Herbal medicine has lots of popularity nowadays, but along with this, a repetition of the myths and half-truths come upfront. Usually, people are divided into two groups, and they are either really supporting the lifestyle of using herbal medicine, or they are point-blank denying it. Usually, the second group of people consists of those that have heard lots of myths about herbal medicine or untrue facts about its effect. But don’t worry! We are here to clear all misunderstandings and share with you the real deal!
The one certain truth is that people have been using herbal medicines for many years. The natural and organic effects they have are a driving force to why the advantages are so good. Maybe one of the main reasons people don’t prefer them or have doubts is the fact that they usually take more time to show effect. And while this can actually lead to a lasting effect, people tend to cut them off early and not reach the point where benefits show. But let’s cut to the chase. Here are the most common myths about herbal medicine!
1. Lack of effect
Many people believe that herbal medicine doesn’t have any relevant therapeutic effect at all. Skeptics dismiss these medicines as placebos and lead to the common belief that there is actually no result in using herbal medicine. In fact, the ingestion of plants or herbal extracts can undoubtedly have powerful biological effects.
Herbs have active principles which work the same way as drugs in the body. But of course, the difference with herbs is that they contain a collection of chemical groups that work together, which is actually the reason why one herb can have so many different effects. Not to mention the fact that they are essentially far safer and have no risks of side effects.
It is however important to remember that first, herbs take longer to show effect and not always can be fast pain relief for example. Second, it is crucial for the condition and combination of the herbs for their effect to be precise. The correct dose range is equally important for the effect the herb will have on your body and for the purposes, you are aiming to achieve. The best thing is, that there are now even herbs you can find in your backyard that will help you with pain relief better than most medical products.
2. It’s not worth it
With modern medicine and pharmaceutical drugs becoming so much more expensive, herbal medicine is not only cost-effective and affordable but also worth every penny of it! The truth is, herbal medicine is no longer simply an alternative to modern medicine. It has become its equal solution to many problems.
Herbal products such as supplements, extract, essential oils, herbal teas, and others, are helping more and more people around the world fight their health issues. And it is not only safer and more natural but also has a longer effect compared to modern medicine. Some of the scariest diseases are now controlled with the power of herbs and their right usage.
Ginger powder, for example, is not just a health booster but also provides stomach care that no pill can ever compare to! In addition, another benefit is the fact that you don’t need a doctor’s prescription to get any of the herbal products as they are entirely plant-based and safe. Just make sure you read all labels and fine print to make sure there were no alterments with the products.
3. The variety of effects is not real
Another common myth about herbal medicine comes from the fact that many herbs have different and many effects on a human’s body. This leads to people believing it is not possible for one single plant to have such power over how we feel and how our health condition is. However, it is proven that there is an efficiency of herbs in the treatment of various diseases. A simple blueberry can help with more than 11 health problems! Yes, there are herbs, plants, and food that can be used for the treatment of simple conditions such as the common cold or other serious conditions such as diabetes or lowering blood sugar levels.
Plants indeed produce beneficial compounds that act as a natural defense mechanism against things like fungal infections for example. The reason why many herbs are used in modern medicine also for different purposes is enough proof that combined with the right products, they can be as powerful to treat equally seasonal flu or a sore throat, as well as kidney and lung diseases.
However, the most common effect some of the herbs have is treating the pain of any kind, anxiety, and insomnia. There are different and various combinations of herbs (valerian root, chamomile, mint, turmeric, St. John’s wort, etc.) that help with these problems and this is why depression also is being treated with antidepressants consisting of herbal ingredients.
4. Herbal medicines are not as well-researched
Again, another myth worth tearing to pieces! Herbal medicines also go through medical trials and pharmacological actions, so there is a ton of research made on herbs and their effect. Researchers go over all details and identify herbs in terms of their molecular structure, chemical group, and general properties. This way they can determine a lot about each plant and the uses that can be withdrawn.
The way herbal medicine experts do their job also includes a form of research so that it can be concluded what benefits are stronger for each herb and how their power can be used fully. Also, don’t forget that unresearched herbs do not mean ineffective ones! There is enough proof nowadays that nutrients have a huge impact on our bodies and herbs are as important for our health as any diet, medicine, or exercise.
5. You can’t boost your immune system with herbs
Quite the opposite! Probably one of the strongest effects herbs have is on our immune systems. Herbal products support all physiological processes that go on in our bodies and improve them naturally. They enhance the function of every aspect of the immune system so it leads to its improvement in general. Plants are rich in flavonoids, vitamin C, or carotenoids so that’s how they can enhance immune function. It can promote the activity of lymphocytes, increase phagocytosis, and induce interferon production.
For example, garlic is one of the most remarkable plants that can affect strongly the immune system. The chemical components of garlic have also been found for the treatment of cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and hyperlipidemia. Many herbs are antagonistic to pathogens, meaning they actively fight microorganisms like viruses and bacteria. Also, research interest has focused on various herbs that possess immune-stimulating properties as a useful feature in helping diminish the risk of cancer.
Wondering which are the best herbs to use for boosting your immune system? Here they are! Starting with echinacea, a herb that offers far more than just boosting your immunity, then also garlic which we already mentioned, ginseng, reishi, baicalin, curcumin, thyme, and more!
6. Homeopathy is the same as herbal medicine
There has always been a misconception about the difference between the two methods. Homeopathy is often confused with herbal products. Actually, homeopathy differs in toxicity and therapeutic paradigm. It’s a form of energy healing while herbal medicine uses chemistry and pharmacological pathways.
What they have in common is – you need to know what you are using it for so that it has an effect. You can’t simply take something because you think it might be good for you, as they both rely on expert matching of remedies. Many people even use homeopathy and herbal medicine as synonymous but each method is using different active substances and acts differently on the body.
7. Herbs are natural, therefore safe
With all the good and beneficial advantages we’ve shared about herbs, it’s only time we end with a myth that is quite important to remember. It is actually not true that all herbs are always safe and it is not okay to presume it. Many people think that because they are natural they won’t be harmful, but herbs can be toxic at the wrong doses! They might have side effects or allergic reactions, so it is never safe to consume them without first knowing if your body will accept them, and without knowing the right proportion for consumption.
Plants can actually be sometimes poisonous and proper research before taking anything is a must! Always follow the instruction for the doses to restrain from high toxic measures, and when mixing different types of herbs, also make sure you have consulted with a herbal medicine specialist. As you double-check for allergies or side effects with modern medicine, do so when taking herbs too.