Herbal medicines have been in use all over the globe and can be hailed as having taken root in human medicine decades ago. From the plains of Africa to the medicinal store fronts of Europe and the Chinese and Indian generations, herbal remedies and medicines are known not only as a way of life, but are still seen by most people today as the only method to cure certain illnesses and diseases.
Modern Medicine and the Herbalist
An issue of much debate in today’s society, the fast growing trend of people seeking out more herbalistic and spiritual ways in which to cure disease is on the increase. Despite the advent of modern medicine, people are fast losing faith in the quick fix that medicine provides and still seek out remedies as prescribed by a herbalist, a medicine man or a village shaman, also commonly known as a witch doctor.
Modern society has divided these people into two camps: The first camp, consisting of people who have used herbal remedies for centuries, with recipes passed down from generation to generation within the family, and the second camp, which has lost its faith in modern medicine as a permanent long lasting health solution to illness and disease, and have decided to cure the root of the problem instead of merely alleviating the symptoms.
The battle between the herbalists and modern medicine continues; as most herbalists claim to be able to cure all ills, medical practitioners caution against taking herbal remedies without consulting the family doctor first as some herbal medicines may worsen health problems by interacting with other medications, cause side effects and jump start normally quiescent allergic reactions.
Herbal Drugs and the Law Makers
As Jane Symons writes in her article published on the 15th of October 2009 in The UK Sun online newspaper, entitled, “Why Herbal Drugs are not Always Safe,” she says, ‘”There’s no doubt that plant medicines can be effective. Aspirin is a man-made version of a chemical in willow bark and many heart drugs come from foxgloves. But just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s safe – salmonella, MRSA and botulism are all 100 per cent natural.”
She further states that the European law makers have finally cauterized the wounds that herbal drugs had opened in selling supposedly natural products that contained harmful ingredients such as steroids, and applauds law makers to ensuring that herbalists will now need to have their products licensed or will be taken off the shelves.
As the way in which herbal medicines are made is not standardised or regulated, it is up to individual research and the label on the container to inform users of their efficiency in treating a particular ailment and what side effects they might cause as it is also possible that the form of the medicine that is sold on supermarket and pharmacy shelves may not be the same form that was used in the initial research stage.
Curing Disease and Leading a Better Life
With it being seen as natural and alternative remedies is seen as a medicine used not just to alleviate the symptoms of ailments but to ensure that the body has a push-start in healing itself. Many illness and diseases are caused by the condition of the human body; a poorly balanced diet, lack of exercise and sleep and over-work that modern medicine may relieve rapidly but will not provide a lasting solution.
The solution to herbal drug use versus the use of modern medicine is simple: Eat a balanced diet, get a lot of exercise and balance out work and sleep patterns. With a healthy lifestyle, combating minor illnesses and disease which arise as a result of ill-treating the body can be a piece of cake, and prescribed pills or dietary and food supplements will no longer be a side dish accompanying your everyday meal.