Guest Author - Rebecca Lee Graf
Herbal safety is very important. In other articles, we have discussed how dangerous herbs can be when not handled properly. They are nature’s drug and should always be treated with respect.
The first thing you should always do to be safe with herbs is to always be informed. Never take an herb because you heard about how it works with certain conditions or because a friend recommended it. Research it. Talk to a doctor. Talk to a certified herbalist. Only experience can help direct the use of an herb.
Never give a toddler or younger any herb. Their growing bodies cannot handle too many new things introduced to their bodies nor are you aware of all the allergies that they might have. Always be careful with small children. Consult doctors before giving a child three years old or younger anything.
The same goes for the elderly. Always be cautious as to herbs that are given to anyone that is older. They probably have physical problems that are being treated with pharmaceutical drugs. Herbs can have drastic interactions with these drugs. Always consult a doctor.
Any time you take a new herb, start at the lowest dosage. You have no idea the effect on your body. Everyone is different. You weight and age plays a major part in how any medication will react to you. Dosage can be increased as you see how you react.
As soon as you get an adverse reaction, cease taking the herb. Any rash, dizziness, eye problems, or breathing conditions should be taken seriously. Go straight to your doctor and seek medical attention. Never dismiss symptoms after you take an herb. Even you have taken the herb before, the reaction could be from that very same herbal supplement. There could be a change in your body, medication, hormones, brand of herbs, or even foods that you have eaten.
Always be careful in what you ingest or place on open wounds. The body is an amazing creation that has a special design. It interacts with anything that enters the bloodstream and into the cells. It might be a healthy interaction or a dangerous one. Even be careful with herbs used in cooking. Be informed. Have resources. Be alert.
One idea that might help is to keep a journal of all herbs that you take and use. Note if you raised the herbs yourself or where you purchased them and in what form. If there is an adverse reaction, this will be very helpful.
Herbs are great. Treat them with respect and you will be glad to have herbs in your life.