Guest Author - Rebecca Lee Graf
The medicinal use of herbs is nothing new. To many, this is a new fad. The truth is that the use of herbs medicinally has been around for many thousand years.
Stores can boast of hundreds of herbal mixtures, pills, and drinks to address so many ailments and issues in our lives. It can be mesmerizing. What most of us are unaware of us is that the knowledge of such herbal uses comes from many of our ancestors. Native American use of herbs can be traced back to practically the beginning of time. Studies of ancient civilizations show the value of herbs as medicine. Long before pharmaceutical companies arrived on the scene, herbs were treating ailments.
The fact that our ancestors used herbs as medicine was one of the reasons herbs fell out of favor around the beginning of the twentieth century. Companies were forming claiming to have created medicine that was not of our grandparents but of the future. In truth, many of these began with those old quacks that roamed the Wild West. They knew that with new inventions and discoveries people were ready to toss aside the old ways and embrace the new and advanced practices. Doctors became more powerful as they were schooled in new techniques and uses of medicine that the average person could not get a hold of.
This has not changed much in the twenty-first century. New formulas and pills are always proclaimed to help with baldness, weight loss and weight gain. These new inventions draw us in because scientists must know what they are doing in those labs with all the equipment. Yes, they do know what they are doing. Unfortunately, many are not being truthful.
Too often we find out that new medicines are dangerous and sometimes deadly. Yes, herbs can be, too. The difference is that many new products are pushed and promoted without complete testing. Herbs are rarely tested in official settings. When they are, scientists are typically very surprised at the results.
Research in the last decade has begun to say that chicken soup that Grandma pushed on us does some good. They are not sure why, but it seems to work in experiments. Garlic is proving to be beneficial for health. Scientists are not sure of how much it can do, but they are seeing results. The more old-fashioned remedies that are challenged the more they stand strong. Maybe our ancestors were not so wrong.
More and more scientists are starting to see that there is something to the use of herbs for medicinal purposes. Why they work, these experts cannot figure out. They can just agree that they seem to work and need more research. Grandma could have saved them a lot of time.
Just like any other medicine, herbs cannot cure everything. History shows us that they can help in some areas, but research and experiments are very important. Never assume that you know more than the doctors (even when you might). Get second and third opinions. Talk to doctors who are familiar with herbs and can help guide you on their use. Research various herbs and how they can be used. Talk to an herbalist. Remember that herbs can be dangerous when used inappropriately.
The medicinal use of herbs has a long history. Even the scientific community is beginning to acknowledge the power of herbs. They are a medicinal source that should never be completely ruled out.