Advantages of Herbal Diet Supplements

Here is a crash course in the advantages of herbal supplements and medicines:

  • They are cheap. Did you look at your medical bills for the past year? Now add up all that you paid the pharmacist for prescription and over-the-counter medications. Is the number looking scary yet? So if you have been using conventional medicine for small problems like common cold and stomachaches then perhaps it is time you considered herbal medicine. It might give you a healthier wallet or purse besides a healthy body.
  • You can do it. Did you know that herbal medicine and supplements can be assembled in your own kitchen? There are thousands of herbal recipes available on the Internet. Just follow them like a recipe to bake a cake and there you are. Your medicine made by your own hand. If you have a garden you could even grown your own herbs.
  • They are natural. Man has learned to do many things but nature continues to know more. So matter how much noise the pharmaceutical companies make you should at least give some time to listen to nature and her own remedies.

Now for the long version.

Herbal Diet Supplements

Herbal medicines, therapies, and supplements are nothing new. People have used them for centuries but it is only recently that western culture has rediscovered the wonders of herbs. In part, this was because the development of allopathic medicinal techniques in the west combined with the lack of scientific support for non-conventional medicines to give an unsavory (and quite wrong) reputation to herbal medicines and supplements. Recent discoveries have forced the medical community to reconsider the benefits of herbs. This has mostly come about with increasing exposure of western community to the healing techniques practiced in other cultures and countries that proved to be more effective than, or at the least complimentary to, allopathic treatment.

People were falling sick a long time ago and even they needed something to help ease the pain and maybe do away with the cause altogether. In the absence of modern medical techniques, they turned to the only things they had around them: plants and herbs. Soon they were busy treating everything from stomachaches to depression and insomnia.

Modern medical science is discovering that these simply remedies from the distant past are not without merit and when combined with a healthy lifestyle and present day rules of personal hygiene, they can really be a potent force in preventing illness and promoting general good health and well-being. Since they do not involve some of the more serious side effects of conventional medicine these herbal supplements can be taken for a variety of preventative reasons. For example, some herbal supplements help lower cholesterol, enhance memory performance, improve the quality of mental concentration, strengthen the cardiovascular system, and increase energy and stamina.

There was a time when food had to travel a very short distance. Grains arrived quickly from the farmer, milk and bacon came fresh from the milkman, most people had gardens to grow their own plants. Those were the days without preservatives and fertilizers and, hard as it may be, people were a lot healthier back then. The reason is that massive production and manufacturing pressures inevitably result in poor handling and use of artificial preservatives. Due to this, a lot of the food that we eat today is lacking in important vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients before it even appears on the shelves. No matter how healthy the label claims the food inside to be, fresh is fresh, and preservatives mean loss of food quality for the sake of profits. A normal diet comprised of the same elements will leave you deficient in several important nutrients if it is not fresh.

This is one reason why herbal dietary supplements have suddenly become important today and are being studied so closely by the medical community. They are safe, they are as close to natural and fresh as they get, and they are the most effective means available to the common people to ensure that their body has all the required types of fuel to keep it going at maximum efficiency day after day even in the face of improper diets.

A note of caution is in order here to warn you that since herbal supplements are not subject to government regulations or general scrutiny it is quite natural that there are some very ill-minded people out there who are putting up substandard products to cash in on the herbal medicine and supplement craze. It is vital to avoid these products, as the total harm they will end up doing is unjustifiable against the limited good they might do.  When you go shopping for herbal products, do a thorough research of the company manufacturing them. You are shopping for your health so make certain that it is safe from malicious products and greedy corporations. Look out for Certificate of Analysis (COA) for each ingredient in the supplement. Also make certain that the manufacturing company follows the GMP manufacturing processes strictly. In the absence of regulations similar to those that apply to pharmaceutical companies, GMP is the best you can hope for from a company manufacturing herbal products.

Nowadays you do not need to go down to the local health store to purchase nutritional health supplements.

Just connect to the Internet and there are countless websites from where you cannot only purchase products online but you can also perform extensive research. Researching products is a good idea.

Do a web-search for reviews of people or visit forums where such products are discussed.

People will be more than willing to exchange posts on a personal basis on those boards.

 While herbal supplements are sold as individual products it is a good idea to look for comprehensive formulae that involve different herbal extracts along with a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and cofactors. Try to treat your herbal supplement as a balanced that should have a bit of everything while staying on the safe side.

Most importantly, before you make a purchase, take a print out of the details of the product that interests you and discuss it thoroughly with your doctor. Some herbal supplements might be more useful for you and conversely you might be about to spend money on supplements you do not need in the least. Your doctor can help with the practical details.

Herbal supplements are growing popular day by day. People all over the world are always looking for ways to improve their health and more and more of them are turning to natural remedies rather than the mainstream drugs that have been around for most of recent history.

Due to this increasing trend, scientists have finally decided to conduct studies to determine the therapeutic benefits and applications of the different herbs and their extracts that are used in herbal therapies and supplements. A majority of results from these experiments strongly indicate that taking herbal supplements along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle and good diet can be greatly beneficial to general health.

This is the reason why many people prefer natural health supplements. The trouble comes from the fact that like other nutritional supplements, herbal supplements are not regulated in the United States. Therefore, the manufacturers do not have to make any assurance of the safety and effectiveness of their products. They are not even required to reveal the ingredients in a health product.

One outcome of this is that a product can claim to contain a herb but a manufacturer can easily put in a chemical equivalent. This might sound criminal but unfortunately in modern corporate culture of “profits first”, it is quite a normal occurrence.

The use of dietary supplements saw a dramatic increase in the 1990s but since then the use of such supplements has gone into a decline. The slight correction in this downward trend is attributed to the introduction of herbal supplements into mainstream multivitamin products.

Within the last decade the use of alternative medicines, and herbal products in particular, has increased considerably.

In the year 2001, Americans spent almost $4.2 billion on herbal and botanical remedies. This coincided with extensive media coverage of the benefits that people were enjoying from herbal remedies.
The percentage of people who were using dietary supplements increased from 14.2% (1998) to 18.8% (2002), with the low spot of 12.3% in 2000 and the highest peak at 19.8% in 2001.

The number of people ages 45-64 who were taking supplements increased by 50% between 1998-99 and 2001-02.

Broadly speaking it was discovered that the majority of people taking dietary supplements were older and mostly female (59.9% as compared to 55.5% of males).

There are many reasons for this increase, not the least being that herbal supplements do in fact being many benefits with them. People can take herbs and supplements for any number of reasons. There are herbs like Echinacea that are extremely helpful in case of common cold or flu. If you feel constantly lethargic even when there is no weakness in the body then perhaps Ginseng tea can help to give you a boost of energy instead of a cappuccino. Ginseng can also increase sexual stamina, reduce stress levels, and fight against aging effects like memory loss.

Herbal medicine is varied and within its diversity it covers a broad range of conditions where it can be effectively applied for treatment. Furthermore, these treatments are conducted on several different levels that can range from generic every day problems that need nothing more than symptomatic relief to completely customized prescriptions that are prepared for individual conditions in patients that have undergone extensive analysis and examination at the hands of an experienced medical herbalist.

Some herbals remedies do not require consulting a qualified medical herbalist. Minor problems like mild infections, cold, cough, catarrh, stomach cramps or gas, indigestion, constipation, etc. can be cured with self-help using over the counter herbal remedies. Self-medication using herbal remedies has never been easier thanks to the limitless information that is available today, mostly though the Internet. All it needs is a little investment of time in order to peruse these websites and anyone can make an informed decision without having to visit a medical herbalist.

In the 10th century, Arabs invented a process of distillation for the extraction of essential oils from plants. These oils were inhaled as aromas, drunk as potions, and worn aromatic amulets. This is one of the first uses of aromas as personal scent preference. This is allegedly the root behind the use of perfumes and modern day deodorants. Nowadays, this extraction process is mainly used to get the oil from plants and flowers for use in aromatherapy. This form of therapy that involves nothing more than deep inhalation of different types of herbal oils is being used to treat a wide spectrum of maladies, both physical and emotional. Headaches, herpes, dry skin, acne, arthritis, and asthma are just a few examples of the problems that people have cured using aromatherapy.

Recently, France and England started the process of reintroducing the various ancient healing techniques to the western world. This began in 1990 and aromatherapy gained a wider acceptance in the traditional community since that time.

France remains the world leader in rediscovering modern uses for ancient healing techniques. Several prominent French doctors prescribe aromatic remedies as a matter of routine for most of their patients. A visit to most French pharmacies will reveal that all of them are well stocked in a wide array of essential oils. Insurance companies in France are more than willing to pay for treatments involving aromatherapy and other traditional methods.