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Healthy and Natural Herbal Remedies: Pros and Cons

Updated on August 12, 2013

Considering Herbal Remedies

Health care reform can begin right in your own home or apartment!

No need to spend hard-earned money on a doctor or prescription medications. After consulting with a medical professional, you may be able to turn to healthy herbal remedies and get on the path to feeling better soon.

Life's common maladies can often be treated with medicinal herbs, rest, and common sense. Don't allow the pharmaceutical companies to get richer, when you can enrich your own life experience with simple treatments using homegrown remedies.

Anything from headaches to muscle cramps can be treated simply and inexpensively. Many people agree that its simply a waste of a day getting to the doctor, waiting and then picking up a prescription. Just head to your local health food store, or even your own vegetable garden. You could feel better than ever!

There are many reasons that people prefer to turn to herbal remedies than prescription medicines. Cost, convenience and concerns over the impurities in, and side effect of, medications lead many to the path of taking control over their health.

Many of these remedies worked for thousands of years.

Why not try them now?

Let's review the ins and out, and pros and cons of herbal remedies and homeopathic cures for common ailments.

Wild garlic flower (image from Smoobs on Flickr)
Wild garlic flower (image from Smoobs on Flickr)
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Echinacea is a healing plantSt. John's Wort is a fast growing, flowering vine that is used often to treat depressionLemon balm plant (image from Smoobs on Flickr)Should you put away bottles and vials and turn to natural remedies?
Echinacea is a healing plant
Echinacea is a healing plant
St. John's Wort is a fast growing, flowering vine that is used often to treat depression
St. John's Wort is a fast growing, flowering vine that is used often to treat depression
Lemon balm plant (image from Smoobs on Flickr)
Lemon balm plant (image from Smoobs on Flickr)
Should you put away bottles and vials and turn to natural remedies?
Should you put away bottles and vials and turn to natural remedies?

Herbal Remedies Have Gone Mainstream

When it comes to herbal remedies, many people immediately think of St. John's Wort (depression) and Echinacea (common cold). But you can find a wide range of herbs to help you with inflammation, muscle cramps, anxiety, insomnia and much more!

Health food stores used to be the only place where you could find herbal medicines. Today, these remedies have gone mainstream. Grocery stores are devoting entire aisles entirely to herbs, teas and tinctures. You can find tips online, in books, and television shows. Quite frankly, it can be overwhelming!

Pros and Cons of Using Herbal Medications

With the rise in popularity of herbal treatments, many people are self-medicating for conditions that they may or may not have. The Internet is filled with information, much of which is not accurate! More importantly, your individual situation should be assessed by a medical professional.

Remember: Just because the word "natural" is used doesn't mean that its 100% safe for you to use a certain herb to treat yourself! Herbs contain powerful agents that could interact with other medications you are taking, or negatively affect an underlying condition (blood pressure, asthma, allergies, etc.)

If you wish to explore herbal remedies, consult your doctor and ask about alternatives to prescription medications he or she suggests for you. Or, visit a homeopathic clinic and review your medical history and symptoms with a professional. You want to be certain to find an effective cure, and one that will not end up making you sicker!

With these considerations in mind, let's review a quick list of pros and cons.

Why you may want to use herbal remedies:

  • Convenience (no need for prescription or refills)
  • Cost
  • Perception that the herbal remedy is safer than pharmaceutical drugs
  • Moral reasons related to animal testing, desire not to support pharmaceutical companies
  • Perception that herbal remedies are better for the body because they are natural
  • Effectiveness - many people report better results using herbs and teas than pills and shots

Why you may want to think twice before using herbal medicines:

  • Potential of overdose or drug interference
  • Potential of negatively impacting underlying health conditions
  • Perception that herbs don't work as well as pharmaceutical drugs
  • Could take longer to see results
  • Potential inconsistency in strength or dosing
  • Failure to fully appreciate medicinal qualities of herbs (in other words, not taking into consideration the fact that herbal medicines are still medicines!

St. John's Wort for Depression

Before you Head to the Natural Medicine Store

Using home herbal remedies for health is as easy as picking up a bottle of ibuprofen - and potentially safer! People have been using roots, berries, flowers and leaves of various plants to treat ailments for thousands of years. Of course, they didn't suffer from many of the conditions common to our 21st century lives. Nor did they have to worry about interactions with pharmaceutical medicines, either.

Be a safe consumer and talk to a professional before you start dabbling with herbal teas, tinctures and salves. Not only could you save yourself from potential dangerous side-effects or interactions, but you could save money that would not otherwise be spent on the wrong herb for your specific condition.

Get the correct herb, the correct dose (based on your age, weight, sex), and start on the road to natural health and healing!

Have you ever tried Herbal Remedies?

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      A good and clear picture and analysis of herbs and natural remedies. Thanks for sharing all this.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      7 years ago from the short journey

      Good balanced perspective. Using herbal remedies for physical needs is a science that requires knowledge in order to safely take advantage of the benefits. You've laid out some of the pros and cons very nicely.

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you Joyce! Stay healthy :) Steph

    • Joyce F profile image

      Joyce F 

      7 years ago from USA

      Great hub on healthy herbal remedies. Voted up and useful.

    • fiona_33 profile image

      fiona_33 

      8 years ago from UK

      Terrifc hub Steph. I often think about using herbal remedies more often but never actualy do it.

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you Zsuzsy! Congrats on your contest win, BTW! I'm going to go check out your herbal remedy hubs too.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Great info Steph, it's very important to remember that the same as with chemical drugs, side effect do exist in the world of herbal remedies too

      hope you and the family are well

      kindest regards Zsuzsy

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks Amy! Sadly, I do know of people that have unintentionally overdosed on herbal remedies. Its best to remember that they are medications!

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 

      8 years ago from Connecticut

      Terrific advice and info! Being well informed is essential when using herbal remedies.

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thanks Jillofalltrades - at the grocery store today, I couldn't believe the shelves and shelves of green tea offerings. I hate to think of people who read about the alleged benefits of a certain herbal remedy and then just run to the store without asking more questions and making sure that it will work for - and not hurt - them!

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for this balanced presentation about herbal remedies. It is always good to read thoroughly about anything that we take (herbal or otherwise) because of the possible interaction between or among various drugs.

      Great hub!

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you cbris52! My first experience with herbal remedies was to cure the condition commonly known as ... pregnancy! LOL!

    • cbris52 profile image

      cbris52 

      8 years ago

      Really enjoyed reading your hub!

    • stephhicks68 profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Hicks 

      8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Thank you for visiting, creativeone59 - hope that people have a good starting place for considering herbal remedies.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 

      8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank for a very informative herbal remedies hub ,thank you for sharing. godspeed. creativeone59

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