Herbal medicines are an essential part of traditional medicine, used by 80% of the global population. Despite the widespread use of pharmaceuticals, these natural medicines are safe, cost-effective, and more aligned with patient ideology. They are also safer than pharmaceutical drugs, allowing for personalized care and greater public access to health information. Herbal medicines are usually used for health promotion, treatment of chronic conditions, and as a supplement to conventional medicines in the event of ineffectiveness.
80% of people around the world rely on herbal medicine
There are numerous benefits of natural medicine. It is more affordable and correlates more closely with patient beliefs. Compared to chemical medicines, it avoids side effects and can be customized for each patient. Furthermore, the availability of information on natural health issues makes herbal medicine a more accessible alternative. Approximately 80% of people in the world use herbal medicine for their natural health. Listed below are the most common uses for herbal medicine.
According to the World Health Organization, 80% of people worldwide rely on herbal medicine as a primary source of health care. More than six hundred plant-based medicines are produced in Germany, where 70 percent of physicians use herbal medicine for their patients. In the United States, herbal medicine use has risen as a response to increasing public dissatisfaction with the cost of conventional drugs.
Herbal supplements can interact with prescription medications
There are a variety of possible interactions between prescription drugs and herbal supplements, which may not be clinically significant. Of the many herbs used by physicians, valerian, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, St. John’s wort, and glucosamine are the most common. The four main classes of prescription medications that interact with these substances include anti-coagulants, digoxin, sedatives, and antidepressants.
One Canadian study studied 33 patients. Of the 33 participants, eleven reported a potential interaction between herbal products and prescription medications. Of those, 30 were clinically significant. Of these, 30 were antithrombotic agents. Warfarin was the most common medication to interact with herbal supplements. However, there were no interactions reported for the other eight types of medications. Therefore, it is important to understand the effects of any herbal products you may be taking before taking them.
Sources of herbs
Herbs come in various forms. Some are used in teas, others as syrups or essential oils. Others are taken in the form of capsules or tablets. Herbal products can also be prepared as alcoholic extracts and can include acetic acid or tisanes. Liquid extracts are more concentrated and are typically sold as tablets or capsules. A few herbs are studied extensively, but most have not.
Herbal supplements are not as reliable if you don’t read the label closely. Many products are contaminated with heavy metals and don’t meet safety standards. Only reputable manufacturers guarantee the safety and quality of the supplements they produce. Additionally, many herbs interact with prescription medicines and can cause harmful or unwanted side effects. Especially if you’re taking medications for cancer, herbs can interact with your medicine. In that case, you’ll want to check with your doctor to be safe.
Side effects of herbs
Herbal products are used by a growing number of Americans, but the effectiveness and safety of these remedies are often not well known. In addition, manufacturers are not required to provide FDA safety and efficacy proof, making side effects of herbal remedies even more likely. For example, Ginkgo biloba, a widely advertised antidepressant, may increase serotonin levels or interact with other medications that affect the cardiovascular system.
There are several possible side effects of herbal preparations. Although most herbal products do not cause serious side effects, some can interact with prescription medications. In addition, the dosage of herbal preparations may not be enough for the desired effect. It is advisable to consult a health expert before using an herbal product. Taking a supplement does not replace a proper diet, nor should it be taken in higher doses than recommended by a medical practitioner.