Do Herbs Work?

A rant by one of my favorite people, Harold over at Alchemy Works, got me to thinking about a question I’m frequently asked. The answer is a qualified YES.

My answer is qualified because a) there are some issues where herbs won’t help and more importantly, b) not all herbs work the same way on each person. Your physiology is unique and what works for me may not work for you and vice versa. For example, 95% of the population falls asleep when they take Valerian. Not me. I’m bouncing off the walls for several hours if I take it. (And I really do prefer the smell and taste of coffee if I need to stay awake for some reason.)

I often hear, “I took X herb for Y problem and it didn’t work.” When I ask if they tried any of the other herbs that will help with Y problem, the reply is, “No. A commercial on television/Z website/W magazine/T friend said to take that herb.”

This is where I heave a huge sigh. As I said here and probably a lot of other places, research is necessary! Perhaps some other herb this person took is interfering. Perhaps one of their prescription drugs is. Or perhaps their physiology just doesn’t react the same as other folks’.  My personal database lists about 500 herbs and I forget how many medical conditions. Nowhere is there one medical condition/one herb.

Above all, as the old aphorism goes, Know Thyself. With herbal medicine, experimentation is necessary. (With synthetic drugs, too. Just look at how many prescription drugs are available for, oh, high cholesterol.) Maybe you’ll get lucky and your first herb will do the trick. But if that one doesn’t work, do a little more research and try another. Eventually you’ll come upon the one (or combination) that works for you and your problem.

1 Comment

  • TK Posted May 5, 2012 2:35 pm

    I think Do Herbs Work? | is a good blog article and you do a good job of writing detailed information. Tommy

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