Friday, May 09, 2008

Are Natural Remedies Safe?

I love using natural remedies and herbal remedies when I have an ailment or to simply boost my health. But it wasn't until I really sat down and studied Herbal Medicine seriously at the Australasian College of Health Sciences that I realized that herbs can have side effects.

Natural doesn't necessarily mean safe.

I'm not saying this to stress people out, but it serves as a good warning. Certain people shouldn't take certain herbs. For example, if you retain water or have high blood pressure, you should stay away from licorice root. Browsing the herbal tea aisle at whole foods I can find at least three different blends with licorice in it. And you can't rely on the company to have a disclaimer on the box. Some don't. In fact, most don't.

If you want to get a really good resource, check out the German Commission E - there's nothing like it in the United States. This was a project funded by the German government. Experts got together and assessed the positive and negative data concerning different herbal remedies and published what they found. I own a copy and it has been invaluable to me.

Visit my page at Ehow for more advice on how to use herbs safely.


Alchemille said...

I've used herbs for the past 15 years and have learnt that not all herbs are safe. Some must be taken in minute amount while other should be avoided depending on your health's condition(s) though there are herbs that have no side effects.

Being French with German ancestry, I know how much herbs are well known and commonly used in Europe and of course the cautions and side effects widely explained to and known by people there.

Where can I get a copy of the German Commission E?


Irshad said...

Your point of view is quit write. Actually it depends upon the condition for which herbs are being use and the technical skin of the herbalist about the safe use of herbs.For such condition in which there is a risk of side effects due to modern medicine or which operate diversely against side effects, in this case the herbal medicine is the best and safe choice such as for skin disease like vitiligo focal and aczema etc.

Katherine Huether said...

irshad, I agree with you!

alchemille, I bought the German Commission E on Amazon. I lived in Germany for two years and that's where I studied the most. I spend a lot of time outside in the lawn. I fell in love with stinging nettle there. :)