Herbal health is a fascinating realm. Herbs have long been used for medicinal benefits and for their healing powers. Depending upon what part of the planet you live in will most likely determine your initial reaction to this type of alternative health care. If you grew up in the United States, then this type of health care will seem strange to you. It is only in the last 20 years that herbal health has begun to see resurgence in the United State and Western culture.
Notice that I said resurgence! Up until the early 1900s, herbal remedies were used widely in the United States. It was in the early 1900s that the modern pharmaceutical industry began to take shape. Technology had advanced far enough for chemists and pharmacists to isolate individual active compounds found in herbs to begin producing drugs based on them. Over the last 100 years American medicine transformed itself from preventative care to reactive care.
Preventative care is taking the necessary steps before hand to prevent disease from forming by helping the body to stay healthy. Reactive care is taking the necessary steps to treat illness by producing a condition in the body that does not allow the disease to live or thrive. Drugs are used to treat the illness. Today, most Americans have become conditioned to rely on synthetic, commercial drugs for relief.
100 Years vs. 1000s of Years
The modern drug industry is approximately 100 years old. It roots were originally based in herbs. The pharmaceutical industry established itself by isolating the active ingredients in herbs and made them into purer forms. Even today it is estimated that 25% of the prescription medicines sold are or were originally derived from plants. Two good examples are:
But with the good drugs that evolved over the last 100 years there have been some real problems. Just ask any women who used hormone therapy replacement drugs to combat menopause. To put it in stark reality, Resource4DefectiveDrugs posted the following information:
“. . . from the years 1998 to 2005, the number of reported serious adverse drug events increased 2.6 fold from 34,966 in 1998 to 89, 842 in 2005. The number of fatal adverse drug events increased 2.7 fold during the same time period, from 5,519 in 1998 to 15,107 in 2005. The FDA defines a serious adverse drug event as an adverse event that results in death, a birth defect, disability, hospitalization or is life-threatening or requires intervention to prevent harm.”
If you click on drug deaths, it will link you to the full article. I provide this link because the article also gives a brief profile on 58 drugs that the FDA has taken preventative actions on. Of these 58 drugs only 2 had an herbal component: ephedra and Metabolife which uses ephedra in combination with caffeine.
Oriental herbs have become a recent addition to the American health care scene. Many consider the Chinese to be the foremost herbalists since they draw on thousands of years of experience in compounding and processing roots and herbs. In the Asian culture, herbs are used as a method to bring the body into balance and harmony. Herbs are meant to be taken on a daily basis to prevent illness rather than as a treatment method once an illness has occurred.
How dangerous are herbs to your health when compared to pharmaceutical drugs? An article written in 2001 by Dr. James A. Duke, who has more than 30 years of experience working with herbs, asked this same question. Dr. Duke estimated that the yearly number of deaths from herbs ranged from 40 to 100. His article cites that the number of yearly deaths from prescription pharmaceuticals ranges from 98,000 to 140,000. You can read Dr. Duke’s full article by clicking on herbal health.
When used properly herbs have a powerful influence on improving health with little to no risk. Prescription drugs, even when used properly, always care a risk. Just listen to the next drug commercial on TV or read the legal disclaimers in your favorite magazine. My whole point to all of this is that we need to recognize the wonderful depth and value of 1000s of years of experience. Especially when compared to the short amount of time for pharmaceuticals.
Herbal Health Articles
The world of herbal health is huge with thousands and thousands of articles. For the purpose of this website, I will limit my articles to those herbs that have a direct impact on the aging process. In her wonderful book, Prescription for Nutritional Healing – 4th Edition, Phyllis A. Balch, CNC lists 141 different herbs. When you understand that only about 15 percent of the estimated plant species have been evaluated for possible medicinal purposes you can see that this is an evolving area of knowledge.
With this in mind, I will be adding to this website as the information about herbal health and aging continues to grow and evolve. The following articles will help get the process of discovery started:
To help you stay current in the information on herbal health and aging, I invite you to take three important steps:
My goal is to give you practical things that you can do today. Practical steps that begin the process of properly nourishing your cells so that they can work optimally rather than poorly! As you apply these anti aging strategies every day for the next 90 days, you will notice a wonderful difference in your overall health and wellness.
Enjoy the articles and until next time, may we both age youthfully!
P.S. Below are links to other Herbal Health and Aging articles contained on this website:
The information contained in this website and posted articles are for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information contained in this website and posted articles has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.