Guest Author - Rebecca Lee Graf
Herbs are drugs. Too many people do not see this connection. Being “natural”, herbs are usually considered so safe that any can be used at any time with no side effects. This belief could not be more wrong. Being uninformed could be harmful to your health and to your life.
If you use an herb to help cure a cough, does it not do the same job as a cough syrup over the counter? The chemicals in natural herbs work in many of the same ways that the chemicals in pharmaceuticals do. They are nature’s drugs and need to be handled with as much care as prescription medications are.
How dangerous can herbs be? Anything from nature can be beneficial and deadly. Certain mushrooms can cause hallucinations and even death. Some herbs can cause allergic reactions. The belief that herbs are completely safe is a dangerous misconception.
Herbs are nature’s gift to mankind. They can add seasoning to foods. They add texture and vitamins to salads. Herbs give added benefits to repair our bodies and help fight off microscopic invaders. Something completely safe could not accomplish this.
Just like drugs, herbs can be beneficial when taken correctly. More herbs does not mean quicker or better healing. More herbs could be harmful. Taking herbs just because you have heard that they work in a certain area could be harmful.
Never forget that herbs are natural chemicals. They can do wonders when used correctly. Pharmaceutical drugs can also be useful when used correctly. Each have their own side effects and benefits.
How can you handle herbs correctly since they are also drugs? With care. Would you take any pill that you found in a stranger’s medicine cabinet hoping that it would cure a headache? What if that pill made you unconscious or did hard to your liver? Not something you hope for from a medicine. The same process should be applied to herbs. Just any herb is not beneficial to you. It needs to be the right herb in the right quantity.
Herbs can do so much, but you need to educate yourself about them before using. Consult a doctor, pharmacist, and/or herbalist about the safety of all herbs. Do not neglect the herbs and spices that you feel are safe. Even something as “innocent” as cinnamon could react with other medications. Didn’t you know that little old grapefruit juice and interfere with the workings of many medications? Never assume too much. Always approach herbs and drugs with respect and caution.
Use herbs correctly and reap the benefits nature has given you.