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Herbal Remedy Tips and Warnings

Updated on November 11, 2012
mortar and pestle
mortar and pestle | Source
Dried herbs for medicine in Kyungdong Market, Jegidong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea
Dried herbs for medicine in Kyungdong Market, Jegidong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, Korea | Source

Herbal remedies can be useful tools when one is working towards a healthier life. But, like any chemical that is put into a human body, there can be reactions that are unwanted and even deadly. Here are some tips to help avoid unwanted situations that can be hazardous to your health.

Whatever herb you are taking, be sure you learn as much as you can about it before you begin taking it. And, if anything happens that was not expected, stop taking the herb immediately. Before resuming consumption, check with an herbal expert that you trust.

Before you take an herbal remedy for a specific disease or condition, be sure you actually have that condition. Self-diagnosis can be a deceptive thing. Diagnosing illness is not an easy task. Leave it to the professionals, those with medical training. Once you have a reliable diagnosis, discuss with your health care practitioner how to treat it. There are many ways to treat illness and disease. You can use prescriptions drugs, herbs, diet, exercise, lifestyle change, or any combination of these treatments.

All medicines have side effects. Some are mild and may not even be noticed. Others are worse that the condition you are trying to treat. Herbs are made up of chemical compounds, just as prescription drugs are. Research the herb you are planning to take and know what side effects to look for. If you have an unpleasant reaction to an herb, cut back on the dosage or stop taking the herb. Listen to your body. It will tell you if the herb is right for you. And, if it is not, do not take it.

Allergic reactions can happen while taking herbal remedies. You can be allergic to an herb even if you have no known allergies. Be careful. Your body will tell you if things are right or wrong. If you have what you believe is an allergic reaction, stop taking it. If it is severe enough, you may need ton consult an allergist or physician. If you experience any difficulty in breathing within thirty minutes of trying a new herb you should call emergency services immediately, such as 911 in the United States. This is the most severe type of allergic reaction and can prove fatal unless treated quickly. Be careful and understand the possible risks while taking new medications.

You should also be aware of any interactions your new herb might have with other medicines you are taking. Herbs can react with each other, foods, and prescription drugs. Do some research and find out what is contraindicated for the herb you plan to use. Many herbal reference books so not list this information. But, there are books you can find that have this information. You can also consult a pharmacist. Again, be careful and safe. Know what you are putting into your body.

Herbal remedies can be life savers or the worst thing you ever put into your body. This is true about any medication you take. To be safe you should make sure you know what you are taking and what condition you are taking it for. The best way to be safe is to discuss any new medications with your health care practitioner. It is better to be safe and practical than sorry later.


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  • stayingalivemoma profile image

    Valerie Washington 6 years ago from Tempe, Arizona

    I am for sure one of those people that are allergic to everything! I have to be careful what I eat and that includes vitamins and herbal supplements. Good information.