1) What is an herb anyway?

The word “herb” technically means “grass” in Latin. Herbs are plants that wither back each Autumn. Trees and shrubs aren’t technically herbs in this sense, but there are many healing shrubs and trees that are used in herbal healing. So basically when you ask what an herb really means to an herbalist, it’s a plant that has medicinal value-and that includes every type of medicinal plant whether it’s a tree, shrub, grass, or even a fungus.

2) Do herbs really work?

In ancient times, our ancestors learned about healing herbs by trial and error. Anything that would make their lives a bit more predictable acquired almost an aura of magic because they knew they worked, but they didn’t know why or how. Today we have the benefit of validation thanks to the advent of the scientific method. Modern science has taught us how and why herbs actually work. They contain chemicals, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that produce different results in the body. It’s not like pharmaceuticals where one type of chemical is neatly isolated, precisely measured, and has a defined reaction. Herbs are different from pharmaceuticals in that they usually have varied strengths and mixtures of these chemicals in them.

3) Are herbs really safe to use?

Some people think herbs are perfectly safe because they’re natural. Other people think modern medicine is the safest because it’s a precise dosage of an isolated chemical. There’s a bit of truth to both arguments. We can look at statistics of overdose of pharmaceuticals and those of herbs. Whether the overdose of pharmaceuticals is intentional or accidental, the issue of safety is that they tend to be highly concentrated, and pills and capsules have little to no taste which are factors enabling an easy overdose. Herbs on the other hand have active chemicals that are usually less concentrated and have the built-in overdose deterrent, in that most of the herbs are bitter. Also, it takes a bit more time for some herbs to build in the body because of herbs being a more gentle, slow solution whereas pharmaceuticals are more instantaneous because of their concentration. So the real answer lies in the person using the herbs, their research in the herbs used, and their personal responsibility for their health needs.

Here are some general guidelines of safety:

· Don’t take herb identity for vigina tightening home remedies granted. If you are not 100% of what a wild plant is, don’t use it.

· Use only recommended amounts for recommended periods.

· If you’re over 65 or sensitive to drugs in general, start with lower strength preparations.

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