In the last decade, our society has jumped on the natural medicine bandwagon more than ever before. Chamomile for insomnia, fennel tea for heartburn, and aloe vera for burns are just a few of the ways we incorporate natural medicine in our daily lives. Why? Conventional medications can be harsh and it’s appealing to get back to basics and fix our ailments without dealing with negative side effects.
That being said, it requires a certain amount of savviness to use natural medicine properly. Making a trip to the store and buying primose oil, for example, because you think it will help with menopausal symptoms, is not the best way to go about things. Before you make that purchase, consider these three things:
Do Your Research
Just because a medication is deemed “natural” does not mean it is safe. Herbal medications are not regulated. They don’t have to get approval from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) before putting their products on the market, so it’s important to do your own research before reaching for that pill bottle.
Watch Your Drug Interactions
Natural remedies can sometimes interact with your prescription drugs and make them less effective. Worse, you may experience bad side effects from mixing the two. Again, this is where research comes into play. If it’s ginko you’re interested in taking, see if any herbal remedies are listed as having known interactions with your daily dose of Lyrica, for example. If you don’t have Internet access, ask your caregiver or a family member to help you out.
Consult a Naturopathic Doctor or Herbalist
If natural remedies are important to you, seeing a professional in the field is the best course of action. He or she can document your medical history and recommend the best natural medicines for your specific health conditions.
When it comes to natural medicine, it’s best to go into it fully educated. Choosing blindly because you may have heard about the benefits of certain pills or tinctures may not have the desired effect you hoped for.
This article is intended for informational purposes only. Please consult your health practitioner about any symptoms or medication concerns.