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What You Should Know Before Taking Herbal Remedies

what you should know before taking herbal remedies

By Rita Kennon

Statistics show that thirty-three percent of Americans use herbal products each year. There are many people seeking herbal remedies to gain more control over the health decisions they face.

With all the publicity of both positive and negative reports on herbal remedies, it leaves one wondering who to believe. By taking heed to the following guidelines you can learn to be a wiser consumer of alternative therapies such as herbal remedies.

Did you know that nearly all vitamins have herbal origins? There are also many conventional medicines in use today that have herbal origins. Herbal plants have been used as medicine for centuries. But… on the other hand, everything that is natural is not necessarily safe.

Herbal remedies can be a valuable addition to your personal wellness. However, just as with conventional means, certain guidelines are advisable. Knowledge is the best defense against suffering from misuse of botanical blends.

One of the most important things to learn concerning herbal remedies is to always be sure to obtain them through reputable sources, such as a pharmacy, or a nutritional supplement company with high-quality and manufacturing standards. Be sure to look for other evidence that a manufacturer has quality control standards, such as lot numbers and expiration dates.

Many reported problems in relation to herbal remedies are due to poor quality products, overuse, misuse, allergic reactions, or adverse reactions when taken along with prescription and over the counter drugs.

Before using an herbal remedy make sure you read the supplement label and follow the dosage instructions. If you suspect a supplement is causing a side effect, you should discontinue using it immediately.

Most herbal remedies are generally regarded by the (FDA) Food and Drug Administration to be safe. These herbs can be used safely when taken in the appropriate manner. But these very same herbs may present risk to patients with certain conditions or who are taking certain kinds of medications.

That is why it is always a good idea to consult your physician before taking any herbal supplements especially if you have a chronic disease, or are taking any kind of drugs. Herbal supplements should not be taken by women during pregnancy, breast-feeding or in children under twelve, unless they are specifically recommended and monitored closely by your physician.

Another reason to discuss the use of herbal remedies with your physician is to avoid possible complications. There are certain drugs and herbs that should not be taken together because the herb may increase or decrease the effect of the prescribed drug.

Patients undergoing certain types of surgical procedures and/or general anesthesia should discontinue herbal therapy about two weeks before such procedures. If you are scheduled for surgery, tell the surgeon and anesthesiologist what you are taking. The reason for this is because some supplements can make you bleed easier, cause your blood sugar levels to fall too low, or intensify the sedative effect of anesthesia.

If you are faced with emergency surgery, remember to take your supplements along with all the drugs you take to the hospital to show the anesthesiologist. Your pharmacist will also need to know before filling your prescriptions so they can prevent possible drug interactions. Your pharmacist is well trained and knowledgeable of herb and drug interactions that can prevent complications.

Herbal Remedies have been given rave reviews by many people. But keep in mind that everyone’s makeup and genetic DNA is different. Herbs that work for 95 out of 100 people may not work for you. But that is also true for chemically manufactured drugs prescribed by your doctor.

Although herbs are natural- remember they are very potent, and their usage should be closely monitored. Hopefully with this knowledge in your arsenal it will put you one giant step ahead in your quest for optimum health.

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