When to use herbal remedies - The Explorer: Aging Well

When to use herbal remedies

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Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 4:00 am

Even as billions of dollars are spent on modern pharmaceutical research, some people opt for herbal supplements as their primary health treatment or prevention plan. There are varying opinions on using herbs for medical purposes. Regardless of where your medical advice comes from, many people believe that these natural treatments can have major effects on the body, which can vary depending on your diet and prescription intake. It’s important to know how popular herbs are used and their limitations to determine whether they could fit into your health regimen. 

Gingko biloba

Made from one of the world’s oldest trees, gingko biloba is commonly used as a memory aid. Adults who have trouble occasionally recalling information could see benefits, especially as there is little chance of negative interactions with other supplements. However, older adults who are developing symptoms of dementia won’t curb these conditions by simply taking a supplement. 

Ginseng

The effects of ginseng all depend on the person taking it. Some case studies have shown it has a calming effect. However, some also indicate it helps energize people who need a pick-me-up.

Kava

A member of the pepper family, kava is commonly mixed with cold water to drink. This South Pacific root received a large amount of press several years ago for its relaxation benefits, but its negatives far outweigh any positives. Research shows kava could cause severe toxification of the liver, which could completely shut down the organ. Some people, especially those with an existing pepper-related allergy, have also experienced allergic reactions, such as hives, rashes and irritated eyes.

There are plenty of other herbal supplements that adults take for various ailments. It’s always important to consult a trusted health professional before incorporating them into a health plan.

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