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smiln32's avatar

Has anyone ever taken herbs to heal an illness? If so, what were the results?

Asked by smiln32 (67points) February 4th, 2010

Some herbs are known as being able to help with things like depression, sleep, energy, and so on. Do they work? Which ones work?

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8 Answers

lostinyoureyes's avatar

I’ve taken Chinese herbal medicine… it does work. Takes terribly bitter, but I would sacrifice taste for not consuming the chemicals that are in pills.

The herbs you take depends on your ailment.

gemiwing's avatar

For depression specifically- I’ve used fish oil and it worked fairly well. It depends on whether the depression is chemical or situational.

I have used herbs like soy lecithin to lower my cortisol levels while exercising and it works fairly well- although the side-effect of a change in body odor was noticeable.

For sleep I have used melatonin and it worked quite well. One needs to be careful with dosing and length of use as you cannot take it every day from here on out. It needs to be taken in a pattern as a boost- not as a ‘sleeping pill’ or tranquilizer.

Sometimes they can work but more often than not, I’ve found people want to use herbal medicine the same way they use Western pharmaceuticals. Just pop a pill and go on with their day. Most herbal treatments have schedules that are more nuanced and require us to know more about dosing as we are bearing the responsibility for knowing how we should be taking them and how much.

With proper research into dosing schedules, delivery methods and side-effects, I’ve found that herbal medicine can be a welcome boost to my health regimen.

Spinel's avatar

Mint tea truly is a balm for an upset stomach. I have used it successfully several times. The only side affect is a mint tea addiction.

p8prclip's avatar

In WWII they didn’t have access to medicines and relied on herbal remedies. Garlic works like a natural antibiotic and was used by the soldiers for quick healing. If I feel a hint of sickness I eat a whole clove of garlic. Works every time. You can also use it by rubbing it on a wound.

belakyre's avatar

I’m chinese and my mother does refer chinese medicine over pills. I can testify that it works…but you need to drink the stuff for longer periods of time than you need to take something like Panadol.

faye's avatar

Both herbals and western medicine have value. There are some herbals that don’t play nice with western meds. St John’s Wort reacts poorly with almost all prescribed meds. I have had good luck with echinacia to stave off a cold, but that’s the only one I still use.

Dilettante's avatar

I’ve had much success with herbal, other nutritional supplements. Rather not get into them here. I highly recommend this book: “Prescription for Nutritional Healing” by Phylis and James Balch. He is an M.D., she is CNC. There are several editions. At least four; the last of which does not include James, only Phylis. Every possible subject, ailment, herb, substance is dicussed in detail, well-indexed. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a healthfood store, i.e. Whole Foods, etc, where there wasn’t a copy of this book readily availble for perusal by both the customer and the often-skilled employees…they often simply refer to this book to answer your questions.
I would not venture to laud this book if I hadn’t had tremendous success using it. This is not a commercial plug, I assure you; just the comment of a person who goes by the adage, “How do you judge a tree? By the fruit it bears.” or, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” I am in my early sixties.My cholesterol is 157, HDL/LDL ratio fine. I eat most anything I want, without excess (mostly LOL), my height and weight are proportionate. I have completely overcome Gout(no attacks for eight years now, and I had a chronic, severe, years-long case), without prescription drugs. I have literally improved my vision, according to my eye doctor’s regular, thorough exams. My blood pressure, taken by my GP every three months, is typically 120’s over 70’s-80’s. All this, I’m certain, is a direct result of my involvement with the Balch book mentioned above, and other sources it hsa led me to. I could go on, but do not wish to appear boastful, arrogant; just trying to underscore the direct benefits of herbal and other alternative medicines, of which I take many, every day, twice a day. The time and money is well worth it. You must research carefully—the web is good, but be careful, nearly every site is some sort of veiled advertisement or bashing of competition. Check the link’s name. Do they offer to sell you the item being discussed, or an alternative to it, on the page? Obvious conflicts of interest. In general the various bona-fida college and university sites are reliable, reputable. I also have a great GP doctor, who is very familiar with me and my medical history; although I am fortunate to not have to take any prescription drugs other than the occasional non-narcotic pain killer and eyedrops, still, I clear things, discuss them with him, and he is refreshingly open-minded; which is rare in the medical community, due to their reliance on bigPharm, other big medical, health field players, for income, etc. most poo-pooh alternative medicines,techniques. I am not a fanatic/zealot/weirdo, just trying to be of help. .

smiln32's avatar

Thank you for the helpful answers.

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