Why try herbal therapy? Well the reason is simple. It is a means of self-care and disease prevention techniques that allows the body to repair itself naturally and inexpensively. With soaring health care costs it is only natural for people in good health to turn to herbal remedies to help themselves stay well.

For example, taking ginseng capsules may help people stay mentally alert when they are coping with the stress of working too hard in today's hectic society. Drinking a cup of lemon balm tea, a natural relaxant, can help to relieve stress and calm a person. Bruises, swelling, sprains, cuts, colds, fevers, minor burns, and rashes respond well to herbal treatments. There are also effective herbal therapies for female problems, including premenstrual syndrome, infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, menstrual cramps, menopausal symptoms, and vaginal infections. Herbal remedies form a strong first line in defense against colds, flus, and other infectious diseases. Unlike antibiotics, herbs can be used to treat both bacterial and viral infections. Other benefits of herbal therapy include:

  • Where many "modern drugs" have lots of side effects, herbs provide safer, gentler alternatives.
  • Nonaddictive alternatives to some presciption medications (ie Valerian is an effective alternative treatment for insomnia compared to sleeping pills).
  • Ginger in the use for treatment of motion sickness is a good alternative to antihistamines, which can cause drowsiness, and to the scopolamine patch, which can cause dry mouth.
  • Herbal remedies sometimes work when Western modern medical treatments fail. They have been used to treat urinary tract infections, digestive problems, menstrual cramps, coughs, colds, skin rashes, allergies, chronic fatigue and all kinds of immune system problems successfully.
  • When it comes to treating serious illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorders, many medical doctors are prescribing herbal remedies to be used in conjunction with mainstream medical techniques.
  • Herbs such as ginger, peppermint, papaya, and fennel can help reduce nausea caused by chemotherapy. Irish moss can thin the blood, and hawthorn berry, rosemary, and motherwort can improve circulation in people with heart disease.

    NOTE: When using herbs in the treatment of major health problems, you should consult with a health professional.

    Always remember HERBS ARE MEDICINES. As with any medication, you should always know how to take the herbs, how frequently, and in what dosage. It is good advice to ask health professionals who have an interest in herbal therapy, naturopathic doctors and herbalists before beginning any form of herbal therapy.

    No matter what you do, you must be aware that just because it's natural doesn't mean it's always safe. Most herbal remedies are, a few can be quite dangerous, especially when used in combination with prescription or over-the-counter drugs or when used by people with pre-existing health problems. (FOR A LIST OF HERBS WITH POTENTIALLY HARMFUL SIDE EFFECTS, SEE NATURAL MEDICINE: HERBAL THERAPY PART 2--HAZARDOUS HERBS)

    Herbs don't necessarily work quickly for chronic health problems. For some long-term conditions, you may need to take an herbal remedy for at least three months before you see results.

    SOURCE: DRUG-FREE HEALING: Breakthough Remedies for Healing Yourself Naturally, by the Editors of PREVENTION Magazine Health Books