1. Are botanical medicines too gentle to really do anything for my condition?
If you don’t think natural compounds are strong, you’ve never cut up a jalapeño and then touched your eye! Even today, 70-90% of the world relies on herbal medicine. For example, we all use herbs all the time in the kitchen. And natural herbs like Rosemary, and even peppercorns are both antiseptic and antibacterial, which is why we use them when cooking with meat.
2. Can herbs interact with medicines?
There are a lot of interactions between herbs and medicines. That is why it is imperative that if you are on medications and are thinking of taking an herbal supplement from the natural foods store, that you consult with your Naturopathic doctor or registered herbalist who are experts on herbs and their contraindications.
3. There are so many studies on the effectiveness of herbs, how do I know I am getting the right information?
Any study on herbs that does not include an herbalist or Naturopathic physician should be subject to scrutiny. Second, studies have to be done on the correct part of the plant, like the root or the leaf. And lastly, the study has to use enough of the herb to have a therapeutic effect. It is easy to say an herb doesn’t work if you don’t give the correct dosage. Your Naturopath uses herbs that meet these criteria.
4. Is it true that drugs are synthesized from man-made substances?
Actually, many drugs are derived from herbs. In fact, over 120 of the most commonly used drugs in our country are derived from plant products. Aspirin, for example, comes from the bark of a willow tree. (However, an herbal remedy from this same tree doesn’t produce the unpleasant side effect of stomach ulcers like aspirin does!). Many anti-cancer drugs also come from plants, and more are being researched all the time.