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October, 05 2016

The Benefits of Herbal Remedies


Louise @JdeV Chorley store

Life has survived on Earth for millions of years, using only the things that nature has provided for survival – so why stop using nature now? 

The effectiveness of herbal remedies has long been argued over: some people claim to be able to cure anything with a few simple plants, while others label the whole thing ‘hocus pocus’. As you’ve probably guessed, here at YourHealthFoodStore, we truly believe in the power of nature, and many of the herbal remedies we stock have been thoroughly researched – and some are even licenced in the same way that pharmaceutical medicines are!

Life has survived on Earth for millions of years, using only the things that nature has provided for survival – so why stop using nature now? Plants in particular have medicinal properties because they can’t move around to escape predators or disease or to find food and water, and have therefore had to become self-sufficient. Over the years plants have developed their own methods of survival and protection, and this is why so many plants have antibacterial and antiviral properties. As humans, it makes sense to harness these natural medicinal qualities.

But what are the benefits of herbal remedies? Why choose them over pharmaceutical drugs?

Nature knows the best recipes. Many pharmaceutical companies try to extract the ‘active ingredient’ from a plant, but in many cases the plant contains a whole host of other chemicals which may not seem important but in fact play a vital role, by either enhancing or controlling the medicinal effect. This is the case with St John’s Wort (pictured above), a popular herbal remedy for low mood. When the active ingredient is extracted it is in fact less effective than using the whole plant, because the extract is missing the rutin from the plant. Rutin makes the chemicals in St John’s Wort water-soluble – without it, your body can’t absorb the useful chemicals!

They’re gentler on the body with fewer side effects. Herbal remedies often work by encouraging better function of your body’s natural processes. For example, Agnus castus promotes your body’s production of progesterone to tackle PMS symptoms, rather than overloading your body with synthetic progesterone. This means that there are less unpleasant side effects associated with herbal remedies, such as the nausea, fatigue and general fuzziness associated with anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication, the sudden trips to the bathroom associated with laxatives, or the groggy feeling associated with sleeping pills.

Because of this gentler approach, herbal remedies are less likely to interfere with other medication. This means that if you do have a serious medical condition, you can usually continue to take your prescribed medication alongside a herbal remedy, which can be particularly useful for dealing with any nasty side effects of your medication. Always check with your doctor first though, as some herbal remedies are more potent than others!

They are less addictive. Because herbal remedies support your body’s natural processes and functions, they are usually much less addictive. In fact, herbal remedies often make good substitutes for people trying to come off addictive pharmaceutical drugs such as sleeping pills or anti-depressants.

They don’t lose potency. When it comes to pharmaceutical drugs, your body tends to adapt to the drug, meaning it loses its efficiency, leading to the need for an increased dosage. Since herbal remedies tend to stimulate your body’s natural processes, they aren’t as likely to stop working.

They don’t promote resistant bacteria. Overuse of antibiotics has lead to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria. We’re sure you’ve all heard of MRSA, which actually stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococcus infections are usually fairly easily treated, but MRSA is not because it has become resistant to many commonly used antibiotics, including, as the name suggests, methicillin – once thought to be the most powerful form of penicillin! This is why herbal remedies such as Echinacea are so great, because they help your body to fight off colds, flus and other infections without the need for antibiotics, meaning that the next time you need antibiotics for a serious tooth or kidney infection, it is more likely to work! We recommend A.Vogel’s Echinaforce range which contains whole, fresh Echinacea for maximum effectiveness.

We hope we’ve managed to convince you that herbal remedies are the way to go! Have a browse of our website or pop into your nearest store to find the product you need. However, if you think or know you have a serious medical condition, always consult your doctor before self-treating with herbal remedies.