Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Top 3 Reasons Why Herbs Don't Work

As I'm sure you can already tell, I LOVE using herbal medicine for well...just about everything.  To me, nothing is better than being able to open up my fridge or herb cabinet and know that I am prepared to heal whatever ails my family.  I know from experience that herbs are magic.  They have every bit of the power that most drugs do and with significantly less side effects.

So why is it then, that I hear so many stories of people trying herbs that either didn't work or it made them feel worse?  What's the difference between what I do, and what everyone else is trying?

Let me explain...


The effectiveness of any herbal remedy is largely dependent on the quality of your herbs.  

Crappy herbs = Crappy result.

This is when I start bashing cheap encapsulated herbal supplements.  When I grind up herbs and put them in capsules at home, I try to consume the product within the first year. Why? Because when you grind up a dried herb you are breaking down the cell walls, releasing essential oils, and exposing them to air.  All of those things cause the medicinal quality of the herb to start deteriorating.  Here's where I get really mad.  Most of the herbal supplements you find at major grocery stores have the longest shelf lives I have ever seen (we're talking years).  Even if it does contain the herb it says it does (more on that later), what is the guarantee that it's not old and worthless?  There is none.  And all too often people are duped into buying worthless, old, powdered herbal supplements that don't do bupkiss.

#2 - It isn't what you think it is!
You would think that selling a product that contains what you say it contains, is a no brainer.  But unfortunately this is a huge problem today.  The regulation of herbal and dietary supplements is tricky business. "A manufacturer does not have to prove the safety and effectiveness of a dietary supplement before it is marketed." - FDA Which means, unless it causes harm, it doesn't get taken off the market.  Time after time, people randomly test vitamins and supplements and what they find is a shocking amount of fillers, additional ingredients and in some cases the supplements did't even contain the herb or vitamin advertised! 

So how do you not get hoodwinked?!  I highly suggest making your own supplements (get instructions here), or only buy them from a reputable source.  Avoid the vitamin/supplement isle at Walmart like the plague!

#3 - Consistency
Alright, so let's say you've found (or made) yourself some grade-A herbal supplements from a trusted source.  You take your herbs in the morning....then the next day in the afternoon....then maybe you remember to take some more on the weekend.  And you ponder to yourself, "You know what? I don't think these are working!"  You're right, it's not.  Just like any kind of medicine, you have to take it consistently.  If you took antibiotics or heart medication that way, you probably wouldn't be feeling too hot.

Some of my favorite herbs, which are also some of the most popular herbs sold today, such as Red Raspberry Leaf, Ginkgo and Hawthorn are considered 'tonic' herbs.  They promote health over time.  You are not going to pop a Ginkgo pill and suddenly remember where you left your car keys.  But if you take it everyday for a month, you might have an easier time putting that presentation together for work.

I know all of this can be quite daunting when all you want is a natural way to help yourself.  I hope that this information won't deter you, but rather give you the info you need to make herbal medicine actually work for you.  If for some reason making your own medicine just doesn't appeal to you, there are a few places that I trust to have the best quality, good agricultural practices and customer safety in mind.

First and foremost is Mountain Rose Herbs.  I live in the desert, so finding fresh herbs locally can be a seriously hard task.  I have never been disappointed by the quality of herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs. A few others I have personally used and trust are: Herb-Pharm, Oregon's Wild Harvest, and Wish Garden Herbals.

Have any more herbal questions? Want to make an appointment with a Certified Herbalist?  Look no further!  Online and in-house appointments available.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, you explained the topic very well. The contents has provided meaningful information thanks for sharing info


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