There is a surge of people who are opting to use botanical medicine instead of prescription medicine. Some questions that are asked are: Does botanical medicine really work? What is the risk factor? Are Naturopath doctors really safe to go to? So here’s some information to help you decide about botanical medicine.
Do botanical medicines really work?
Botanical medicine is also called herbal remedies. However, the term botanical medicine includes more than just herbs. The term also applies to the plant parts used as in bark, roots, seeds and stems. Now scientists aren’t really sure in some cases whether it’ the whole herb which works or just parts of the herb, but there are factors which affect the quality of the herb. Contributing factors can be the climate and the soil the herbs are grown in, when they are harvested, and how they are processed.
Botanical medicine can be very effective when used properly. For example, aloe is used for sunburn, minor burns and skin irritation. Ginger is used for nausea and motion sickness. Peppermint tea can be drunk to settle an upset stomach. There are many herbs and many uses for them when using natural medicine.
What risk factor is there?
As with any medicine, botanical or otherwise, there are risk factors. You have to tell your Naturopath doctor or your physician of any other drugs you are taking. Mixing herbs and drugs together that have similar actions can be dangerous. For example, if you’re taking a blood thinner, you cannot take the herb gingko because it is a natural blood thinner. Some commonly used herbs like Milk Thistle ( a liver support herb) and St. John’s wort (a natural anti-depressant) can have interactions with many medications.
Are Naturopath doctors licensed?
A Naturopath doctor uses natural medicine as an approach to illness and wellness. A licensed Naturopath doctor has attended four years at a naturopathic medical school. The doctor should be well versed in all aspects of nutrition, vitamin supplementation, homeopathic medicine and botanical medicine. You can ask about the doctor’s training and certification also. You can also find a reputable doctor on the website of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
Botanical medicine when used in a program that includes nutritional counseling, stress reduction and proper exercise can be effective towards helping you become a happier you.
Eating fermented foods is not something new in natural medicine. This is because people discovered long ago that fermenting organically grown food not only preserved certain foods naturally but maintained their health. Now fermentation actually works by using lactic acid bacteria to produce fermentation which when eaten breaks down the carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the food before it is consumed. Being one of the natural remedies for maintaining a healthy digestive system, it’s also one of the easiest to introduce into your daily food intake.
For healthy eating, information about probiotics and other types of natural medicine can be taught to you by a Naturopath Doctor. This type of doctor practices homeopathic medicine and herbal medicine and can give you nutritional counseling. This is good to do because a person’s digestive system has a certain amount of microflora when we are born. The bacteria grow and develop as long as a balanced diet is eaten. With nutrition counseling, you will be taught the healthy way to eat such as consuming organic raw fruits and vegetables, probiotic foods, fermented and cultured foods so that the healthy bacteria grow instead of being destroyed. To help this happen, a Naturopath Doctor can give you a list of fermented foods to add to your diet which you can choose from to help solve your intestinal issues.
The doctor will also discuss with you any issues you may be having such as ways to support your immune to help defeat bacterial infection. The doctor can use natural remedies to help your body to increase its ability to heal itself.
Are fermented foods really helpful?
There are quite a few people who believe Homeopathic medicine and Botanical Medicine is only for health nuts or people who are into the New Age movement. This isn’t so. Natural medicine has been around for a long time and using fermentation in food has been around just as long. By the public becoming germaphobes though, the natural enzymes in our systems have been reduced. But since some bacteria are healthy to have in the body, consuming organically grown foods which have been fermented will encourage the growth of helpful enzymes, bacteria and yeasts so your body has a healthy microflora.
Homeopath treatments and natural medicine are very real and valid methods to treat illnesses. Probiotics and eating fermented foods are just two of those methods in these categories which can be used. With nutritional counseling by a Naturopath Doctor, feeling better soon is within your grasp.
With the high cost of prescription drugs, a lot of people are turning to natural, homeopathic and botanical medicine. Plants have been used in natural medicine for centuries for illness, health and wellness. If used correctly, they are safe with fewer side effects. If you are looking for botanical medicine, herbs, homeopathic remedies and supplements, they can be purchased through a Naturopath doctor. Your Naturopath doctor will take the time to make sure there aren’t going to be any interactions with medicines you may already be taking.
There are a lot of illnesses and medical conditions which can be helped by using natural remedies. Homeopathic medicine and Botanical medicine, if used correctly, can be extremely effective. In dealing with this, here is a list of a few types of herbs and supplements and what they can be used for;
- Valerian is made from the dried roots of the plant. It can be used both as a sleep aid and anxiety.
- Lavender isn’t just for aromatherapy. If used in essential oils, in tinctures and teas, it can aid relaxation, anxiety and depression.
- B Vitamins are great for cell metabolism and helps to maintain the central nervous system.
- Vitamin D can help to treat seasonal affective disorder
- Ignatia is a common homeopathic remedy used in grief
These are just a few from long list herbs and supplements, your doctor can supply you with more.
What about side effects?
There can be some side effects if the supplements are taken in the wrong combination. Your Naturopath doctor can instruct you on the correct dosages and combinations. Also, if you buy your supplements and herbs from an unsafe source, there can be contaminants mixed in and along with the wrong ingredients added. The FDA has a requirement labels that all herbal supplements have to meet. The label should have listed the name of the supplement and who it was made by. It needs to have the complete list of ingredients, the serving size, amount and what the active ingredient is. Just because an herb is a natural medicine doesn’t make it less potent than a prescription drug, so don’t mix the herbs unless under supervision. If you are taking certain herbs, you may be asked to stop taking those 2 to 4 weeks before surgery so there aren’t any drug interactions or bleeding issues which could cause potential problems too.
Remember, the best and safest way to buy your herbs, vitamins and supplements is through a practicing naturopathic doctor, homeopath or a reputable health food store. That way you can be sure the information you receive is correct when choosing what natural supplement is best for you.