When correctly prescribed, medicinal herbs can give amazing results. As most of us know, herbal remedies in various forms such as tinctures, infusions, decoctions and ointments have been used for thousands of years to successfully treat illness, but in modern times they are even more effective due to increased knowledge and the way they are manufactured, particularly herbal liquid extracts. I know how effective they are because I have been a professional herbalist since 1994 and have seen the results first hand in my clinic.
While I do believe there is a place for pharmaceutical medicine I also believe, in many cases, herbal medicine can be just as effective and much kinder on the body than pharmaceuticals. For instance, herbal medicine has few side effects and these mainly occur when taken with pharmaceutical medicine or someone has an allergy to the plant such as the daisy family which includes Echinacea and chamomile. Other side effects of herbal medicine are mostly not as bad or dangerous as pharmaceutical medicine.
Many medicinal herbs also have the ability to not only rid the body of disease, but also to heal the affected system. An example of this is hawthorn. This is the first amazing medicinal herb that I will be writing about in future posts. In brief though, if someone is suffering from high blood pressure their medical doctor usually prescribes them an angiotensin II receptor antagonist medication that will lower their blood pressure. But that's all it does. Hawthorn lowers blood pressure too, but it also has many other actions which are beneficial to the cardiovascular system such as toning the heart, lowering serum cholesterol levels and decreasing arrhythmias.
If you have high blood pressure please don't rush out and purchase an over-the-counter hawthorn complex to treat it. Self-prescribing can be dangerous without the correct knowledge of your condition or interactions between your pharmaceutical medication and herbal medicine. You must never cease your medication or begin taking a different one without discussing it with your doctor and/or your herbalist first.
As I said above, I will discuss hawthorn in more detail in my next post. Following posts will be about Gingko biloba, globe artichoke, Saint Mary's thistle, Echinacea, elecampane, golden seal, buchu and more.