Friday, June 7, 2019

6 Medicinal Plants You're Already Using

I thought I would start off this journal with an article you could sink your teeth into. One where you can find all the answers in one post about some of the most common medicinal herbs that many people use already but might not know the benefits or side effects they may encounter with them.

First, let me say that yes, adding medicine herbs to a regime that includes conventional pharmaceutical drugs can cause a reaction. It is not that the herb is causing the reaction to the chemical compound, it is the other way around (even though your doctor may say the opposite). Don't blame them, they just don't know any better. They have not studied herbs and their components so they do not know that the ingredients in those chemical compounds can be harmful (or they do and are just out weighing the good vs the bad). That is until a natural substance, trying to help the body, comes along and tries to protect the body from those chemical ingredients. Then what you will feel is all the side effects of the chemical drug (even if you were never aware of them before).

For example, when someone goes on cannabis/medical marijuana (medicinal form/oil or paste) and begins taking a small amount every day (low dose THC to high dose CBD) the body begins repairing itself immediately, eliminating the need for the chemical drug. Let's use Gabapentin as an example, since it has a host of side effects (go here to read them) and if you need to be on it you're in chronic pain, which means you aren't paying attention to any new side effects you may be enduring. Just a week later, weaning yourself off the Gabapentin and introducing the medical marijuana, your pain level has begun to go down (say from a 9 to a 6 on the pain scale). This means the cannabis is doing it's job and the Gabapentin is no longer needed, however now you are bombarded with the side effects of the Gabapentin. Some people assume this is the cannabis because that was the new thing they introduced to their bodies, when they would be very wrong.

Remember, natural herbs/plants/flowers work with the body not against it,  and man made chemical compounds work to create a reaction in the body which is why you are not reacting to the chemical in your body.  This means you're body is not utilizing the Gabapentin anymore and you can stop taking it. Actually you can take it at the first sign of the side effects, which might be sooner than my example (or later, as every human body is different).

I'm sure you've heard of Chamomile, right? Everyone has had this tea at one point in their life. It's great for insomnia and to lower anxiety, however I bet you didn't know that if you take a blood thinner you should avoid it?

How about Ginkgo? It’s perhaps best-known for its ability to boost brain health. Studies say that it can slow cognition decline in dementia and Alzheimer’s. Recent research is looking into a component that can help diabetes, and there continue to be more studies, including an animal study that says it might influence bone healing. However did you know long-term use can increase chance of thyroid and liver cancer (it has been studied in rats)? That is can be hard on the liver, so liver enzymes may need too? That it can interact with blood thinners. Side effects, meaning you are taking too much or you shouldn't be taking at all due to other circumstances, can include headache, upset stomach, dizziness, and even an allergic reaction. Because of numerous drug reactions with Ginkgo, it is important to discuss with your doctor herbs you may be taking. Again it is not that Ginkgo is not good for you, it is that you may be taking too much or the drug you are on has adverse affects from the natural compound.

Everyone knows about Turmeric, right? That bright golden yellow root ground into a supplement to help with joint inflammation. It works great at preventing cancer, stopping DNA mutations, and healing some skin diseases. However too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Unfortunately when used as a supplement, people tend to take too much, so it can be difficult to trust the dosage (and quality). It's best taken/ingested as an herb in cooking or tea. Long-term use can potentially cause stomach problems, so for those giving it to their pets for arthritis (or taking it themselves), start small with about 1/16 of a tsp a day, and increase up to 1/8 if necessary. You can also make snacks for your pets with turmeric in them.  If more is needed, consult your veterinary physician for homeopathic (or if they cannot help, conventional) treatment. Turmeric has low bio-availability, so humans should consume with ground pepper to help the body absorb more of its benefits.

Echinacea is much more than pretty, purple cone shaped flowers you see scattered through English Gardens. They have been used for centuries as medicine in the form of teas, juice, and extracts. Echinacea is a very safe herbal to use. Helping enhance the body's immunity, it's often used to treat affects of colds, bronchitis and upper respiratory infections. It can be tough on the digestive tract and upset the stomach if taken too often and in quantities larger than prescribed.

I don't know anyone who hasn't heard of Lavender and most people I know have used it at least once. Everyone thinks its for calming, when in truth it is for balancing the hormones which in turn reduces anxiety. Whether you are feeling high strung or even lethargic, Lavender can help balance your mood and even eliminate the a migraine on its onset. It's also been discovered that lavender carries anti-inflammatory properties when diluted and applied to the skin or used in aromatherapy. Lavender oil can be applied to a small cut or minor burn, however it should not be continuously applied to the skin as it can cause a reaction/rash. And never take it internally, as it is poisonous inside the human body. 

On the same note, of a plant that is often used as an oil, I would like to tell you about Tee Tree.  Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of a tree that’s native to Queensland and New South Wales, Australia.
It's antiseptic qualities make it a good treatment for cuts and bites, and even has helped in athletes foot. It should be diluted or put into a carrier oil when used on the skin, or a rash can occur. AND it is toxic to ingest! I have read numerous articles where people think they can consume it to cure cancer in pets (and humans) only to read how the animal died. 


Remember, even though you may have heard great things about a medicinal plant, do your research before using! Their is no regulation in the U.S. on things that are not considered FOOD or DRUGS (pharmaceutical). So anyone can create a product and say it's great without the research to back it up. That said, you don't have to just rely on the U.S. for your research. Many European countries have done many studies over the last century on herbal plants that far exceed anything we could find here in the states. Thousands, including World Health Organization, European Herbal & Traditional Medicine, European Medicines Agency, etc. 

Expand your scope of knowledge and you will find a vast potential of options available to you for your health and well being.

A'ho

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About This Site

My work fluctuates between human and animal, discerning the best means of healing for each. I use my medical intuitive gifts for both, my naturopathic knowledge for humans, my ability to communicate with and lay hands on animals, and all so both can live harmoniously together with great health and well being. The articles on this site are for reference only. Please consult your physician or veterinarian before making any questionable changes to your, or your pets, wellness routine.

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Disclaimer

Information shared on this site is not intended for use without first consulting your personal physician. In shamanic cultures naturopathic means are used first because patients are taught to be in tune with their own body's needs from childhood. If you are on conventional medicine, be sure to learn about the side effects that they can create when adding naturopathic herbs to your wellness program.