Herbal Basics

The use of herbs for healing has been practiced for hundreds of years. Today, it is considered a normal treatment in most non-industrialized countries. Traditions dictate the use of herbs for healing.

Though practiced in many ancient cultures as the first recourse to healing, it is just becoming a sought-after style of healing for industrialized, modern countries.

In the United States, herbal healing is fast gaining popularity. This might be due to a large number of negative side-effects possible with the use of modern medicine produced by the pharmaceutical companies and prescribed by doctors.

Another reason herbal remedies might be gaining in popularity is along with the increase of diseases, illnesses, and ailments sometimes medical science is not enough. Prescription drugs are costly, taking hundreds of dollars out of your pocket each month. Some medical treatments are stressful and might last for several months or over more than a year which further adds to the already depressing conditions.

Herbal Supplements

Herbal dietary supplements can contain more than one herbal ingredient as well as other ingredients to benefit your health. This combination of one or more ingredients is meant to enhance your daily diet as well as contribute to strengthening your body.

These additional ingredients can be vitamins, minerals, amino acids, probiotics, prebiotics, and other dietary substances.


  1. Herbal dietary supplements are not intended to treat or cure various diseases or conditions.
  2. They are intended to help prevent certain ailments and to also add nutrients to your body.
  3. Undeniably, herbal supplements have healing properties covering many conditions.
  4. For most cases, there are little to no side effects when consuming herbs and herbal supplements. Herbals contain natural elements that are commonly found in nature, so the risk of adverse effects is minimal.
  5. However, even natural supplements can negatively interact with other supplements and prescribed medicine. Check out the information under Safety Precautions below.

Examples of Supplements Often Combined

Echinacea & Goldenseal Combined for Immune System Support
  • Goldenseal – an herbal remedy used to boost your immune system. Highly effective if used with echinacea, another immune system booster.
  • Echinacea – a group of flowering plants in the daisy family. As an herb it is used to boost your immune system, best known as an over-the-counter herbal remedy for the common cold or flu. Also used to treat inflammation, pain, migraines, and other health issues.
St. John’s wort – an effective herbal dietary supplement used to treat mental health problems, including:  
  • mild and moderate depression
  • seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • sleep problems
  • mild anxiety
St. John's wort
Combination of Supplements
  • Vitamin E – a strong antioxidant.
  • Vitamin D – essential in preventing osteoporosis. Used in combination with Calcium to aid in bone health.
  • Vitamin B6 and B12 – these belong to Vitamin B complexes which help with ailments such as alcoholism, depression, diabetes, hair problems, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and stress.
  • Vitamin A and carotenoids – promote good eyesight.
Tea – a group of herbal dietary supplements that contain antioxidants that are effective in helping to prevent many health issues. These include but are not limited to cancer, heart disease, digestive issues, and liver toxicity, as well as helping to keep blood pressure at normal levels.
Dietary Supplements
  • Magnesium – aids in preventing kidney, thyroid and heart disease.
  • Copper – aids in the absorption of zinc in the body, helps with normal body function, aids in preventing heart disease and promotes healthy skin and hair.
  • Folate – contributes to the production of red blood cells, manufacturing of DNA for cell replication, and aids in the metabolism of amino acids.
  • Iron – supplies energy to every cell in the body and is a vital component of hemoglobin which supplies oxygen to muscles.
  • Selenium – contains an antioxidant that counters various ailments, including cancer.

Many manufacturers combine ingredients that support similar systems, such as the immune system, bone density, and digestive tract. Using ingredients that complement each other and support the same system aids your body more efficiently towards healing and/or health maintenance.

The Ability to Find Herbs is Easier Than Ever Before

The availability of herbal products is now available online, in drug stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, and other common places.
With thousands of herbs and herbal remedies available to aid in treating many different types of ailments, all it takes is a little research to find the ones that suit your personal needs.

Safety Precautions

Herbs are found in nature and often grown in your home. Hence, herbals are considered relatively safe. Since most herbal tinctures are fairly concentrated, there could be a danger that some of the ingredients, though natural, might have adverse effects.

Interactions with Drugs

Also, some supplements, including herbs interact negatively with medications. For information about 18 herbal supplements that might be a problem for you if you are taking any of the prescribed drugs in this article, check out 18 Herbal Supplements with Risky Drug Interactions [at Drugs.com].

Online Checkers and Apps

There are Drug Interaction Checkers online as well as free and paid for apps for both Android and Apple devices.

For a list of available apps, check out the Health Sciences Library Free and Fee-Based Drugs and Supplement Apps list.

One in particular I recommend is the Medicinal Plants & Herbs for Android. And use Ref Guide for Medicinal Plants & Ayurvedic Herbs for IOS. Each provides information on over 100 medicinally useful plants and herbs as well as what part of each plant is used for a particular disorder.

Consult with An Herb Practitioner and Your Own Doctor

Because some supplements, including herbs, might have adverse effects when taking prescribed medicine, seek the guidance of someone who is well versed in the practice of using herbs for healing, treating, and controlling health conditions.

In addition, consult your physician and discuss your herbal regime to ensure there are no interactions with any current medicines you are taking.

Reliable Resources

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