Just because something is natural or is derived from a natural source like a plant doesn’t always mean it is safe for consumption. You can accidentally give yourself serious health problems if you are careless. There are always some precautions you should take before buying or consuming herbal medicine.
SOHMA recommends, that anyone who is looking to add herbal supplements or remedies as part of their health program should consult with medically trained professionals to mitigate risks. Today we’re going to go over the potential disadvantages of herbal medicine and how to avoid those shortcomings.
Adverse Interactions with Pharmaceuticals
This applies to those who have to take prescribed medicines. Many times it’s difficult to understand how some herbal medicines react with medicines that have been prescribed by a primary care provider. Feel free to ask the helpful staff at SOHMA Integrative Medicine in Lakewood and Long Beach CA any questions regarding how our herbal supplements may interact with any prescribed medicine you may be taking. Before deciding on a herbal medicine healing program, consult with your herbal pharmacist and primary care provider to reduce the risk of adverse interactions between your medications and herbal supplements.
The interactions between herbal medicine and pharmaceuticals may seem insignificant to some, and in many cases, it can be. Though when pharmaceuticals and herbal medicine share similar side effects it can cause side effects to exhibit worse symptoms. Examples of adverse interactions are with St. John’s wort, which is commonly used to help treat depression and menopausal symptoms, when taken with contraceptive drugs can cause in irregular bleeding or unplanned pregnancy. Or if you are taking blood-thinning medication like warfarin or aspirin you should try to avoid cranberry and ginkgo biloba as they can increase the risk of bleeding.
Lack of Regulation
With the growing use of herbal medicines, the lack of or eased regulations for herbal medicine makes it difficult for consumers to reliably buy safe herbal medicine. The herbal supplements we carry at SOHMA are held to the highest standards of quality and reliability. Unlike traditional pharmaceuticals, herbal medicine does not have as strict an inspection for safety or efficacy. There exist many companies that are just in it for themselves and take advantage of less fortunate people. The lack of dosage instructions required for claimed effects may not be properly stated. Unknown growing and processing conditions can result in a contaminated or diluted product.
It is extremely important to only purchase from reputable sources which are known for working efficiently and have a history of producing quality products.
Due to the previously stated lack of regulation with herbal medicine and supplements, herbal medicine can cause side effects that patients may not be aware of. Side effects can include the following:
- Difficulty Breathing
- Dry Mouth
- Tachycardia (increased heart rate)
Severe side effects have been reported as well including liver damage and seizures. Because of this we cannot stress enough to buy from a reputable source. Consider new symptoms as potential side effects from herbal medicine and communicate with your primary care provider and herbal pharmacist to discuss how to proceed.
Slower Healing than Pharmaceuticals
The time required to see results is varied though usually, it’s much slower than pharmaceuticals. Herbal medicine and supplements work to resolve and heal the root cause of the problem which takes time. Herbal medicines have amazing healing capabilities but are not as effective in dealing with emergency situations. Many over-the-counter pharmaceuticals repress a bodily function that triggers symptoms of diseases or infections. Herbal medicine takes more time because it is attempting to heal the root cause of your condition.
Take the Next Step In Improving Your Health by Contacting SOHMA Integrative Medicine
Our goal is to help you improve your health. You can reach out to us and ask us about the Myers Cocktail, IV Therapy, Chiropractic care, or how our other health service lines can help you with your journey to improved health.
Located in Long Beach and Lakewood, CA we help individuals from the surrounding cities.
We look forward to helping you take the next step in your journey to better health.