HERBS FOR OPTIMUM HEALTH

As with food supplements herbs can be used to obtain optimum health so that your body can balance your hormones, heal itself and help to prevent illness and disease getting a hold. Herbal medicine is the oldest form of medicine and herbs have been used for healing in all cultures and in all times. Herbs are in fact the foundation of numerous pharmaceutical drugs. Aspirin is based on an extract from willow, originally used for pain relief by the American Indians and steroids have been derived from wild yam. Up to 70 per cent of drugs in use today have their origins in plants. But Western pharmaceutical practice is to use the active ingredient of the plant or herb in a pure form of a determined strength and quantity as the basis for the drug. When a plant or herb is used in its whole form, as in herbal medicine, the side effects are absent or minimal. In traditional times, the foxglove plant (Digitalis purpurea), for example, was used for heart problems. In modern times, scientists have been able to isolate the main active ingredient of the foxglove (digoxin). However, by using only the active ingredient in a drug form, there is the real risk of side effects. By using the whole plant, the active ingredient interacts with all the other constituents of the plant which naturally includes ‘buffer’ ingredients that counteract the side effects. Herbalists believe this is the proper way to use the healing powers of herbs and plants.
The best way to use herbs is to choose those that have a balancing effect on your hormones without directly supplying one hormone or another. These balancing agents are called adaptogens. Adaptogenic herbs allow the body to restore itself naturally without causing an imbalance in any hormone or body system. These herbs tone and strengthen the whole of the reproductive system. Examples are: chaste-berry (agnus castus), black cohosh, blue cohosh and false unicorn root. Below I have given a guide for the general use of these and other herbs at the menopause. If you have specific symptoms such as fibroids, etc., it would be worth consulting a good herbalist or a health professional with experience in using herbs because some can have a direct hormone-like action and are used in specific conditions while best avoided for others.
For general use, it is better to have a number of herbs mixed together. Some herbs work better for some women than others, so if you have an appropriate ‘menopause’ mix you can be sure of having a good balance.
The easiest and most effective way of taking herbs is in tincture form (approximately 5ml (1 teaspoon) three times daily in a little water). Try to get tinctures made from organically grown herbs. In the liquid form the herbs are already dissolved and hence they are available faster and their action is quicker. In the dry form, the tablets or capsules have to be digested and the benefit of the herbs is only as good as your digestive and absorption processes. You will find that as the herbs rebalance your hormones you can reduce the dose, bringing it down to 2.5ml (УЬ teaspoon) three times a day, for instance, and eventually to the point when you don’t need them any more. Herbs are not like drugs. If drugs are stopped, the symptoms can return and you are back where you started. The herbs stop the symptoms. But they are also addressing the cause at the same time, so the symptoms are being alleviated because the body is becoming more balanced.
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HERBS FOR OPTIMUM HEALTH
As with food supplements herbs can be used to obtain optimum health so that your body can balance your hormones, heal itself and help to prevent illness and disease getting a hold. Herbal medicine is the oldest form of medicine and herbs have been used for healing in all cultures and in all times. Herbs are in fact the foundation of numerous pharmaceutical drugs. Aspirin is based on an extract from willow, originally used for pain relief by the American Indians and steroids have been derived from wild yam. Up to 70 per cent of drugs in use today have their origins in plants. But Western pharmaceutical practice is to use the active ingredient of the plant or herb in a pure form of a determined strength and quantity as the basis for the drug. When a plant or herb is used in its whole form, as in herbal medicine, the side effects are absent or minimal. In traditional times, the foxglove plant (Digitalis purpurea), for example, was used for heart problems. In modern times, scientists have been able to isolate the main active ingredient of the foxglove (digoxin). However, by using only the active ingredient in a drug form, there is the real risk of side effects. By using the whole plant, the active ingredient interacts with all the other constituents of the plant which naturally includes ‘buffer’ ingredients that counteract the side effects. Herbalists believe this is the proper way to use the healing powers of herbs and plants.The best way to use herbs is to choose those that have a balancing effect on your hormones without directly supplying one hormone or another. These balancing agents are called adaptogens. Adaptogenic herbs allow the body to restore itself naturally without causing an imbalance in any hormone or body system. These herbs tone and strengthen the whole of the reproductive system. Examples are: chaste-berry (agnus castus), black cohosh, blue cohosh and false unicorn root. Below I have given a guide for the general use of these and other herbs at the menopause. If you have specific symptoms such as fibroids, etc., it would be worth consulting a good herbalist or a health professional with experience in using herbs because some can have a direct hormone-like action and are used in specific conditions while best avoided for others.For general use, it is better to have a number of herbs mixed together. Some herbs work better for some women than others, so if you have an appropriate ‘menopause’ mix you can be sure of having a good balance.The easiest and most effective way of taking herbs is in tincture form (approximately 5ml (1 teaspoon) three times daily in a little water). Try to get tinctures made from organically grown herbs. In the liquid form the herbs are already dissolved and hence they are available faster and their action is quicker. In the dry form, the tablets or capsules have to be digested and the benefit of the herbs is only as good as your digestive and absorption processes. You will find that as the herbs rebalance your hormones you can reduce the dose, bringing it down to 2.5ml (УЬ teaspoon) three times a day, for instance, and eventually to the point when you don’t need them any more. Herbs are not like drugs. If drugs are stopped, the symptoms can return and you are back where you started. The herbs stop the symptoms. But they are also addressing the cause at the same time, so the symptoms are being alleviated because the body is becoming more balanced.
*1/101/5*

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