By Dr. Holly

Herbal medicine is one of the oldest forms of healing there is.  Herbal medicine includes utilizing herbs and foods to make : balms, tinctures, creams, pharmaceuticals, teas, etc  For decades herbal medicine has been debunked by Western medicine – yet much of Western medicine is still based on the very compounds found in plants!!  The compound is isolated from a huge family of compounds that it works interactively with – THEN replicated artificially in a laboratory; then the dosage is often further reduced from the amounts used in clinical studies (the negative side effects which are usually NOT reported) and then you get the resulting product.

AND it is supposed to work like the original product??  Nuts!!!  BUT like anything else these days, the natural product can be as detrimental as it can be beneficial!  Why?  Many sources of herbs are grown in toxic soils.  For instance, good clinical labs tell us that about 80% of Turmeric is toxic!!  Further, if it is extracted – it is still not being given along with the whole complex of compounds it was originally found it…so again using turmeric as an example…turmeric is hard to absorb without the appropriate fats it needs for absorption.

Unfortunately, we need to do our research here too and find out:    

1. where are the herbs grown

2. how and when they are harvested (time of day, season, month are all important to determine the nutrient profile of the herb and the benefit to you)

3. what part of the herb is utilized (the root may be good for one issue while the leaf, blossom, or fruit, may be good for another issue)

4. what is the formulation with the other products (for instance, in a tincture is it a 1:1, 1:2, 1:3 etc ration with the alcohol AND what concentration is the alcohol:  25%, 40%, 60%, 80% – the concentration of the alcohol determines what nutrients will be “pulled” out of the herb)

5. what other ingredients are added to make up the formula.  Just like we find that Vitamin D3 compounds often contain up to 60% Vitamin D2, similar issues happen in tinctures

6. another issues concerns the specific species.  For instance, most have heard of ginseng but did you know that there are 11 primary types of ginseng:  Eleutherococcus/Siberian, Panax/Korean, Angustifolia/Indian, etc Different species have different nutrient profiles and therefore more effective for different conditions

These are all good reasons to have natural health products regulated.  The challenge is NOT to have them regulated by Big Pharma – which is well known for making the worst health product formulas.  This is why, many brands I will suggest that the client just throw out.  Some brands are mediocre and some are excellent.  Find a good HEALTH practitioner who can guide you effectively.

Be responsible.  Do your homework.  Find a good health practitioner.