Safety Guidelines: Be Careful When Using Herbs

Safety Guidelines: Be Careful When Using HerbsYou must be choosing the herbal treatments over prescription drugs. These treatments are natural and are used for many thousands of years. Herbal drugs and homemade antiseptics are remedies since the time of our grandmothers. Medicinal Herbs are natural, but it does not mean that they are safe.

Safety Guidelines for using Medicinal Herbs

1. You must start with food herbs

Food herbs like garlic, ginger, mushrooms, nettles, dandelion greens, etc. are safe to consume.

  • Culinary herbs like oregano, turmeric, thyme, and cayenne are low- risk food herbs.
  • Many of these mentioned food herbs can be dried, chopped and steeped as tea.
  • The extracts of these herbs in glycerin or alcohol are potent.
  • Standard extracts are made to have the appropriate amount of active ingredients.
  • This method allows precise dosing and formation of a drug.

2. If you have history of allergy then takes precautions

  • Allergic reactions are the most common side effect.
  • A person who handles these plants can develop itchy skin reaction if are prone to allergy.
  • Allergic reactions are stomach upset, asthma and hay fever.
  • I will recommend you to try one herb at a time.
  • You can start with smaller doses and then take the full dose.
  • Stop herb if you develop rash, itchy eyes, sneezing or upset stomach

3. Herb and Drug Interactions

Avoid taking herb and drug as it can interfere or amplify drug effect.

  • Drinking black tea or coffee after taking sedatives can cause undesirable effects.
  • Herb- drug interaction can cause low blood pressure.
  • Herb St. John’s must not be administered with pharmaceutical anti-depressants.
  • It results in increased level of serotonin.
  • The combination can also decrease therapeutic effects of each other.
  • You must avoid taking anti-coagulant herb and drug together.

4. You must know when to take the advice of doctor

  • Sick infants in your family must be taken immediately to the doctor.
  • The drugs must not be taken without the advice of a doctor.
  • Self- medication can cause serious side effects.
  • Discuss with your doctor if you are taking any herb or medicine.
  • Many people think as these herbs are natural, so they are safe to use.
  • Overdosing can cause serious side effects.

5. Take extra caution when giving herbs to children

Younger babies of six months must not be given any herb internally.

  • You can apply herb to infant’s skin in the form of oils or bath.
  • For older children, the doses must be calculated by weight.
  • Herbs must not be consumed without the advice of the doctor.

Certain herbs aren’t good for oral intake; they aren’t good if your apply anise paste on kid’s skin; the taste of anise can be unappealing.

6.  I will recommend you to use gentle herbs during pregnancy and nursing

Many plant constituents can go into the placenta to the fetus blood and breast milk.

  • You must not take any herb if pregnant.
  • Avoid consuming herbs like senna, aloe, cascara as they have laxative effects.
  • Don’t take drugs that have stimulant effects like kola, yerba mate, guarana.
  • Some culinary herbs like sage and parsley must not be given in higher doses.
  • Herbs must be taken in small amounts during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Plantain weed medicinal properties and health benefits are many. They are used to treat a cough, cold, asthma, cholesterol and bronchitis. It is also used in laxative medicines. This drug must not be given to pregnant and lactating mothers.

7.  Imported herbs

  • Some herbal medicines are imported from Asia and the Middle East. They are adulterated with heavy metals, pesticides, and other toxins.
  • Some herbs can be blended with a pharmaceutical drug that is not mentioned on the label.
  • It can cause serious problems like kidney damage.

8. Use essential oils wisely

  • Don’t apply it on your mucous membranes like rectum, mouth, eye, ear, and nose.
  • Don’t take essential oil from the mouth.
  • Keep the bottle out of reach of children.
  • Apply diluted essential oils to the skin.
  • Don’t apply essential oils of children less than five years.

9. Read books and guides

I never take the advice of my friends. I always research the information about the herb well in advance.

10. Avoid herbs in older people, diabetic patients

Older people with diabetes can react differently to herbal medicines.

  • People with medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, the respiratory problem must not be given herbal medicines.
  • Patients taking cancer treatment or with kidney ailments must avoid herbs.

Herbs having a strong and intense taste just like the taste of Cloves should be avoided; especially excessive use is a strict NO!

11. Steps in case of poisoning with herb

Try to induce vomiting with charcoal, antidote or gastric lavage. The symptoms of poisoning are vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, dizziness, and rapid pulse.

The herbal medicines are natural and safe to use but within the safety guidelines. Certain precautions must be taken while using herbs. I always take the advice of a doctor before starting any herb. I will recommend you to do research in advance.

Article written by Emily Taylor for Prepper’s Will. If you liked it, make sure to visit her website: Love Backyard.

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