- The world of herbal medicine is vast and varied. There are many different types, with no shortage of benefits to be found in them all. However, it can be tricky knowing where to start when you’re just starting out on your journey for natural healing. That is why we’ve put together this quick guide to give you the basics on what to know before you get started!
- Know the difference between herbal medicines and pharmaceutical drugs:
Pharmaceutical drugs are prescribed by doctors and generally require a prescription to be purchased. These medicines often contain chemicals, preservatives or artificial ingredients that may not work for everyone who takes them. On the other hand, herbal medicine is what you find when you walk into your local health food store. They’re made from plants, roots and leaves found in nature around the world, which means they can work with many different people because of their natural variations.
- Know what herbal medicine you need:
- There aren’t actually one size fits all when it comes to herbs – each individual has their own unique needs, which can vastly change what type of herb is needed. That said, there are still several general guidelines you can follow to find what you need.
If you have a specific medical issue that is being treated with prescription or over the counter drugs, talk to your doctor before taking herbal medicine. A lot of what’s on offer can interact badly with what your body already takes and cause some very unpleasant side effects as a result. For instance, if you want to have pine pollen, then you need to understand what other benefits it can offer and what those benefits might do to your current medications.
- How long will it take for the herb to start working?
One of the first things you need to know is what kind of expectations you’re setting for yourself. This can be tough because there are some herbs that take a few weeks before they start showing any sort of effects, and others might show changes within hours! But what’s most important to understand when it comes down to this matter is what your personal goals are. If you have an acute condition like bronchitis or pneumonia- something that sets in quickly- then time will be more precious than gold. You’ll probably want to look into taking herbal supplements instead since they could work quicker on those types of illnesses.
- Know how to identify a reputable company:
It can be difficult to know what makes a good company and what doesn’t. A lot of the time, it’s hard to tell the difference between what they’re selling as natural medicines versus something that is actually harmful or even toxic. You also need to make sure you have some way of knowing how much your products should cost so that you don’t get ripped off at the counter!
- Know what side effects might happen with certain herbs:
Every person reacts differently, so again ask! Look out for anything like nausea, dizziness, anxiety…these can all be signs of something more serious going on in your body if they feel very intense after taking a medicine (whether herbal or otherwise). This is where asking professionals who know their stuff really pays off. If these things don’t seem like any big deal, but then other symptoms start happening later down the line, you know what to look for.
- Read the labels: The ingredients and possible interactions and warnings are listed here, so make sure that you’re not combining things or mixing them in ways that they shouldn’t be. Again this is where talking to someone who knows what they’re doing can really help because there’s a lot of tricky information on herb lists! For example, chamomile can increase sun sensitivity; ginger has anti-nausea properties, but it’s also been shown to slow down digestion which could interfere with other medicine…the list goes on. Learning these nuances will let you customize your herbal routine for what you need.
- Don’t use it if what’s ailing your body is chronic:
If what ails you can be fixed with diet and exercise, herbal medicines won’t do much for that! It’s also important to remember not to use only natural remedies as an alternative treatment system when what would have worked best in the first place is conventional medicine from your doctor or physician–especially since there are so many risks involved with using herbs on their own without any knowledge of what might happen otherwise.
- Know what the active ingredients in your product are: Some herbs may share the same name but actually do different things within the body – so make sure you know what you’re taking! A lot of times, these lists will come right out in front of what seems like an easy-to-read label, so keep your eyes peeled! Herbal remedies should also list what other substances (like alcohol ) are within what you’re consuming.
- Ensure you only buy from a licensed seller: This one is a no brainer, but it’s so important that we had to mention it! There are so many things you need to know before trying herbal medicines – what they do, what the risks might be and where you can buy them. Buying from an unlicensed seller could give you some nasty side effects or, worse yet, no results at all. So make sure your product has come across someone who knows what they’re talking about and understands how herbs work in the body- not just their name as a word on paper.
- Don’t start mixing different types of herbal remedies together:
This is a common mistake made by people who are new to herbal medicine. Unless you’re told what types of herbs work well together, there’s no guarantee that what you think might be helpful will actually have the desired effect on your body. For example, just because lavender helps with sleep and echinacea boosts your immune system doesn’t mean they’ll do what you want them to when mixed together!
- Don’t consume anything while pregnant: It can sometimes seem like a good idea to take a herbal remedy for some type of symptom or condition during pregnancy- but it really isn’t very safe at all. There could be risks involved in taking any form of medicinal herb or supplement if it hasn’t been tested thoroughly enough yet – not only for safety reasons but also so that the research can be shared with other pregnant women.
Herbal medicine can be a great way to keep your body healthy and happy – but it’s important that you look into what the risks are before you start!