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Herbs have been in use for thousands of years in treating and preventing various diseases. These herbs have many advantages and disadvantages associated with them. You are advised to seek advice from an experienced naturopath or herbalist before using these herbs. Even though Herbal medicine has been facing a lot of criticism from the medical professionals, it is worth to note that the drugs used in conventional medicines are also derived or obtained from the common herbs and plant- based sources. For instance, aspirin is derived from willow bark. The herbalists also use the same willow back in treating headaches and relieving pain.
The advantages of herbal medicine include the following
Reduced side effects
The herbal medicines are natural and can be tolerated by almost every patient. They are associated with few unintended consequences as compared to the other types of pharmaceutical drugs. These drugs are therefore safe for use and they can also be used for a longer time.
Herbal medicines are readily available. You can easily obtain these herbs even without a prescription. Some of the herbs such as chamomile and peppermint can also be grown at home. Herbs can survive even in the remote areas. For instance, aloe vera which is one of the common herbs is grown in the semi-desert areas which are one of the remote areas of the World.
Effective in treating chronic conditions
These drugs are effective in treating long-standing health complaints which might have failed to respond well to the conventional medicine. For instance, herbs are used as an effective natural remedy for treating arthritis. Some of the prescription drugs used in treating arthritis such as Vioxx is known for increasing the risks or cardiovascular diseases. Other alternative treatments for arthritis include the use of simple herbs and making some dietary changes.
Herbal medicines are cheaper than the prescription medications. The process of preparing prescription drugs is a lengthy one since it involves, doing research, testing as well as marketing of the various products. This makes them more expensive as compared to the herbs.
The following are some of the disadvantages of the herbal medicine
The process of harvesting herbs can be a risky process. There are some wild herbs which are harmful or poisonous. One should be very careful when identifying these herbs to avoid using the wrong herbs or parts of the plant.
There are some herbal medicines which can interact with prescription medications. That is why you will always find some warnings on most herbs. Drugs used in treating anxiety, for example, are known for interacting with medications such as antidepressants. It is therefore important for the patient to discuss his or her herbal supplements and medications with the doctor. This will help in avoiding some of the dangerous interactions.