Benign essential tremor body or hand shaking is nervous system disorder all information for patient like benign essential tremor treatment, symptoms, causes and cure etc. Natural herbal remedies treat your disease by the Herbal Care Products.
Gastroparesis is stomach cannot empty disease all information for patient like gastroparesis treatment, symptoms, causes and cure etc. Natural herbal remedies treat your disease by the Herbal Care Products.
What is Gastroparesis?
Gastroparesis or delayed gastric emptying, is a type of condition wherein the motion of the muscles in the stomach weakens and fails to function normally. Gastroparesis happens because of the sluggish emptying of food into the small intestine coming from the stomach, and the faulty grinding of food in the stomach into much more smaller particles.
Normally, sturdy muscle contractions drive food to the digestive tract but in the case of gastroparesis, the movement of the muscles is very poor or does not work at all, resulting to the prevention of the stomach from emptying correctly.
Upon the weakening of the stomach’s muscle contractions, food is not meticulously crushed and does not empty into the intestine ordinarily.
From the muscular actions, both liquid and solid foods are emptied from the stomach differently. The most frequent is the slow emptying of solid food, followed by liquid and solid food, and then the liquid food itself.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Gastroparesis?
The main Symptoms of Gastroparesis are vomiting and nausea. Other symptoms include; pain in the abdomen, malnutrition, the altering in blood sugar levels, heartburn or GERD, abdominal bloating, loss of weight, losing of appetite right away, and a certain feeling of fullness after taking up a couple of bites.
The vomiting occurs mostly after meals but in worst cases, the person with Symptoms for Gastroparesis still might vomit even with an empty stomach because of the stomach secretions being accumulated.
Upon vomiting due to Gastroparesis Symptoms, the grinding action of the stomach is out, which makes the vomited food contain perceptible large segments of the consumed food right before the vomiting occurred.
What are the Causes of Gastroparesis?
The Causes of Gastroparesis is still not well identified but in most cases, gastroparesis is believed to be caused by any diseases in the stomach or nerves controlling the damaged muscles of the stomach which are the vague nerves; these are the nerves that handle the compound procedures in the digestive tract like stimulating the stomach’s muscles to push and constrict food into the small intestine.
When the vagus nerve is defective, it can no longer send signals to the muscles in the stomach which may later on cause food to stay in the stomach much longer, than be moved and digested in the small intestine. Diabetes mellitus is the most common Causes for Gastroparesis and it affects the vagus nerves.
Surgical procedures done in the stomach and esophagus can be another reason that can endanger the stomach’s muscles. Another example of a disease that can cause gastroparesis is Scleroderma that also impairs the stomach’s muscle.
Every so often, reflexes inside the nervous system can be a cause as well like for example; the inflammation of the pancreas. Given that none of the muscles or nerves is disrupted, but messages are sent to the stomach coming from the pancreas to prevent the normal functioning of the muscles.
Some other Gastroparesis Causes may include; idiopathic gastroparesis, mineral imbalance in the blood, and medications.
How is Gastroparesis Diagnosed?
Physicians have many ways to diagnose a patient with gastroparesis. Below are the tests that can be done:
- Gastric emptying study – This is a nuclear medicine test that measures the amount of food emptied from the stomach. Eating light meals necessitate in this test whether it be solid or liquid that contains a small amount of radioactive material so that the movement of the material will be detected later on by a scanner in order to monitor which food leaves the stomach.
- Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy – This is for visual examination in the upper digestive system namely the stomach, esophagus, and the duodenum. This involves a small camera on the end of a long tube that’s flexible enough.
- Upper GI series – A series of X-rays wherein the patient drinks a white, chalky liquid medium to help the stomach’s abnormalities be seen if there’s any.
- Breath test – The test simply involves the person to drink little amount of sugar water to measure the amount of gas processed by the body in the breath.
How to Treat Gastroparesis?
- Treatment for Gastroparesis that can stimulate the muscles of the stomach. These could be; Reglan and Eryc, E.E.S., domperidone, and cisapride. Medications that can control vomiting and nausea may also be used like; Compro, Unisom, Benadryl, and Zofran.
- Surgery – This treatment is for patients that can’t tolerate any food or liquids. Physicians will then propose to place a jejunostomy tube in the small intestine. Physicians can also suggest a gastric venting tube to help alleviate pressure from the gastric contents.
- These tubes are only temporary when blood sugar levels are uncontrollable or gastroparesis worsens. Some patients need an IV feeding tube in order for it to be directed into a vein in the chest.
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Diet for Gastroparesis
The Physician can also refer the patient to a dietician who can help the person find foods that are much easier to digest in order to get equal amount of nutrients and calories. The Gastroparesis Diet might advocate the patient to:
- Chew food comprehensively
- Drink a good amount of water for every meal
- Avoid smoking, alcohol and drinks that are carbonated
- Eat well-cooked vegetables and fruits
- Eat smaller meals more regularly
- After eating, do some gentle exercises like going for a walk
- If it is much easier for liquids to swallow, try pureed foods and soups
- Avoid eating fibrous vegetables and fruits
- Pick low-fat foods but if tolerable, small amount of fatty foods may be added to the diet
Gastroparesis is more difficult to treat if there are motility disorders of the muscles in the small intestine that accompanies with it. If gastroparesis is caused by a problem that’s reversible, the condition subsides when the problem resolves.
For diabetes patients, blood sugar control will refine the emptying of the stomach. If no reversible causes are there, it is very rare for gastroparesis to be resolved. As a matter of fact, it becomes worse as time flies.
Source Link : https://healthsurgical.com/gastroparesis.html
Trigeminal neuralgia is facial pain disease all information for patient like trigeminal neuralgia treatment, symptoms, causes and cure etc. Natural herbal remedies treat your disease by the Herbal Care Products.
What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Neuralgia is a sharp, shocking pain that follows the path of a nerve and is due to irritation or damage to the nerve.
Common neuralgias include:
- Trigeminal Neuralgia
Nerve pain; Painful neuropathy; Neuropathic pain
Causes for Trigeminal Neuralgia
The Causes of Trigeminal Neuralgia include:
- Chemical irritation
- Chronic renal insufficiency
- Infections, such as herpes zoster ( shingles ), HIV, Lyme disease, and syphilis
- Medications such as cisplatin, paclitaxel, or vincristine
- Pressure on nerves by nearby bones, ligaments, blood vessels, or tumors
- Trauma (including surgery)
In many cases, the Trigeminal Neuralgia Causes is unknown.
Postherpetic neuralgia and trigeminal neuralgia are the two most common forms of neuralgia. A related but less common Causes for Trigeminal Neuralgia affects the glossopharyngeal nerve, which provides feeling to the throat.
Neuralgia is more common in elderly people, but it may occur at any age.
Symptoms for Trigeminal Neuralgia
The Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia include:
- Increased sensitivity of the skin along the path of the damaged nerve, so that any touch or pressure is felt as pain
- Numbness along the path of the nerve
- In the same location each episode
- Sharp, stabbing
- May come and go (intermittent), or be constant, burning pain
- May get worse when the area is moved
- Weakness or complete paralysis of muscles supplied by the same nerve
Exams and Tests
Your doctor or nurse will examine you and ask questions about your medical history and Symptoms for Trigeminal Neuralgia, including:
- When did the pain start?
- Did you injure yourself recently?
- Have you had any health changes?
The exam may show:
- Abnormal sensation in the skin
- Reflex problems
- Loss of muscle mass
- Lack of sweating (sweating is controlled by nerves)
- Tenderness along a nerve, often in the lower face and jaw and rarely in the temple and forehead
- Trigger points (areas where even a slight touch triggers pain)
You may also need to see a dentist if the pain is in your face or jaw. A dental exam can rule out dental disorders that may cause facial pain (such as a tooth abscess).
Other Trigeminal Neuralgia Symptoms (such as redness or swelling) may help rule out conditions such as infections, bone fractures, or rheumatoid arthritis.
There are no specific tests for neuralgia, but the following tests may be done to find the cause of the pain:
- Blood tests to check blood sugar, kidney function, and other possible causes of neuralgia
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Nerve conduction study with electromyography
- Spinal tap (lumbar puncture)
Treatment for Trigeminal Neuralgia
Your Treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia include:
- Discuss ways to reverse or control the cause of the nerve problem (if found)
- Recommend pain medicines
- Herbal care products
Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatment varies depending on many things, including the cause, location, and severity of the pain.
Strict control of blood sugar may speed recovery in people with diabetes who develop neuralgia.
Medications to control pain may include:
- natural herbal remedies medications (Trigical)
- Antidepressant medications (amitriptyline, nortriptyline, or duloxetine)
- Antiseizure medications (carbamazepine, gabapentin, lamotrigine, phenytoin, or pregabalin)
- Over-the-counter pain medicines (aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen)
- Narcotic analgesics (hydrocodone) for short-term relief of severe pain (however, these do not always work well)
- Lidocaine patch
- Skin creams containing capsaicin
Other Treatment for Trigeminal Neuralgia may include:
- Shots with pain-relieving (anesthetic) drugs
- Nerve blocks
- Physical therapy (may be needed for some types of neuralgia, especially postherpetic neuralgia)
- Procedures to reduce feeling in the nerve (such as nerve ablation using radiofrequency, heat, balloon compression, or injection of chemicals)
- Surgery to take pressure off a nerve
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Unfortunately, these procedures may not improve symptoms and can cause loss of feeling or abnormal sensations.
When other treatment methods fail, doctors may try nerve or spinal cord stimulation, or more rarely a procedure called motor cortex stimulation (MCS). An electrode is placed over part of nerve, spinal cord, or brain and is hooked to a pulse generator under the skin. This changes how your nerves signal and may reduce pain.
Most neuralgias are not life threatening and are not signs of other life-threatening disorders. However, pain can be severe. For severe pain that does not improve, see a pain specialist so that you can explore all treatment options.
Most neuralgias will respond to treatment. Attacks of pain usually come and go. However, attacks may become more frequent in some patients as they get older.
Sometimes, the condition may improve on its own or disappear with time, even when the cause is not found.
- Complications of surgery
- Disability caused by pain
- Side effects of medications used to control pain
- Unnecessary dental procedures before neuralgia is diagnosed
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Contact your health care provider if:
- You develop shingles
- You have symptoms of neuralgia, especially if over-the-counter pain medications do not relieve your pain
- You have severe pain (see a pain specialist)
Treating related disorders such as diabetes and renal insufficiency may prevent some neuralgias. Strict control of blood sugar may prevent nerve damage in people with diabetes. In the case of shingles, there is some evidence that antiviral drugs and a herpes zoster virus vaccine can prevent neuralgia.
Uveitis eye disease all information for patient like uveitis treatment, symptoms, causes etc. Natural herbal remedies treat your disease by Herbal Care Products the way of nature.
What is uveitis?
Uveitis is a general term that refers to inflammation (swelling, irritation) of the middle layer of the eye (the uvea). In common usage, it refers to all inflammatory processes inside the eye.
The eye is shaped like a tennis ball, with three different layers surrounding a gel-filled cavity (the vitreous). The innermost layer is the retina. The middle layer, between the sclera and the retina, is called the uvea. The outermost layer is the sclera, the strong white part of the eye.
The uvea includes the iris (colored part of the eye), choroid (a thin membrane containing many blood vessels) and ciliary body (the part of the eye that joins these together). The uvea is very important because its many veins and arteries transport blood to the parts of the eye that are necessary for vision.
What are the symptoms of uveitis?
Symptoms of Uveitis may include:
- eye redness
- blurred vision
- pain in the eye
- light sensitivity
Uveitis can permanently damage your eyesight and even cause blindness. Uveitis Symptoms may develop rapidly. It is very important that you see your ophthalmologist for a complete eye examination if you develop these Symptoms for Uveitis, especially if a painful, red eye does not clear up quickly. If it is not treated, uveitis can damage your vision permanently.
What causes of uveitis?
Uveitis Causes has many potential causes, including infections by virus, fungus, bacteria, or parasites. It may be associated with systemic inflammatory diseases (those that affect the whole body), or can develop after an injury to the eye. In a large number of cases, the Causes of Uveitis is not known.
There are several type Causes for Uveitis, depending on which part of the eye is inflamed:
- Iritis, the most common form of uveitis, affects the iris. This condition is often associated with autoimmune disorders (in which the body attacks itself) such as arthritis. Iritis may develop suddenly and may last up to eight weeks, even with treatment.
- Cyclitis is inflammation of the middle portion of the eye and may affect the muscle that focuses the lens. This also may develop suddenly and can last several months.
- Retinitis affects the back of the eye. It may develop quickly, making it difficult to treat. Retinitis may be caused by viruses such as herpes zoster or herpes simplex, bacterial infections such as syphilis, or parasitic infections such as toxoplasmosis or autoimmune diseases.
- Choroiditis, or inflammation of the layer beneath the retina, may also be caused by an infection such as tuberculosis, or may be caused by autoimmune diseases.
- Panuveitis is an inflammation of the entire interior of the eye.
- Scleritis is inflammation of the sclera – the white part of the eye
How is uveitis diagnosed?
If you have any symptoms of uveitis, it is very important to see your ophthalmologist right away. Your ophthalmologist will perform a careful examination of your eyes. He or she may order laboratory tests, including blood work or X-rays.
Uveitis may be caused by another disease, so your ophthalmologist may want to talk with your primary care physician or a specialist to evaluate your general medical condition.
What natural herbal treatment for uveitis?
Because uveitis is serious, Treatment of Uveitis needs to begin right away. For noninfectious uveitis, your ophthalmologist may prescribe eye drops containing steroids to reduce swelling, and a dilating eye drop to relieve pain.
Antibiotics are used in patients with infectious uveitis. Dark glasses will help with light sensitivity. For severe cases, other medications may be prescribed.
Before Treatment for Uveitis complications may include glaucoma, cataracts, abnormal blood vessel growth, fluid within the retina, and vision loss. Early diagnosis and Uveitis Treatment by your Herbal Care Products specialist can often help to avoid vision loss. Uveitis Natural Treatment for patients is Uvical. Our Uveitis Herbal Treatment have no side effects.
Source Link : https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/uveitis
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10 Best Healing Herbs by Herbal Care Products
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Your munititions stockpile of home cures is going to get a great deal spicier with these best mending herbs. Despite the fact that herbs have been utilized for a long time to recuperate, researchers are at long last beginning to substantiate these plants’ capacities to ease joint inflammation torment, diminish high glucose and cholesterol, and help with numerous different conditions. They’re notwithstanding finding astonishing new powers in the best recuperating herbs, for example, the capacity to execute growth cells and help issue consumers check their liquor admission.
“Herbs and other regular cures can be as powerful as customary medicines, frequently without a similar negative reactions,” says Roberta Lee, MD, restorative executive of the Continuum Herbal Products Center for Health and skin Healing with herbs at Beth Israel Medical Center in (USA).
Turmeric: Ease joint pain
A piling aiding of curry could ease your agony. That is on the grounds that turmeric, a zest utilized as a part of curry, contains curcumin, a capable mitigating that works comparatively to Cox-2 inhibitors, medicates that lessen the Cox-2 protein that causes the torment and swelling of joint inflammation, says Lee.
It may likewise: Prevent colon growth and Alzheimer’s ailment. As per a little clinical trial directed by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, curcumin can help contract precancerous sores known as colon polyps, when brought with a little measure of quercetin, an effective cancer prevention agent found in onions, apples, and cabbage. The normal number of polyps dropped over 60% and those that remained shrank by over half. In a recent report distributed in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, analysts at UCLA additionally found that curcumin clears the cerebrum of the plaques that are normal for the sickness.
Boost the advantages: For general wellbeing, Lee prescribes adding the zest to your cooking at whatever point conceivable. For a remedial measurements, James A. Duke, PhD, creator of The Green Pharmacy, recommends 400 mg of curcumin concentrate three circumstances day by day
Cinnamon: Lower glucose
In a current German investigation of sort 2 diabetics, taking cinnamon remove day by day effectively decreased glucose by around 10%.
It may likewise: Lower cholesterol. Cinnamon packs a one-two punch for individuals with sort 2 diabetes by diminishing related heart dangers. In another investigation of diabetics, it cut cholesterol by 13% and triglycerides by 23%.
Amplify the advantages: To tame glucose, consider subjects took 1 g cases of institutionalized cinnamon remove day by day, while those in the cholesterol study took 1 to 6 g. Yet, remember that a lot of the real flavor can be risky, so stay with a water-solvent concentrate. Terry Graedon, PhD, coauthor with her significant other, Joe, of Best Choices from the People’s Pharmacy, prescribes the brand Cinnulin PF.
Rosemary: Avoid cancer-causing agents
Singing, cooking, or flame broiling meats at high temperatures makes HCAs (heterocyclic amines), intense cancer-causing agents ensnared in a few tumors. Yet, HCA levels are fundamentally diminished when rosemary remove (a typical powder) is blended into meat before cooking, say Kansas State University specialists clarifies lead scientist J. Scott Smith, PhD.
It may likewise: Stop tumors. Rosemary separate averts cancer-causing agents that enter the body from authoritative with DNA, the initial phase in tumor development, as per a few creature contemplates. At the point when specialists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign sustained rosemary concentrate to rats presented to dimethylbenzanthracene, a cancer-causing agent that causes bosom disease, both DNA harm and tumors diminished. “Human research should be done,” says contemplate creator Keith W. Singletary, PhD.
Expand the advantages: To decrease HCAs, Smith suggests marinating nourishments in any grocery store zest blend that contains rosemary and at least one of the flavors thyme, oregano, basil, garlic, onion, or parsley.
Ginger: Avert queasiness
Ginger can keep stomach agitate from many sources, including pregnancy, movement affliction, and chemotherapy. “This is one of Mom’s cures that truly works,” says Suzanna M. Zick, ND, MPH, an examination agent at the University of Michigan. A capable cell reinforcement, ginger works by obstructing the impacts of serotonin, a substance delivered by both the mind and stomach when you’re disgusted, and by ceasing the generation of free radicals, another reason for surprise in your stomach. In one investigation of voyage ship travelers going on unpleasant oceans, 500 mg of ginger at regular intervals was as powerful as Dramamine, the generally utilized OTC movement affliction solution.
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What is Herbal Medicine?
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Herbal medicine, also called botanical medicine or herbal products, refers to using a plant’s seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers for medicinal purposes. Herbalism has a long tradition of use outside conventional medicine. It is becoming more mainstream as improvements in analysis and quality control, along with advances in clinical research, show the value of herbal medicine in treating and preventing disease.
What is the history of herbal medicine?
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Natural herbal products have been used for medicinal purposes long before recorded history. Ancient Chinese and Egyptian papyrus writings describe medicinal uses for plants as early as 3,000 BC. Indigenous cultures (such as African and Native American) used herbs in their healing rituals, while others developed traditional medical systems (such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine) in which herbal therapies were used. Researchers found that people in different parts of the world tended to use the same or similar plants for the same purposes.
In the early 19th century, when chemical analysis first became available, scientists began to extract and modify the active ingredients from plants. Later, chemists began making their own version of plant compounds and, over time, the use of herbal medicines declined in favor of drugs. Almost one fourth of pharmaceutical drugs are derived from botanicals.
Recently, the World Health Organization estimated that 80% of people worldwide rely on herbal medicines for some part of their primary health care. In Germany, about 600 to 700 plant based medicines are available and are prescribed by some 70% of German physicians. In the past 20 years in the United States, public dissatisfaction with the cost of prescription medications, combined with an interest in returning to natural or organic remedies, has led to an increase in herbal medicine use.
How do herbs work?
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In many cases, scientists are not sure what specific ingredient in a particular natural health products works to treat a condition or illness. Whole herbs contain many ingredients, and they may work together to produce a beneficial effect. Many factors determine how effective an herb will be. For example, the type of environment (climate, bugs, and soil quality) in which a plant grew will affect it, as will how and when it was harvested and processed.
How are herbs used?
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The use of natural herbal remedies has increased dramatically over the past 30 years. Herbal supplements are classified as dietary supplements by the U.S. Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. That means herbal supplements, unlike prescription drugs, can be sold without being tested to prove they are safe and effective. However, herbal supplements must be made according to good manufacturing practices.
The most commonly used herbal care supplements in the U.S. include:
- Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea and related species)
- St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
- Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
- Garlic (Allium sativum)
- Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens)
- Ginseng (Panax ginseng or Asian ginseng) and Panax quinquefolius or American ginseng)
- Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)
- Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
- Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
- Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
- Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)
- Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)
Practitioners often use herbs together because the combination is more effective. Health care providers must take many factors into account when recommending herbs, including the species and variety of the plant, the plant’s habitat, how it was stored and processed, and whether or not there are contaminants (including heavy metals and pesticides).
What is herbal medicine good for?
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Herbal care products medicine is used to treat many conditions, such as allergies, asthma, eczema, premenstrual syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, menopausal symptoms, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, and cancer, among others. It is best to take herbal supplements under the guidance of a trained provider. For example, one study found that 90% of people with arthritic use alternative therapies, such as herbal medicine. Since herbal medicines can potentially interact with prescription medications, and may worsen certain medical conditions, be sure to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any herbs. Some common herbs and their uses are discussed below.
- Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) has been used in traditional medicine to treat circulatory disorders and enhance memory. Although not all studies agree, ginkgo may be especially effective in treating dementia (including Alzheimer disease) and intermittent claudication (poor circulation in the legs). It also shows promise for enhancing memory in older adults. Laboratory studies have shown that ginkgo improves blood circulation by dilating blood vessels and reducing the stickiness of blood platelets. By the same token, this means ginkgo may also increase the effect of some blood-thinning medications, including aspirin. People taking blood-thinning medications should ask their doctor before using ginkgo. People with a history of seizures and people with fertility issues should also use concern; Speak with your physician.
- Kava kava (Piper methysticum) is said to elevate mood, enhance wellbeing and contentment, and produce a feeling of relaxation. Several studies show that kava may help treat anxiety, insomnia, and related nervous disorders. However, there is serious concern that kava may cause liver damage. It is not clear whether the kava itself caused liver damage in a few people, or whether it was taking kava in combination with other drugs or herbs. It is also not clear whether kava is dangerous at previously recommended doses, or only at higher doses. Some countries have taken kava off the market. It remains available in the United States, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a consumer advisory in March of 2002 regarding the “rare” but potential risk of liver failure associated with kava-containing products.
- Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is used by more than 2 million men in the United States for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. Several studies suggest that the herb is effective for treating symptoms, including frequent urination, having trouble starting or maintaining urination, and needing to urinate during the night. But not all studies agree. At least one well-conducted study found that saw palmetto was no better than placebo in relieving the signs and symptoms of BPH.
- St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is well known for its antidepressant effects. In general, most studies have shown that St. John’s wort may be an effective treatment for mild-to-moderate depression, and has fewer side effects than most other prescription antidepressants. But the herb interacts with a wide variety of medications, including birth control pills, and can potentially cause unwanted side effects, so it is important to take it only under the guidance of a health care provider.
- Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a popular alternative to commonly prescribed medications for sleep problems because it is considered to be both safe and gentle. Some studies bear this out, although not all have found valerian to be effective. Unlike many prescription sleeping pills, valerian may have fewer side effects, such as morning drowsiness. However, Valerian does interact with some medications, particularly psychiatric medications, so you should speak to your doctor to see if Valerian is right for you.
- Echinacea preparations (from Echinacea purpurea and other Echinacea species) may improve the body’s natural immunity. Echinacea is one of the most commonly used herbal products, but studies are mixed as to whether it can help prevent or treat colds. A review of 14 clinical studies examining the effect of echinacea on the incidence and duration of the common cold found that echinacea supplements decreased the odds of getting a cold by 58%. It also shortened the duration of a cold by 1.4 days. Echinacea can interact with certain medications and may not be right for people with certain conditions, for example people with autoimmune disorders or certain allergies. Speak with your physician.
Buying standardized herbal supplements helps ensure you will get the right dose and the effects similar to human clinical trials. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about which herbal supplements are best for your health concerns.
Is there anything I should watch out for?
Used correctly, herbs can help treat a variety of conditions, and in some cases, may have fewer side effects than some conventional medications. Never assume that because herbs are “natural,” they are safe. Some herbs may be inappropriate for people with certain medical conditions. Because they are unregulated, herbal products are often mislabeled and may contain additives and contaminants that are not listed on the label. Some herbs may cause allergic reactions or interact with conventional drugs, and some are toxic if used improperly or at high doses. Taking herbs on your own increases your risk, so it is important to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before taking herbal medicines. Some examples of adverse reactions from certain popular herbs are described below.
- St. John’s wort can cause your skin to be more sensitive to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, and may cause an allergic reaction, stomach upset, fatigue, and restlessness. Clinical studies have found that St. John’s wort also interferes with the effectiveness of many drugs, including the blood thinner warfarin (Couamdin), protease inhibitors for HIV, birth control pills, certain asthma drugs, and many other medications. In addition, St. John’s wort should not be taken with prescribed antidepressant medication. The FDA has issued a public health advisory concerning many of these interactions.
- Kava kava has been linked to liver toxicity. Kava has been taken off the market in several countries because of liver toxicity.
- Valerian may cause sleepiness, and in some people it may even have the unexpected effect of overstimulating instead of sedating.
- Garlic, ginkgo, feverfew, and ginger, among other herbs, may increase the risk of bleeding.
- Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) may increase the risk of seizures in people who have seizure disorders and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders or who take blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin).
Some herbal supplements, especially those imported from Asian countries, may contain high levels of heavy metals, including lead, mercury, and cadmium. It is important to purchase herbal supplements from reputable manufacturers to ensure quality. Many herbs can interact with prescription medications and cause unwanted or dangerous reactions. For example, there is a high degree of herb/drug interaction among patients who are under treatment for cancer. Be sure to consult your doctor before trying any herbal products.
Who is using herbal medicine?
Nearly one-third of Americans use herbs. Unfortunately, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that nearly 70% of people taking herbal medicines (most of whom were well educated and had a higher-than-average income) were reluctant tell their doctors that they used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
How is herbal medicine sold in stores?
The herbs available in most stores come in several different forms: teas, syrups, oils, liquid extracts, tinctures, and dry extracts (pills or capsules). You can make teas from dried herbs left to soak for a few minutes in hot water, or by boiling herbs in water and then straining the liquid. Syrups, made from concentrated extracts and added to sweet-tasting preparations, are often used for sore throats and coughs. Oils are extracted from plants and often used as rubs for massage, either by themselves or as part of an ointment or cream. Tinctures and liquid extracts are made of active herbal ingredients dissolved in a liquid (usually water, alcohol, or glycerol). Tinctures are typically a 1:5 or 1:10 concentration, meaning that one part of the herb is prepared with 5 to 10 parts (by weight) of the liquid. Liquid extracts are more concentrated than tinctures and are typically a 1:1 concentration. A dry extract form is the most concentrated form of an herbal product (typically 2:1 to 8:1) and is sold as a tablet, capsule, or lozenge.
No organization or agency regulates the manufacture or certifies the labeling of herbal preparations. This means you cannot be sure that the amount of the herb contained in the bottle, or even from dose to dose, is the same as what is stated on the label. Some herbal preparations are standardized, meaning that the preparation is guaranteed to contain a specific amount of the active ingredients of the herb. However, it is still important to ask companies making standardized herbal products about their product’s guarantee. It is important to talk to your doctor or an expert in herbal medicine about the recommended doses of any herbal products.
Are there experts in herbal medicine?
Herbalists, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, pharmacists, medical doctors, and practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine all may use herbs to treat illness. Naturopathic physicians believe that the body is continually striving for balance and that natural therapies can support this process. They are trained in 4-year, postgraduate institutions that combine courses in conventional medical science (such as pathology, microbiology, pharmacology, and surgery) with clinical training in herbal medicine, homeopathy, nutrition, and lifestyle counseling.
How can I find a qualified herbalist in my area?
For additional information, or to locate an experienced herbalist in your area, contact the American Herbalists Guild (AHG) site at
. To located a licensed naturopath in your area, call the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) at .
What is the future of herbal medicine?
In some countries in Europe, unlike the U.S., herbs are classified as drugs and are regulated. The German Commission E, an expert medical panel, actively researches their safety and effectiveness.
While still not widely accepted, herbal medicine is being taught more in medical schools and pharmacy schools. More health care providers are learning about the positive and potentially negative effects of using herbal medicines to help treat health conditions. Some health care providers, including doctors and pharmacists, are trained in herbal medicine. They can help people create treatment plans that use herbs, conventional medications, and lifestyle changes to promote health.
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