Use Herbs Effectively

My introduction to natural medicine and healing was the same as many. It started with an exploration of the use of vitamins, minerals and herbs. I soon found that I liked the effect of these natural approaches to healing much better than their prescription counterparts and eventually decided to work exclusively with them to stay healthy. Because of this decision, and in connection with my work as a pastor and spiritual healer, it quickly became a way of helping others who wanted to heal naturally.

Some important things to remember about natural medications as opposed to prescription drugs is that it usually takes longer to see results. Healing, the natural way, goes to the heart of the problem, where much of Western medicine is concerned with stopping symptoms. For the naturopath, symptoms are seen as indications of the origin problem, not something to be treated, but to be monitored as treatment progresses. Of course, in some cases, temporary relief from symptoms is needed, if one has to work or cannot afford to take time off to let the body do its job by dealing with imbalances naturally. The problem in our society is that we have become dependent on the "quick fix" of the antacid, the headache remedy, the sleeping pill, or the nerve pill, rather than addressing the core imbalances.

One of the more dangerous dependencies we have developed is a dependence on antibiotics. What has happened over time is that viruses and bacteria have developed ways to survive stronger and stronger antibiotics, and some holistic caregivers (including myself) believe it won't be long before even the strongest antibiotic available is ineffective will be. We must learn to support our body's natural defenses, provide it with the nutrition it needs to stay healthy and deal with our emotional, mental and spiritual lives in a healthier way.

In this article, I will focus on ways to use herbs effectively for health and wellness, but the same guidelines can be used when choosing to work with other natural approaches, such as vitamins, minerals, etc.

Please note that this information is provided for educational purposes only. I do not diagnose or prescribe, but only share holistic wellbeing options that many in the world today seek. The tips I share below are from my own personal experience of using herbal medicines for my own healing and should not be taken as a substitute for current medications or the regimen suggested by your doctor. I hope you chose a doctor who is open to natural supplementation.

Tips for working with herbs:

1. Self-monitoring - Starting with a low dose

Whenever I decide to incorporate a new substance into my body system, to cure or correct a condition, I understand that I have decided to self-medicate. This is my right and it is also my responsibility. I have come to realize that any substance can cause an allergic reaction at all (for example, many people are allergic to peanut butter, wheat, milk and other common foods), and that the top three to watch out for the first three days are adding something new to.

Some things I've noticed are my physical energy level, changes in breathing, temperature, skin color, itching or rash-like symptoms, dizziness and my mental / emotional state.

Determining whether or not to continue taking a formula was sometimes a bit tricky for me, because when a person starts taking a detox formula, the symptoms of necessary internal cleansing can be the same as allergic reactions. The skin is our largest eliminating organ and can respond to a large release of toxins by temporarily developing rash-like symptoms. Detoxification also often temporarily burdens the entire system (due to the release of toxins and having to be flushed out through the skin, liver, spleen, kidneys and large intestine) and feelings of fatigue, depression, etc. may develop.

For me, the way to make sure that whatever reactions I have is not allergic in nature to start with a very low dose and work your way up to the recommended dose. By starting at a very low dose - too low for rapid detox to be a factor - at least, for 2-3 days, I can eliminate allergic reactions and side effects as reasons for any symptoms. For example, if I took a tincture and the dose was 15 drops three times a day, I could start with five drops, once a day. Then, after a day or two, I increase to twice a day, then three. I only increase the dose after I have reached three doses a day. I do this because the drug's efficiency depends to a great extent on the continuous presence of the drug in the system. Until I get up to three doses a day, that doesn't happen. After making sure that the continuous dose does not cause a problem, I feel it is safe to increase. This method is one that I mainly use when I use those formulas that contain a lot of herbs or are designed for heavy detox. Loose herbs are rarely a problem for me.

 2. Add one new thing at a time

I learned this the hard way. I sometimes have a little patience and wanted to do a liver detox while trying to lose a little weight and work with my low blood pressure at the same time. I added four different formulas at the same time and started the trial dose three times a day.

Within a few days I got an irritation. I didn't know which formula caused the reaction so I left them all out. The problem remained. So I started taking my own anti-yeast formula. It got better right away, but once I stopped taking the formula, the problem was back and over completely. Finally, through the elimination process, I followed the culprit and it turned out to be a new enzyme formula that I hadn't even thought of because I've been taking enzymes for years (I don't eat enough raw food so my body needs some digestive help ), but I had only used that specific formula just before the problem started (about the time I started using the herbal tinctures). As soon as I went back to the enzymes I had taken before I got much better and soon all the symptoms disappeared. If I had only added one thing at a time, it would have been very easy to pinpoint what had caused the problem.

3. Give tim

Herbs certainly take longer to bring relief from some symptoms and conditions than some of their pharmaceutical counterparts. For example, look at all antacids. All of them offer almost instant relief and some even promise to stop heartburn BEFORE it starts; yet none of them promise to eliminate the condition that keeps heartburn coming back. The main difference between that type of product and herbal medicines is the focus. The focus of herbal medicine is to create a healthy environment in the body system, rebuild, clean and permanently heal.

The main focus of "quick-fix" drugs is to temporarily relieve symptoms, such as pain, indigestion or depression. Relieving relieving symptoms is not necessarily a bad thing. For example, if I have horrible heartburn, quick relief can be very valuable and I won't hesitate to chew a few antacid tablets if I don't have time to make some yummy ginger tea for the same effect. However, if I do not recognize that an imbalance of my total physical system, as well as a corresponding imbalance in my non-physical system (mental, emotional and / or spiritual), causes me to manifest the symptoms and continue to treat those symptoms without the causative factors To tackle it, simple heartburn will eventually turn into something much more serious.

To fully balance a chronic or very serious condition in a holistic, spicy way, it can take six months to a year. I usually see improvement within a week or so, but each person's system is different, so my advice would be to stay there for at least a month or two (in the absence of allergic reactions, of course) before I decide a particular regimen is working not for you. And because an herb doesn't work, you don't decide neither of these herbs will. In fact, most medications are much more likely to have allergic reactions than herbal herbal preparations by far. Each person's chemistry and metabolic makeup is unique. I keep trying until you find the right combination and dosage. Therein is an important key to healing.

4. Shake things up

I believe that shaking the bottle (when using a tincture or other stored liquid preparation) before each use actually rejuvenates, reactivates and stimulates the potency of the drug. This is part of homeopathic medicine called sucussion, which in my opinion also applies to herbal tinctures. Of course, good homeopathy sucess means hitting the bottle 100 times against a soft object (such as a pillow).

I do this when I first buy a new tincture, but only then. Then I tap it 10 times before use. Note: This is not according to a homeopathic guideline and you may hear several suggestions from a homeopathic doctor. This is exactly what works for me.

5. Slow detoxification:

In this process, whenever I take a strong detox formula, such as a total system cleanse or a colon cleanse program, I start even slower than with single or tonic formulas and build up to the maximum dosage. I try to start when I can rest - at least the first two days after I started. I also skip a day or so every week to give my body time to rest and renew.

In addition, I add tonic herbs such as lemon balm to support my body and keep my energy level high. Drinking a lot of water (and more importantly, spreading that water throughout the day so I drink it every two hours) is a clear focus for me.

Showering more helps eliminate my skin more and reduces the chance of skin eruption from the release of toxins. I also do lively towel rubs when cleansing, to help release the skin and stimulate circulation and blood flow on the skin surface.

6. Mixing and matching:

I've learned to be a little careful about adding several formulas to my system at the same time. If I was under a doctor's care for a pre-existing condition, it would be most advisable to consult my physician before adding herbal remedies to the system.

In general I have learned (by experience) not to add more than two new formulas at the same time. That's what works for me. By honoring what your body tells you, you can determine what is safe for you. Do you know that using more than one formula is sometimes perfect and appropriate. When we learn to listen to the Spirit of our body, we will know. Until then, it may be more prudent to exercise caution by using just one new formula at a time, or working with a wellness consultant and closely monitoring our body system during the first few days of each new addition to our regimen.

7. Hear the spiritual message:

Experience has taught me that it is absolute truth to me that our physical body is a kind of diagnostic tool for our spiritual self. If we live in balance, in accordance with what is true and progressive for our path, keep our minds positive and our emotions clear, we will not manifest disease. Believe it, whenever we are out of spiritual balance that the physical warnings appear.

I have learned not so much to look at why an ingested ingredient causes imbalance, but why I chose to take it in the first place. This is definitely a metaphysical approach to self-treatment and I realize it's not for everyone!

Working with herbs is a wonderful journey to natural health and wellness that, when approached with respect, can bring responsibility and a sense of exploration for the rest of your days for dividends. I believe herbs are a good addition to traditional medicines and, for some like me, are the preferred treatment. We are all adults here. Make wise choices; chices that work for you. Self-treatment requires personal responsibility and supervision. Don't try if you're not willing to search, expand, and learn what's new for you.

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