Alternative Medicines, Herbal Home Remedies
We offer all natural alternative medicines and herbal remedies. Combined with the natural herbal medicines are herbal tinctures (both single herb and combination tinctures), teas, fiber, and other dietary vitamin and mineral supplements information. Natural herbal remedies are gentler on the body, and usually have fewer side effects.
History of herbal medicine and herbal remedies
Herbal medicine, also called phytotherapy or phytomedicine, has been practiced since the beginning of recorded history. Specific remedies have been handed down from generation to generation.
In ancient times, medicinal plants were chosen for their color or the shape of their leaves. For example, heart-shaped leaves were used for heart problems, while plants with red flowers were used to treat bleeding disorders. This primitive approach is called the Doctrine of Signatures. Practitioners determined the best use for each plant by trial and error.
The formal study of herbs, called herbology, dates back to the ancient cultures of the Middle East, Greece, China, and India. These cultures revered the power of nature and developed herbal remedies based on the plants found in their home environments. Written evidence of the medicinal use of herbs has been found on Mesopotamian clay tablets and ancient Egyptian papyrus.
The first known compilation of herbal remedies was ordered by the king of Sumeria around 2000 B.C. and included 250 medicinal substances, including garlic. Ancient Greece and Rome produced their own compilations, including De Materia Medica, written in the 1st century A.D. Of the 950 medicinal products described in this work, 600 come from plants and the rest from animal or mineral sources.
The Arabs added their own discoveries to the Greco-Roman texts, resulting in a compilation of more than 2,000 substances. Eventually, this work was reintroduced to Europe by Christian doctors traveling with the Crusaders. Herbal therapy is also a major component of India's Ayurvedic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, Native American medicine, homeopathy, and naturopathy.
In the United States, herbal remedies handed down from European settlers and learned from Native Americans were a mainstay of medical care until the early 1900s. The rise of technology and the biomedical approach to health care eventually led to the decline of herbal medicine.
The herbal revival that we're seeing today has several causes:
No dosages for herbal remedies have been established. Manufacturers' guidelines must be adjusted to each person based on such factors as age, weight, and whether he or she is using other herbs or drugs.
Keep in mind that herbal remedies take time to work. The length of therapy depends on the specific herb, whether you're using it as a therapy (to relieve symptoms), a tonic (to build strength), or both. If you're using an herb for therapy, you may need to take it only for a brief period-typically, 1 to 4 weeks. If you're using an herbal remedy as a tonic, expect to take it for a longer period-usually 4 to 6 months or longer. For example, hawthorn, a tonic for the heart and blood vessels, is most effective when used for 6 to 12 consecutive months.
As with other drugs, be sure to take the herb at the appropriate times of the day. Some herbs are more effective when taken in the morning; others, in the evening.
Also, some herbs work best if used with a resting cycle. For example, an herbalist might recommend that you take an herb for 6 days followed by 1 day off, 6 weeks on and 1 week off, 6 months on and 1 month off, or a similar pattern. According to advocates of the resting cycle, each period of rest from the herb treatment allows its effect to become integrated into the body. If the desired effect doesn't appear in the specified time or if side effects develop, the dosage or herb may be changed.
Here are some disorders which can be cured by herbal remedies
Regulating herbal medicine and herbal remedies
In the 19th century, many fake remedies were sold to gullible, desperate Americans. The federal government finally took action against disreputable purveyors of phony remedies by passing the Food and Drug Act of 1906. This law addressed problems of mislabeling and adulteration of plant remedies but not safety and effectiveness.
Today, herbal remedies remain largely unregulated. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates herbal products only as dietary supplements, not drugs. This means that the FDA can recall herbal products that are shown to be harmful, but manufacturers aren't required to provide information about their products' contents or side effects or to prove their safety or efficacy. They need only provide "reasonable assurance" that the product contains no harmful ingredients.
What's more, although manufacturers can't claim a particular product cures or prevents a specific disease, they can make any other claim about the supposed benefits without providing supporting evidence. They need only add the following disclaimer: "This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease."
In essence, herbal remedies in the United States are sold on a buyer-beware basis. This highlights the importance of learning everything you can about any herbal products you plan to use.
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