What Everyone Who Takes Herbs or Supplements Needs To Know

19 Sep, 2012

Many people know that echinacea is good for colds. Just like they know ginseng is good for energy. While the good news is that natural remedies are becoming more well known for their health benefits, the bad news is that a lot of people are self-prescribing these remedies because they have “heard” that it will help them. Trained professionals have been replaced by Google. Flashy packaging trumps personalized advice. Even those who do consult trained professionals as to what herbs are best for them, often continue to take these herbs six to twelve months down the track without any follow up checks, assuming they are still appropriate.

What most people do not know is that their bodies are constantly changing. For example, someone may come into the clinic and all of their symptoms point to them having adrenal burnout – “Kidney deficiency” we call it in Oriental Medicine. They might have extreme fatigue, lower back pain, sleeping problems and dizziness. We may then prescribe herbs which tonify the adrenal glands and boost energy. However, if one continues to take these herbs for a long period of time, the herbs can be too stimulating and actually worsen the condition. Likewise, if this person did not even consult a trained professional and simply started taking ginseng because they had “heard it was good for energy”, they may actually cause more harm than good because ginseng can be highly stimulating and further deplete one’s burnt-out adrenal glands. This means that over time, your symptoms will only get worse and the problem won’t actually be fixed.

Often, a course of herbs will rectify one’s health situation and the same remedies will be no longer appropriate. The state your body could be in at one time can completely change three months later. Your constitution may be stronger. It may be weaker. So many lifestyle factors play a part in how you present at any one time such as stress, diet, and sleep, and unless you are being guided and advised along the way, you may be losing money and your health by self-prescribing or continuing with herbs long-term without intermittent re-assessment by a trained professional.

We always, always recommend taking herbs and supplements under the guidance of a trained professional, and we strongly advise a check-up and re-assessment of prescribed remedies at a minimum of six month intervals. For more information, contact us here.