Taking Heed to Herbal Warnings

In the age of information, what is best for you?

In this day of information, there are so many sources reaching out to inform and persuade. You are lead to get to know yourself; your mind, your body, your spirit. Sources like TikTok, YouTube, your best friend, even the lady in the tea isle at the grocery store have thoughts on how you can be better, live a healthier life, get more accomplished, work out more, the weight you should lose. They advise of the healing you should consider, the newest vitamin supplements, even what will make your hair grow. What is not so forthcoming are the herbal warnings, allergy warnings, or what happens if taken irregularly without care. While having the best intentions, these sources may have very little knowledge on what to do when things go wrong. Herbal remedies have been used for centuries to treat various ailments and promote overall well-being. Many people turn to herbal supplements as a natural alternative to traditional medicine. While herbs can offer numerous health benefits, it is important to be aware of potential risks and side effects. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of heeding to herbal warnings and how to navigate the world of herbal remedies.

What are herbal warnings?

Herbal warnings refer to the precautions and potential risks associated with using herbal remedies. Just like any other medication, herbs can interact with certain medications, cause allergic reactions, or have adverse effects on specific health conditions. It is crucial to read and understand the warnings and contraindications provided with herbal products.

Why should you pay attention to herbal warnings?

Knowing what can harm you is just as important as knowing what can heal you. According to Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, as of 2021 20 million people in the US have food allergies. This information is provided from those who were tested. Can you imagine how many of us suffer from allergies we will only know once we have consumed that which we are allergic to? That can be a very terrifying realization. Understanding your allergies, how you personally respond to certain herbs, and knowing your mind and body to discover when something is off is detrimental to your health. Taking the wrong herbs or taking them incorrectly can lead to simple issues in digestion or as far as to cause death. Ignoring herbal warnings can have serious consequences for your health. For example, some herbs may interact with blood-thinning medications, leading to excessive bleeding or clotting. Others may cause liver damage or worsen existing liver conditions. By heeding to herbal warnings, you can minimize the risk of adverse reactions and ensure your safety.

What are some common herbal warnings to be aware of?

While each herb has its own set of warnings, here are some common ones to keep in mind:

  • Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Avoid if you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood-thinning medications
  • Consult a medical advisor if you have liver or kidney disease
  • Be cautious if you have a history of allergies or asthma
  • Some herbs may interact with medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, or depression

What does it look like to consume the wrong herbs or take too much?

Over consumption of certain herbs, herbs taken with certain medications, or taking herbs that should not be taken together can look like high blood pressure, drop in sugar levels, acne, joint pain and much more. Adding too much Turmeric to your daily routine can lead to gastrointestinal pain and complications. Blood thinning herbs such as Gingko Biloba and Cayenne should not be consumed together. Combinations like Ginger and Garlic may cause rectal hemorrhaging and weaken the effectiveness of medications you are prescribed. Consuming St. Johns Wort with other sedatives may cause mental distress as well as slowed heart rate. As you can see from these few examples, taking the wrong combinations or too much of an herb may have very uncomfortable outcomes. So, how do we stay safe?

The best way to stay safe is to know yourself.

Know your body, know how you feel on a daily basis without herbal blends or supplements. What are your allergies, have you had a life changing situation that has changed what you are allergic to? Know what you would like to change about the current state of your physical body and what you do not want to change. Take note of the feeling of your skin. Is it dry, oily, do you break out in hives easily? It is key to know your mental state. Be honest with yourself. Do you become flustered easily? Tired? Do you feel paranoid or nervous all the time? Knowing yourself and your current state of existing is important. You need to be able to notate changes in your mental and physical self. Take some time to sit and clear your mind. Breathe deeply and relax yourself. Once you settle, ask yourself how your body feels. Are you in pain anywhere? Do you find it hard to quiet your mind to concentrate? Take this time to know the most crucial part of the equation, You.

Talking to a medical advisor about herbal warnings

Once, you have taken this time to get to know yourself and your health goals, discuss your health and goals with a medical advisor. Your medical advisor maybe a personal doctor or your communities herbalist and healer. It is essential to discuss your issues and goals with someone whom has more information than you currently have. When we make up our mind to learn as much as we can about ourselves and what we can do to be the healthiest version of ourselves, we need to fill in gaps of information we do not have. Learn from someone who has made their life about assisting in your health. In this step, it is vital that we select a medical advisor who is not only equip with knowledge but who cares. Having a someone who is not on the same page in understanding your health and your desires of reaching your health goals may prove to be more harmful then helpful. 

When you discuss your health with your advisor, tell the truth. Do not sugar coat how you feel, the things you are currently doing to help or even hinder yourself. Be honest with your advisor as you would yourself as this is how to gain the information and assistance you desire. This is where it helps, as well, to know yourself. There will be questions to answer from your advisor, you need to be able to express exactly how you feel. When I speak to my medical advisor, at times I make sure to have my journal or bring notes from my meditations to discuss. Discuss any issues you have with herbs or supplements and be vocal about your mental health and feelings. This will aid your advisor in advising the best solution for you, personally. 

Share information that you have sought after yourself

It is important to spread awareness about herbal warnings and help others make informed decisions. If you have a friend who is considering using herbal remedies, gently remind them to read the warnings, educate themselves, and consult with a medical advisor that they can trust. Share your knowledge and encourage them to prioritize their health and safety. Share your knowledge on where to find information and the avenues you take to research for yourself. Someone new to herbal remedies and considering natural healing will appreciate the direction to make their own way. 

Remember, herbal remedies can be beneficial when used correctly and with caution. By heeding to herbal warnings, you can enjoy the potential benefits of herbs while minimizing the risks. Stay informed, consult professionals, and prioritize your well-being. The intention is to aid our health and to not become a hinderance to ourselves. Take the advise that is provided by the many sources of the day and do not fail to assess if it is best for you.

By looking into the "gossip" of healing we find the truth, especially the truth about how it effects us personally. While these sources of today mean well, they may not know if the information they are providing works well for them but may not for you. The desire to assist others with the knowledge we find is common. It is a way to learn. Take account of the barrage of information you take in daily and how half of it you immediately place in the pile of "not for me". What is left are things we may feel we need or want to look into. Just make sure before you commit to action, you are receiving all of the information you need to insure you get the best from your efforts. 

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