Herbal medicine: old or new?

Ever try Echinacea to help your immune system? Or St.John’s wort for your mood? Or chamomile to help you relax? Then you have used a form of medicine that’s been around for more than 5,000 years. There is a “new” – or should I say, “re-newed” – interest in the “old” traditions of using plants for healing.

Until the mid-1900s, herbal medicine was one of the primary forms of health care in America. According to research, 80 percent of the world still relies on plants for some of their primary health care. Here in the United States, AARP says that almost 50 percent of people age 50 years and older have used alternative forms of medicine in the past year. Herbal products top the list of alternatives.

With surging health care costs, heightened concerns about medication interactions, and the wide availability of herbal products, interest in and use of herbs continues to climb. But, buyer beware! Just because something is natural does not mean it is completely safe. And with little regulation, not all herbal products provide what they preach.

Want to know more? Check out our new series “EcoWellness: Medicines from Nature.” With my background as a naturopathic physician and herbalist, I will discuss the ins and outs of herbal medicine, native plants with medicinal benefits, and how to prepare herbal products at home. Classes start June 13. Learn more and register.

Note: We recommend that you attend the free lecture on Essentials for Making Herbal Remedies prior to attending upcoming workshops, which you may take in any order. Classes are for educational purposes only and do not intend to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure disease.

 

 

 

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