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Benefits of herbs to keep you healthy

Updated on March 15, 2014

Herbal Remedies

Should you try herbal remedies. There are herbs available for every ailment that you can imagine, some people swear they work wonders, others say they are a waste of momey. Everyone has an opinion on if herbal remedies work or not. Very few health care professionals will tell you to take a herbal remedies because there is almost no scientific proof to show if they do work or not. So should you use herbal remedies or not?

If you have an email account you probably get several emails per day that promise to do everything from help you lose weight without changing what you eat or exercising, all the way to increasing the size of your breast and your penis. The hype for herbal remedies and the amazing health benefits makes it extremely hard to know if there is actually any truth to the claims, and there is not a lot of regulation as to what they can or can't claim.

Medicinal Herbs

This is not to say that medicinal herbs won't work. Some herbs are actually very powerful drugs that can help or hurt your body substantially. People see that something is natural and they think that it is safe, but natural does not mean safe, many nasty dangerous things we avoid start with natural ingredients. Anthrax, is natural, Lead used in products is natural, uranium, sulfuric acid, etc. all natural but can harm you and kill you.

Medicinal plants have been use by different cultures around the world since the beginning of time. There are certainly many of them that do many things. There are many that we use all the time that do work, herbs like ginseng and aloe vera are big sellers and have been shown to be beneficial for many things.

One of the problems is the lack of real scientific research on the products. They don’t get studied the way that drugs get studied before they are brought to the market. They don’t have to use control groups to test the way that the drug companies do. Drugs need to be tested for many years with strict controls on the testing to make sure that they do what they say, and what side effects you could experience from using the drug.

Herbal remedies Photo from creative commons
Herbal remedies Photo from creative commons

High Cost

The biggest reason that there is a lack of research is money, no Surprise there. Most herbs are very inexpensive to grow or buy. There is not enough profit to be made to justify the millions of dollars in research needed to test the herbal remedies and see if they really do work. Included in the cost has to be the testing on the things that don’t work. It is estimated that to bring a drug from stage 1 testing to approval to sell in the United States costs in the neighborhood of $800 million.

This high cost does not make it practical because they could never make a enough profit to cover the testing expense.

Natural herbs

A perfect example of the problem herbs is Ephedra; this is a very powerful herb that has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years, for many different ailments. It became extremely popular because it worked to give people more energy, helped lose weight, and many other things. The problem is that it restricts blood vessels and raised blood pressure, which caused strokes and heart attacks, severe irritability, irregular heart beat, seizures, etc. It does work to help with losing weight and giving you energy, and it is all natural, but it’s not a safe herbal remedy for many people.

How to use herbs for health

Do your research and find out everything you can about any substance before you start taking it. Be knowledgeable and aware of the good and bad and choose carefully, read everything you can find about herbal remedies you are considering, and the side effects before you start taking something that may harm you more than it helps. Many herbal remedies work great and do what people claim they do, but the final consideration has to be the same as with most things, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Herbs like most other things affect different people in different ways. Be careful and start with a small dose if you do decide to give something a try. See how it affects you before you go all out on any of them. They can help in many ways, some far better than drugs. Do you research, and learn to use them properly.

Health benefits of herbs

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    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Very good information on the good and bad points of herbs. I sure will stay away from Ephedra.

    • New Child Safety profile image

      New Child Safety 8 years ago

      Your hub is informative and as an epidemiologist I get asked all the time about natural remedies and research. It disgusts me the amount of money and resources that goes into trying to discredit the use of natural products all in the name of profit. There is not enough research money dedicated to natural products and given it is impossible to patent something Mother Nature makes all on her own, this whole issue is about profit not health. We have much to learn from our ancient healers - if only we would combine the best of traditional medicine with ancient knowledge we could help people who are sick and save so many from endless suffering. Natural remedies are not a replacement but another wonderful resource to add.

      Thanks for your Hub, I hope more people will read.


    • Daddy Paul profile image

      Daddy Paul 8 years ago from Michigan

      Good read. One thing about herbal cures there is not a lot of money to be made in them. Many that do make money are snake oil salesmen.