In the current world today, we rely greatly on conventional medicine. While conventional medicine is great, there is a lot of over-reliance. Furthermore, most medicines have mild to severe side effects. Combine this with the over-reliance and you don’t have a very good combination. The good thing is that there is a viable alternative to conventional medicine; medicinal herbs.
When it comes to medicine, the name herb means more than just the dictionary definition of ‘a plant with a fleshy stem’. According to most herbalists, herbs include:
• Bark (tree and vine bark)
• Berries and fruits
• Flower pollen
• Nuts and seeds
• Plant oil and resin
• Some foods such as garlic
Herbs have been used for centuries as food, medicine, and health supplements. One thing that makes herbs safer than prescription drugs is that they are essentially food. They contain vitamins, minerals and elements that can be assimilated by the body and that are highly beneficial. They also have various properties that make them great for preventing and curing diseases.
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We will start our discussion of medicinal herbs by looking at safety precautions you need to follow as you use medicinal herbs.
While medicinal herbs are natural, this in no way does it give you the green light to use them as you please. You need to apply caution when using medicinal herbs. We will look at what you need to do in order to make the best use of medicinal herbs.
Identify the plant
The first thing you need to do is identify the plant you are planning to use. This is of crucial importance especially if you intend to harvest your own herbs. Some herbs look alike. In addition, some species of herbs are related but not all of them are medicinal herbs. For example, cilantro, dill, and parsley are related to water hemlock and poison hemlock. However, even though cilantro, dill, and parsley are safe herbs. Water hemlock and poison hemlock are deadly and should not be used for human consumption.