Understanding Herbology

The use of herbs as early forms of medicine or healing aid dates back centuries, as far back as the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, East Indian, Chinese, and many South American Cultures. Herbs are generally safe and like warm sunshine, natural and beneficial to mind, body and spirit, not to mention affordable compared to prescription medicine. Herbs can be listed in three main categories, food, medicinal, and poisonous.

Confusion Is Only Illusion

Herb can be pronounced with the "h" (H-E-R-B) or without it (E-R-B). Either pronunciation is correct. You'll notice that I have "an" in front of the "herb" word when appropriate. I do this for readers that wish to leave the "h" in herb silent and simply pronounce it as "erb".

The Big Three

Food herbs: Supports the positive aspects of the body, cleanses its system and maintains holistic balance. Food herbs can be consumed in great amounts without fear of losing its benefits.

Medicinal herbs: They are used for a short period of time to fight infections, flu and similar ailments when the need occurs. The time limit is used, because prolong use (overuse), may take away its medicinal benefits.

Poisonous herbs: I know what you're thinking, why use poisonous herbs at all, because this category of herbs poses no real threat. Like any type of powerful remedy, if they are misused in anyway, they have the potential to foster the decrease of health or even death. Another reason why poisonous herbs are used, is because they promote short term specific benefits.

Therapeutic Synergy

Therapeutic plants are fascinating entities unto themselves. They contain phytochemical properties that were created millions of years ago. These same phytochemical properties have been dancing hand in hand with evolution up to our present time. Providing us and many other animals that consume them, with both healing and health benefits that take our hand and lead us into their therapeutic dance festival.

An herb may contain thousands of phytochemical properties, all existing and working in unison towards the plants own health and existence. The total collection of those phytochemicals within a plant, are usually working together in a synergistic way to provide the therapeutic benefits that we need.

Synthetic Copies

The drug manufacturers may copy some of the benefits of herbs by distilling it down to just a few of its original phytochemicals in order to create a chemical rival for profit. Most often, the chemical counterpart may have a tremendous amount of side effects, because it no longer resembles the original design, created by millions of years of plant evolution. Some herbs have no synthetic counterparts whatsoever. Most herbs unlike there prescription brothers, are non evasive to the human body. Meaning, they cause very little to zero side effects, depending on what and how much dosage you're using.

Sensibility Is Key

It would be wise to consult your health care professional before undertaking any therapeutic herbal program. Some herbs have a tendency to increase the effects of prescription drugs and others simply to neutralize the drug's potency. In the worse case scenario, herbs when taken with medical drugs will cause some serious harm and side effects.

Most herbal supplements already have a recommended dosage on the label, but it would still be wise to work with your physician or health care professional, since they may be in a position to know what herbs and drugs cannot be taken together.

Gabriel Foster is the editor for http://www.gabrielfoster.com, the online magazine for both vegetarians and natural health enthusiasts.

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