter principle and in preparations of perfumes and liqueurs.

Other natural herbs are considered "exotic" but with healing properties such as Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana), a native plant to North Eastern Paraguay also known as Stevia, is a sweet plant, sugar leaf, Eupatorium, rebaudianum Bertoni, or honey grass. The sweet compounds of this plant are found in the leaf which is used as a high-potency low-calorie sweetener, particularly in food products and drinks in Brazil, China and Japan. It is used by the Guarani native people indigenous to Paraguay to sweeten bitter drinks such as mate and there is an industrialized non-alcoholic beverage claiming to be made with Stevenia coming from the Guarani region.

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