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Seven Instances Where Herbal Treatment Is Optimal

August 25th, 2009

herbal-treatment-options.jpgHerbs have been used to treat conditions of all kinds for thousands of years. Ancient medical systems such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda have been turning to nature to cure myriad health problems with great success. Herbal therapies are slowly gaining acceptance in the western world as we are looking to find more natural ways to treat and prevent illnesses. However, it is important to know when it is most effective to use natural treatments as they are not appropriate in many situations. While most herbal treatments are quite safe, there can be interactions with standard medications. It is advisable to consult with an experienced health care professional before designing a treatment plan for specific conditions.

Japan has one of the healthiest populations on the planet. Four out of five doctors there regularly prescribe herbal medicine to their patients if appropriate. Their combination of ancient and modern healing modalities has produced some of the world’s highest longevity figures in the world for both men and women. There are seven situations where Japanese doctors suggest herbs as the primary means of treatment.

1. Treating conditions in older adults: As people age, they often develop a variety of conditions all affecting different organs with symptoms changing regularly. This broad range of problems and resulting complaints often lead doctors to prescribe multiple medications. The health problems are intensified by side effects, forgetting to take the medicine or running out of it. Many herbal treatments complement the actions of these standard medicines and allow doctors to reduce dosages or even eliminate some of the medications.

2. Disorders affecting proper immune function: There are many herbal medicines that are very effective for strengthening the immune system and treating autoimmune disorders. In cases of chronic infection, herbs can balance the immune system and keep it from turning on the body by mistakenly attacking healthy tissue.

3. Psychosomatic and psychiatric complaints: Herbal treatments for these problems are widely used in Japan and China. There are many formulations that are very effective and do not over-stimulate or depress the central nervous system. Additionally, herbal treatments do not induce negative side effects such as sexual dysfunction, drowsiness, fatigue, nightmares, or manic behavior like some medications do.

4. Subjective symptoms: Certain conditions produce symptoms that are not quite serious enough to warrant the use of standard medications. Additionally, people are very unique and often experience different symptoms from someone else suffering from the same condition. By learning about the benefits of herbs or by working with someone who does, a person can formulate a personalized treatment plan to deal with their particular symptoms.

5. Alternative treatment for someone with allergies or other negative reactions to standard medications: Many standard medications cause myriad side effects in individuals who take them. Listen to any commercial for a pharmaceutical drug and it is very obvious that most prescription medicine comes with a price to pay. Sometimes these side effects are mild but sometimes they can be quite serious. There are many prescription drugs that have an effective, safer herbal counterpart.

6. Combination therapy to increase effectiveness of conventional medication: Like pharmaceutical drugs, herbs contain compounds that produce specific reactions in the body. There are many instances where a natural treatment can complement the action of a standard treatment. This helps manage the condition better and can sometimes permit a person to take a reduced dosage of prescribed drugs.

7. Combination therapy to lessen side effects of conventional medication: There are many standard medicines that can produce negative side effects but are necessary to treat a certain condition. While they are working to eradicate the problem, they are often causing new ones. Herbal treatments can alleviate some of the side effects of these aggressive medications.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer residing in New Jersey. She enjoys writing on self-improvement, spirituality, natural health, and healing. She likes to share the results of her research through her articles.

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