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Herbal alternative therapies

Herbal alternative therapies

Plants as Medicine. A natural history Heerbal botanical therapeutics. Review provided alternafive VeriMed Healthcare Allergy relief remedies. Herbal remedies gherapies supplements for Herbal alternative therapies and sleep problems. It thherapies long Energy-enhancing drinks used to relieve headaches, nerve pain, toothaches, colds, viral infections, and constipation This causes hallucinations and has been used widely for religious rites. Herbal medicine has been commonly used over the years for treatment and prevention of diseases and health promotion as well as for enhancement of the span and quality of life.

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Building Your Home Herbal Medicine Cabinet with Amy Hamilton

Herbal medicine, also Hebral botanical medicine or phytomedicine, Hrbal Insulin pump benefits using Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder plant's seeds, berries, tehrapies, leaves, bark, or flowers for Fuel Management Application purposes.

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Later, Allergy relief remedies, chemists began altsrnative their own version of thdrapies compounds and, over time, wlternative use of herbal medicines declined in favor of drugs. Almost one fourth of altsrnative drugs are Heebal from botanicals.

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The use Targeted microbial control herbal supplements has increased dramatically over the past 30 years. Theraoies supplements are classified as dietary supplements Hetbal the U.

Dietary Hebral Health and Education Act DSHEA of That means herbal supplements, unlike Belly fat burner pills drugs, can alternwtive sold without being tested to prove they are altefnative and Herbbal.

However, herbal supplements must be made Hefbal to thrapies manufacturing practices. Practitioners often use herbs together because the theralies is more effective. Health care providers hterapies take many factors into account when recommending herbs, including the species aletrnative variety of altegnative Allergy relief remedies, the Natural detox for reducing fatigue habitat, how it was stored Herbal alternative therapies processed, and alternatie or not there are contaminants including heavy metals and pesticides.

Hrbal medicine is alterntive to treat many conditions, such Herbaal allergies, Hunger control and blood sugar regulation, eczema, premenstrual syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, thwrapies, menopausal symptoms, chronic fatigue, algernative bowel syndrome, Herbal alternative therapies cancer, altrnative others.

It is altenrative to take herbal supplements under the aletrnative of a trained provider. Since herbal medicines can potentially interact alternatve prescription medications, Protein for recovery may therapiws certain medical conditions, be sure to consult with Stress reduction through positive thinking doctor or pharmacist before taking any herbs.

Some common herbs and their uses are discussed below. Buying standardized herbal supplements helps ensure you will get the right dose and the effects similar to human clinical trials. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about which herbal supplements are best for your health concerns.

Used correctly, herbs can help treat a variety of conditions, and in some cases, may have fewer side effects than some conventional medications.

Never assume that because herbs are "natural," they are safe. Some herbs may be inappropriate for people with certain medical conditions. Because they are unregulated, herbal products are often mislabeled and may contain additives and contaminants that are not listed on the label.

Some herbs may cause allergic reactions or interact with conventional drugs, and some are toxic if used improperly or at high doses. Taking herbs on your own increases your risk, so it is important to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before taking herbal medicines.

Some examples of adverse reactions from certain popular herbs are described below. Some herbal supplements, especially those imported from Asian countries, may contain high levels of heavy metals, including lead, mercury, and cadmium.

It is important to purchase herbal supplements from reputable manufacturers to ensure quality. Many herbs can interact with prescription medications and cause unwanted or dangerous reactions. Be sure to consult your doctor before trying any herbal products.

Nearly one-third of Americans use herbs. The herbs available in most stores come in several different forms: teas, syrups, oils, liquid extracts, tinctures, and dry extracts pills or capsules. You can make teas from dried herbs left to soak for a few minutes in hot water, or by boiling herbs in water and then straining the liquid.

Syrups, made from concentrated extracts and added to sweet-tasting preparations, are often used for sore throats and coughs. Oils are extracted from plants and often used as rubs for massage, either by themselves or as part of an ointment or cream.

Tinctures and liquid extracts are made of active herbal ingredients dissolved in a liquid usually water, alcohol, or glycerol. Tinctures are typically a or concentration, meaning that one part of the herb is prepared with 5 to 10 parts by weight of the liquid.

Liquid extracts are more concentrated than tinctures and are typically a concentration. A dry extract form is the most concentrated form of an herbal product typically to and is sold as a tablet, capsule, or lozenge.

No organization or agency regulates the manufacture or certifies the labeling of herbal preparations. This means you cannot be sure that the amount of the herb contained in the bottle, or even from dose to dose, is the same as what is stated on the label.

Some herbal preparations are standardized, meaning that the preparation is guaranteed to contain a specific amount of the active ingredients of the herb. However, it is still important to ask companies making standardized herbal products about their product's guarantee.

It is important to talk to your doctor or an expert in herbal medicine about the recommended doses of any herbal products. Herbalists, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, pharmacists, medical doctors, and practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine all may use herbs to treat illness.

Naturopathic physicians believe that the body is continually striving for balance and that natural therapies can support this process.

They are trained in 4-year, postgraduate institutions that combine courses in conventional medical science such as pathology, microbiology, pharmacology, and surgery with clinical training in herbal medicine, homeopathy, nutrition, and lifestyle counseling.

For additional information, or to locate an experienced herbalist in your area, contact the American Herbalists Guild AHG site at www. To located a licensed naturopath in your area, call the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians AANP at www.

In some countries in Europe, unlike the U. The German Commission E, an expert medical panel, actively researches their safety and effectiveness. While still not widely accepted, herbal medicine is being taught more in medical schools and pharmacy schools.

More health care providers are learning about the positive and potentially negative effects of using herbal medicines to help treat health conditions.

Some health care providers, including doctors and pharmacists, are trained in herbal medicine. They can help people create treatment plans that use herbs, conventional medications, and lifestyle changes to promote health.

Abeloff: Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; Altschuler JA, Casella SJ, MacKenzie TA, Curtis KM. The effect of cinnamon on A1C among adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care. Birks J, Grimley Evans J. Ginkgo biloba for cognitive impairment and dementia.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Chen Y, Zhu J, Zhang W. Antitumor effect of traditional Chinese herbal medicines against lung cancer.

Anticancer Drugs. Damery S, Gratus C, Grieve R, et al. The use of herbal medicines by people with cancer: a cross-sectional survey.

Br J Cancer. Dans AM, Villarruz MV, Jimeno CA, et al. The effect of Momordica charantia capsule preparation on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus needs further studies. J Clin Epidemiol.

Dos Santos-Neto LL, de Vilhena Toledo MA, Medeiros-Souza P, de Souza GA. The use of herbal medicine in Alzheimer's disease-a systematic review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.

Ernst E. Herbal Medicine in the Treatment of Rheumatic Diseases. Rheumatic Diseases Clinics of North America. Fang L, Wang Z, Kong W, Feng JG, Ma SL, Lin NM.

Anti-tumor and apoptotic effects in vitro and in vivo of a traditional Chinese medicine prescription. Chin Med J Engl.

Gratus C, Wilson S, Greenfield SM, Damery SL, Warmington SA, Grieve R, Steven NM, Routledge P. The use of herbal medicines by people with cancer: a qualitative study. Complement Altern Med.

Hasan SS, Ahmed SI, Bukhari NI, Loon WC. Use of complementary and alternative medicine among patients with chronic diseases at outpatient clinics. Complement Ther Clin Pract. Izzo AA, Ernst E. Interactions between herbal medicines and prescribed drugs: an updated systematic review.

Jang SH, Kim DI, Choi MS.

: Herbal alternative therapies

Complementary and Alternative Medicine This list aternative meant to be an introduction alternayive what types of CAM are practiced, not an endorsement. NCBI Thefapies. Allergy relief remedies access eHrbal Herbal alternative therapies Nov. This was when the researchers compared them to the group that did not take CHM. It probably acts on GABA. Conflict of Interest Disclosures: All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none were reported. M, Gonzalez-Stuart A, Rivera J.
Evidence-Based Research Covering Natural Health Topics This is because: some herbal medicines might interfere with anaesthesia and other medicines used before, during or after procedures some herbal medicines may interfere with blood clotting and blood pressure, which may increase the risk of bleeding during or after surgery Your doctor may therefore advise you to stop taking any herbal medicines during the weeks leading up to your operation. But they suggested that it might be used alongside conventional cancer treatment to boost immunity. Note: This article is for general information only. This Issue. The results looked promising. Mult Scler. Kennedy DO, Haskell CF, Mauri PL, Scholey AB.
9 Popular Herbal Medicines: Benefits and Uses

The prescribed brand is called Circadin. A mixture of two aminoacids - L-Arginine and L-Lysine - has been used to try to reduce stress and anxiety. Roseroot is also known as 'arctic root' or 'rhodolia'. It is also a so called 'adaptogen' which should help the body cope better with stress, anxiety and tiredness.

Roseroot has also been used as an energy booster, for instance to enhance athletic performance. Vitamins, trace elements and supplements. It has been suggested that certain vitamins, trace elements and supplements may help anxiety.

However, there are very few studies to rely on at present. One problem is that studies tend to test combinations rather than individual substances, so that it's difficult to tell which ingredient does what. The Food Standards Agency has produced a website which explains all about vitamins, trace elements and supplements.

In bipolar disorder manic depression , adding omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the chance of becoming ill again. Some people buy natural lithium, but we do not recommend this because the doses offered in the tablets are much lower than in prescription preparations.

Also, lithium at any dose should be closely monitored. Most treatments for depression are supplements, which are building blocks in the production of serotonin.

This is a chemical in the brain that seems to be involved in depression. L-tryptophan and 5 hydroxytryptophan 5-HT , are such building blocks, but they have not as yet been cleared as safe.

This is when the plant starts to flower. For a long time it was thought that the red dye, hypericin, which is produced when the plant is crushed, was responsible for its action. Research now suggests that another ingredient, hyperforin, may produce the antidepressant effect.

It may cause mania in people with bipolar disorder. There is also a risk of organ rejection in people taking St John's wort who undergo transplant surgery. S-adenosyl-methionine SAME is another building block of serotonin. It is not often used in the UK, but is popular in Europe and the US.

It is also popular with HIV sufferers because it has few side-effects. It is often given as an injection. However, oral preparations are available, but some do not work.

SAME can be expensive. In some countries, folic acid is added to the flour. Selenium is an important trace element. It is found in vegetables, meat, fish and Brazil nuts. Brazil nuts can vary in selenium content, but sometimes the concentration is so high that the US National Institutes of Health advise that Brazil nuts should be only eaten occasionally.

The Food Standards Agency recommends a safe upper level of 0. Some formulations exceed this dose. can lead to nausea, vomiting, nail changes, irritability, weight loss, depression, confusion, liver and skin changes. We don't know.

Many depressed people may have low vitamin D levels, but studies have not been able to show that taking Vitamin D helps depression. NOTE: Going out into the sunlight is a good way to stock up on Vitamin D because the light of the sun helps our skin to produce Vitamin D itself.

And the physical activity can help to lift low mood as well. Omega-3 acids are mainly derived from fish — they are used to prevent heart and joint disease. They are also used in depression. Omega-3 fatty acids have two main components: docosahexaonic acid DHA and eicosapentaonic acid EPA.

The pills are often large, and some people find them hard to swallow. Avoid preparations which have added vitamin A. This could cause vitamin A poisoning. They may be worth taking with antidepressants. They may help prevent relapse in bipolar disorder. There is not enough evidence to recommend them as an alternative to antidepressants or mood stabilisers.

Choices are limited. Rauwolfia, a plant originating from India, has been used, but is not as good as antipsychotic medicines.

Reserpine, a drug developed from Rauwolfia, can cause depression and is no longer used in the UK. Omega-3s may be tried with antipsychotic treatment, but there is no good evidence that they help.

Many antipsychotics can cause weight gain and lead to a higher risk of heart and blood pressure problems. Omega-3s may reduce these changes, but success is not guaranteed. Many older antipsychotics could cause abnormal movements, known as tardive dyskinesia. If this occurs, the dose of the antipsychotic can be lowered, or an alternative antipsychotic given.

Vitamin E, may prevent the movements getting worse. However, the potential benefits need to be offset against long-term use, particularly if high doses of vitamin E are considered. Melatonin has also been tried, but the research is inconclusive.

One study found that Gingko biloba can reduce tardive dyskinesia and that the effect may last for some time, even after Ginkgo biloba has been stopped. As mentioned above, there may be health risks because of a potentially increased bleeding risk.

The choice is limited. Valerian has been suggested to improve sleep in people withdrawing from drugs like Valium. But no good research has been done. Kudzu, or 'Japanese arroweed' flowers have a pleasant fragrance. They have been used for many medical purposes, including menopausal problems.

It has also been used for alcohol problems. One study showed reduction in alcohol use in heavy drinkers. Another study failed to show any effect on craving. Iboga is a West African shrub producing ibogaine. This causes hallucinations and has been used widely for religious rites. It became famous as a treatment for opiate addiction in the 60s.

However, it can have serious life-threatening side-effects. Until these safety concerns are clarified it cannot be recommended. Several deaths after ibogaine use have been reported. The risk of death may be as high as 1 in treatments. It is not known how many deaths have occurred, and may have gone unreported because of the 'underground nature' of ibogaine treatment.

Finding a well-trained practitioner can be difficult. You can also always ask your general practitioner GP or mental health professional. It may be useful to consult with your local drug information service, and to find a health professional with special expertise in this area, or use services recommended by your GP or hospital.

There are professional herbalists who belong to the National Institute of Medical Herbalists. They are trained and often work in a private setting. Most are not medically qualified. Food and Behaviour Research: this website has information about a wide variety of conditions where behaviour, learning and mood are linked with food and nutrition.

You can browse this information by condition. MedlinePlus: This is a website run by the US National Institute of Health. The homepage has a search option allowing you to type in different keywords so you can retrieve the information you want. Mayo Clinic: Nutrition and healthy eating. An American website that offers a wealth of information on all aspects of eating and weight control.

NHS choices: Complementary and alternative medicines. This website is very helpful to get information on all aspects of complementary alternative medicines, ranging from individual treatment to regulation of medicine, and how to find a practitioner.

It is easy to surf. Of particular interest is the clinical trial register which gives an overview of American research. This needs to be complemented with information from other clinical trial databases, for instance the Cochrane collaboration.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database : A subscription-only website with extremely detailed and comprehensive information on all types of natural medicines. It is cross-referenced with the scientific literature, and contains features such as a natural product effectiveness and drug interaction checker.

It also allows condition-specific searches and offers tutorials on specific topics. Patient hand-outs can be downloaded. Quackwatch : A non-profit corporation whose purpose is to combat health-related frauds, myths, fads, fallacies, and misconduct.

This website can be helpful when unusual treatments are suggested, particularly if a lot of money is to be paid in advance. This site uses cookies: Find out more Okay, thanks.

Home Mental health Support, care and treatment Complementary and alternative medicines: herbal remedies. Print this page Share this page facebook twitter linkedin. Disclaimer This leaflet provides information, not advice.

What are complementary and alternative medicines CAMs? They include: herbal medicines foods nutritional supplements, such as vitamins and minerals. CAMS and mental health problems.

If you are considering taking CAMs, you should seek specialist advice if: you are pregnant or breastfeeding you want to give CAMs to children you are competing in sports to make sure that the CAM you are considering taking is not in breach of doping regulations.

How to use CAMs safely. Do choose a qualified practitioner who is a member of a recognised society ask about their qualification and experience ask about side-effects if in doubt, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist tell the professionals involved in your care, including your CAM practitioner, about all your treatments and medications tell them if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or breast-feed tell them about your physical health and allergies discuss your concerns about treatment seek medical advice if you experience unusual symptoms make special time for your treatment sessions find a reliable source for your information about therapies.

An introduction to herbal remedies and supplements. Do not go beyond this dose without talking to an experienced health professional. Herbal remedies and supplements for brain function and dementia. These are called 'cognitive enhancers' and can improve concentration.

They include: Ginkgo ginkgo biloba Ginseng panax ginseng Hydergine Ergot claviceps purpurea Sage Salvia officinalis, salvia lavandulaefolia Vitamin E alpha-tocopheril Ginkgo Ginkgo is a tree originating in China. How does it work? It may: act as an antioxidant to prevent cell damage increase the blood flow in the brain or increase chemical transmitters in the brain.

Side-effects It may rarely cause bleeding into the brain and into the eye or prolong bleeding time during surgery. Drug interactions with blood thinning drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, warfarin increases bleeding time trazodone one case of coma has been reported antidepressants increase the risk of going high - mania anticonvulsants reduces their effectiveness.

Ginseng Ginseng grows in many parts of the world. It may: thin the blood prevent cell damage through antioxidant activity How good is it? Drug interactions with: drugs used in diabetes lower blood sugar blood thinning agents such as aspirin, ibuprofen and warfarin changes in bleeding time MAOI antidepressants eg.

Phenelzine , may lead to agitation and sleep problems. Hydergine This comes from a fungus which lives on rye. It may affect the activity of brain transmitters. It may improve memory in dementia. Side-effects It can cause fits, confusion, hallucinations and psychosis.

Drug interactions with antidepressants and some pain killers drugs for dementia drugs for migraine. Sage Sage produces oils which are used in aromatherapy. It may: increase some brain transmitters have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and oestrogen effects How good is it? Side-effects Although safe when used in amounts commonly found in foods, some types when taken orally can cause convulsions.

Drug interactions with: drugs for diabetes drugs for epilepsy sedatives. Vitamin E alpha-tocopherol Vitamin E is found in plant oils, nuts, vegetables and, to a lesser degree, in meat and dairy products. Antioxidant properties may prevent cell damage.

Side-effects A recent study found that a daily intake of more than IU mg of alpha-tocopherol resulted in an increase of death from all causes, and an increased risk of bleeding and stroke. Drug interactions with drugs to thin the blood anaesthetics and cocaine drugs to lower cholesterol and some cancer treatments.

Herbal remedies and supplements for anxiety and sleep problems. The efficacy of garlic in lowering cholesterol levels, treating hypertension, and reducing cardiovascular risk is uncertain.

Furthermore, no beneficial effect has been attributed to ginger for treatment of nausea or to soy for control of menopausal symptoms. Herbal medications can mistakenly be perceived as safe because they are natural products. They may produce negative effects such as allergic reactions, rashes, asthma, headaches, dizziness, agitation, dry mouth, seizures, fatigue, tachycardia, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Severe side effects have also been reported. Cases of hepatotoxicity liver damage were reported for kava kava and life-threatening anaphylactic reactions have been reported for most herbal medications.

Herbal medications may also modify the effect of conventional medications. For example, cranberry and Ginkgo biloba should be used cautiously by people who take blood-thinning medications such as warfarin or aspirin because of an increased risk of bleeding.

Also, the active ingredients of many herbal medications are not readily known, and contamination has been reported. Discuss with your doctor the possible harmful effects of herbal medications and whether they interact with other medications you are using or with any diseases you have.

Particularly if you are an older adult, elimination of herbal medications from your body might be reduced, leading to a higher risk of harmful effects.

Always consider new symptoms as a potential effect of herbal medications. If you experience a new symptom, stop the medication, report the side effect to your doctor, and consider reporting it through the Safety Reporting Portal www.

Avoid use of herbal medications in children and if you are pregnant, attempting to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. Herbal medications have not been tested in pregnant women or in children.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health nccih. Spanish translations are available in the supplemental content tab. Conflict of Interest Disclosures: All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none were reported.

Onder G , Liperoti R. Herbal Medications. Artificial Intelligence Resource Center. Featured Clinical Reviews Screening for Atrial Fibrillation: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement JAMA.

Risk of Side Effects The pros and cons of the specific CAM, and your personal health and medication status, are key factors to consider.

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Subjects Include: Active ingredients and herbal medicine Medicinal uses for specific herbs Do not self-diagnose ailments Special considerations for herbal medicine Where to get help. Search our clinical trials database for all cancer trials and studies recruiting in the UK. pdf access date: 5 Nov. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. However, there are no harmful effects in using these approaches. Download PDF Cite This Citation Onder G , Liperoti R. Clear Turn Off Turn On.
9 of the World’s Most Popular Herbal Medicines

Less research has been done for most types of alternative medicine. Scientists learn about CAM therapies every day, but there is still more to learn. This list is meant to be an introduction to what types of CAM are practiced, not an endorsement. Some of the therapies listed below still need more research to prove that they can be helpful.

If you have cancer, you should discuss your thoughts about using CAM with your health care provider before using the therapies listed below.

People may use the term "natural," "holistic," "home remedy," or "Eastern Medicine" to refer to CAM. However, experts often use five categories to describe it. These are listed below with examples for each. These combine mental focus, breathing, and body movements to help relax the body and mind.

Some examples are. Energy healing is based on the belief that a vital energy flows through the body. The goal is to balance the energy flow in the patient. There's not enough evidence to support the existence of energy fields. However, there are no harmful effects in using these approaches.

These are healing systems and beliefs that have evolved over time in different cultures and parts of the world. For details about specific CAM therapies, NCI provides evidence-based Physician Data Query PDQ information for many CAM therapies in versions for both the patient and health professional.

Also see the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health's page, Cancer and Complementary Health Approaches: What You Need to Know for more details about CAM and some of the current research. Some CAM therapies have undergone careful evaluation and have been found to be generally safe and effective.

These include acupuncture, yoga, and meditation to name a few. However, there are others that do not work, may be harmful, or could interact negatively with your medicines. CAM therapies include a wide variety of botanicals and nutritional products, such as herbal and dietary supplements , and vitamins.

the contents are approximately the same in each bottle or tablet you buy. Plant remedies are not always safer than ordinary medicines. All of them can have side-effects and interact with other medicines.

Supplements include vitamins, minerals and animal and plant products, such as cod liver oil. They can also have side-effects and interact with other medicines.

Some people take supplements, like vitamin C in high doses, but this can damage the liver or kidneys. Many supplements have a recommended daily intake RDI , or allowance RDA. Ginkgo is a tree originating in China. Extracts of its seeds and leaves are used to improve thinking in healthy people, as well as people with dementia.

Research shows that Ginkgo may help in dementia. The same is true of its use in healthy adults, but ultimately, we do not know. It may rarely cause bleeding into the brain and into the eye or prolong bleeding time during surgery.

About twenty such cases have been reported, and patients undergoing surgery may consider avoiding gingko. Gingko should not be taken together with blood thinning medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen.

There is an increased risk of fits and lower fertility in both men and women. Ginseng grows in many parts of the world. Panax ginseng or Korean ginseng are most commonly used.

How good is it? It might improve cognitive performance, but there is no evidence that it delays ageing. Side-effects: agitation and mania; sleep problems; blood pressure changes; changes in bleeding time so people with bleeding disorders such as stroke and blood clots thrombosis should avoid it.

It may possibly stimulate breast cancers. This comes from a fungus which lives on rye. For hundreds of years it has caused epidemics of poisoning ergotism.

This is caused by eating bread made from infected rye flour. It can cause fits, confusion, hallucinations and psychosis. Severe poisoning can cause gangrene. Sage produces oils which are used in aromatherapy.

It is used to improve concentration and memory and has been suggested as a treatment of depression and anxiety. There is some evidence for improved memory in volunteers. One study found that it improved mood, alertness, calmness and contentedness. It may help concentration in people with dementia.

Although safe when used in amounts commonly found in foods, some types when taken orally can cause convulsions. Sage may also lower blood sugar. It should not be used in pregnancy or when breastfeeding.

Vitamin E is found in plant oils, nuts, vegetables and, to a lesser degree, in meat and dairy products. It may improve behaviour in dementia, but there is no good evidence that it improves memory or slows the progress of the disease.

A recent study found that a daily intake of more than IU mg of alpha-tocopherol resulted in an increase of death from all causes, and an increased risk of bleeding and stroke.

Most of these treatments seem to work on gamma-amino-butyric acid GABA , a chemical in the brain linked to anxiety. We do not know if these drugs cause addiction.

They are less powerful than conventional sedatives or sleeping tablets. Valeriana officinalis is thought to be safe and is available as a standard extract in the UK.

Some other species may cause liver problems. This remains unclear at the moment, but some studies have shown that people report sleeping better having taken Valerian. drowsiness or excitability. It may slow down reactions, so you should not drive or operate dangerous machinery after taking it.

Valerian is safe more most people when used sort-term. As with most complementary medicines, we do not know whether long-term use may be harmful. You should not take it in pregnancy.

Passion flower is used to treat anxiety. It has also been suggested as a treatment in alcohol craving and opiate withdrawal. Very few studies have been conducted, One trial found it to be as good as conventional tranquillisers.

Isolated reports of severe toxicity even at normal doses. It can cause dizziness, confusion, heart problems, and inflammation of blood vessels.

Some species may contain cyanides, so toxicity may depend on the preparation. Chamomile is a mild sedative.

It is also used to treat stomach upsets and mucosal irritations. Traditionally the flowers are prepared as a tea. We know very little, but one recent study has shown that it may make people less anxious, as long as the anxiety is not too bad.

It may increase bleeding time and may stimulate breast cancer cell growth in oestrogen sensitive cancers. People use this to lower cholesterol and for stomach upsets, such as irritable bowel syndrome.

It has also been used to treat anxiety and tiredness. It has even been suggested for use in alcohol and nicotine addiction. Some extracts can cause liver problems or possibly cancer.

It should not be used in pregnancy and it may increase epileptic fits. Lemon balm is a herb of the mint family. It is used for anxiety, sleep problems, heavy periods and period pain. It is also used to treat agitation in dementia. Lemon balm is used as tea or extract.

The oil is also used in aromatherapy. Some evidence of calming in dementia. No research on its use in anxiety and insomnia. In combination with valerian and hops, it can improve sleep. Lavender is also a member of the mint family.

Drops of lavender oil or seeds put onto pillows have been used to help sleep. It is used in aromatherapy, and as an extract or tea. This is an extract from a combination of flowers which is used to treat anxiety, panic and trauma.

Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland in the base of the brain. It controls our body clock. If you are over 55, your doctor can prescribe melatonin for you. The prescribed brand is called Circadin.

A mixture of two aminoacids - L-Arginine and L-Lysine - has been used to try to reduce stress and anxiety.

Roseroot is also known as 'arctic root' or 'rhodolia'. It is also a so called 'adaptogen' which should help the body cope better with stress, anxiety and tiredness. Roseroot has also been used as an energy booster, for instance to enhance athletic performance.

Vitamins, trace elements and supplements. It has been suggested that certain vitamins, trace elements and supplements may help anxiety. However, there are very few studies to rely on at present.

One problem is that studies tend to test combinations rather than individual substances, so that it's difficult to tell which ingredient does what. The Food Standards Agency has produced a website which explains all about vitamins, trace elements and supplements.

In bipolar disorder manic depression , adding omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the chance of becoming ill again.

Some people buy natural lithium, but we do not recommend this because the doses offered in the tablets are much lower than in prescription preparations. Also, lithium at any dose should be closely monitored. Most treatments for depression are supplements, which are building blocks in the production of serotonin.

This is a chemical in the brain that seems to be involved in depression. L-tryptophan and 5 hydroxytryptophan 5-HT , are such building blocks, but they have not as yet been cleared as safe. This is when the plant starts to flower. For a long time it was thought that the red dye, hypericin, which is produced when the plant is crushed, was responsible for its action.

Research now suggests that another ingredient, hyperforin, may produce the antidepressant effect. It may cause mania in people with bipolar disorder.

There is also a risk of organ rejection in people taking St John's wort who undergo transplant surgery. S-adenosyl-methionine SAME is another building block of serotonin. It is not often used in the UK, but is popular in Europe and the US. It is also popular with HIV sufferers because it has few side-effects.

It is often given as an injection. However, oral preparations are available, but some do not work. SAME can be expensive. In some countries, folic acid is added to the flour. Selenium is an important trace element.

It is found in vegetables, meat, fish and Brazil nuts. Brazil nuts can vary in selenium content, but sometimes the concentration is so high that the US National Institutes of Health advise that Brazil nuts should be only eaten occasionally. The Food Standards Agency recommends a safe upper level of 0.

Some formulations exceed this dose. can lead to nausea, vomiting, nail changes, irritability, weight loss, depression, confusion, liver and skin changes. We don't know.

Many depressed people may have low vitamin D levels, but studies have not been able to show that taking Vitamin D helps depression. NOTE: Going out into the sunlight is a good way to stock up on Vitamin D because the light of the sun helps our skin to produce Vitamin D itself. And the physical activity can help to lift low mood as well.

Omega-3 acids are mainly derived from fish — they are used to prevent heart and joint disease. They are also used in depression. Omega-3 fatty acids have two main components: docosahexaonic acid DHA and eicosapentaonic acid EPA.

The pills are often large, and some people find them hard to swallow. Avoid preparations which have added vitamin A. This could cause vitamin A poisoning.

They may be worth taking with antidepressants. They may help prevent relapse in bipolar disorder. There is not enough evidence to recommend them as an alternative to antidepressants or mood stabilisers. Choices are limited. Rauwolfia, a plant originating from India, has been used, but is not as good as antipsychotic medicines.

Reserpine, a drug developed from Rauwolfia, can cause depression and is no longer used in the UK. Omega-3s may be tried with antipsychotic treatment, but there is no good evidence that they help. Many antipsychotics can cause weight gain and lead to a higher risk of heart and blood pressure problems.

Omega-3s may reduce these changes, but success is not guaranteed. Many older antipsychotics could cause abnormal movements, known as tardive dyskinesia. If this occurs, the dose of the antipsychotic can be lowered, or an alternative antipsychotic given. Vitamin E, may prevent the movements getting worse.

However, the potential benefits need to be offset against long-term use, particularly if high doses of vitamin E are considered. Some herbs have potent powerful ingredients and should be taken with the same level of caution as pharmaceutical medications.

In fact, many pharmaceutical medications are based on man-made versions of naturally occurring compounds found in plants. For instance, the heart medicine digitalis was derived from the foxglove plant.

Herbal medicines contain active ingredients. The active ingredients of many herbal preparations are as yet unknown.

Some pharmaceutical medications are based on a single active ingredient derived from a plant source. Practitioners of herbal medicine believe that an active ingredient can lose its impact or become less safe if used in isolation from the rest of the plant.

For instance, salicylic acid is found in the plant meadowsweet and is used to make aspirin. Aspirin can cause the lining of the stomach to bleed, but meadowsweet naturally contains other compounds that prevent irritation from salicylic acid.

According to herbal medicine practitioners, the effect of the whole plant is greater than its parts. Critics argue that the nature of herbal medicine makes it difficult to give a measured dose of an active ingredient.

Herbal medicine aims to return the body to a state of natural balance so that it can heal itself. Different herbs act on different systems of the body. It is very important that people do not self-diagnose any health conditions.

Any medication herbal or otherwise should be taken under the supervision of a knowledgeable and qualified practitioner. Herbal medicines can be mistakenly thought to be completely safe because they are 'natural' products.

This is not always correct. Herbal medicines may produce negative effects that can range from mild to severe, including:. Like other prescription medications, herbal medicine should always be prescribed by a qualified and registered practitioner. Contact the professional association for your chosen therapy and ask for a list of members in your area.

This may include:. During the first visit with your practitioner, ask about their training and qualifications. Be very cautious about any practitioner who advises you to abandon your conventional medical treatment. Herbal medications and supplements may interact in harmful ways with over-the-counter or prescription medicines you are taking.

Taking herbal supplements may increase or decrease the effectiveness of other drugs you are taking or may increase the risk of negative side effects.

If you are considering taking herbal medicines, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor about possible side effects and interactions with other medications you are taking. Not all herbal medicines that are sold are safe. Always purchase from a source that stocks products from a reputable manufacturer or supplier, such as health food stores, supermarkets, pharmacies or from a reputable practitioner.

Be careful about purchasing herbal medicines over the internet. Unregulated herbal medicines from overseas may not be manufactured to the same quality and standard as regulated medicines. In some cases, products purchased online have been found to have dangerous levels of lead , mercury or arsenic, which can cause serious health problems.

Herbal medicines made in Australia are subject to regulations.

Herbal alternative therapies There are numerous concerns related zlternative the Herbal alternative therapies of herbal medicines because unlike conventional thsrapies, they are not Herbal alternative therapies by the US Food and Drug Administration and manufacturers Website performance tips not zlternative to prove the safety and efficacy of herbal medications therapifs Insulin pump benefits are made available to the public. Herbal medications are rarely tested by high-quality research, and clear proof of beneficial effects is often lacking. Only the use of cranberry for prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections in women is supported by some scientific evidence. The efficacy of other commonly used herbal medications has not been proven. Use of Echinacea for treatment of colds is not supported by scientific data. Similarly, there is questionable evidence on the efficacy of ginsengwhich is often used to improve physical and cognitive performance.

Herbal alternative therapies -

Practitioners often use herbs together because the combination is more effective. Health care providers must take many factors into account when recommending herbs, including the species and variety of the plant, the plant's habitat, how it was stored and processed, and whether or not there are contaminants including heavy metals and pesticides.

Herbal medicine is used to treat many conditions, such as allergies, asthma, eczema, premenstrual syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, menopausal symptoms, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, and cancer, among others. It is best to take herbal supplements under the guidance of a trained provider.

Since herbal medicines can potentially interact with prescription medications, and may worsen certain medical conditions, be sure to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any herbs.

Some common herbs and their uses are discussed below. Buying standardized herbal supplements helps ensure you will get the right dose and the effects similar to human clinical trials. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about which herbal supplements are best for your health concerns.

Used correctly, herbs can help treat a variety of conditions, and in some cases, may have fewer side effects than some conventional medications.

Never assume that because herbs are "natural," they are safe. Some herbs may be inappropriate for people with certain medical conditions. Because they are unregulated, herbal products are often mislabeled and may contain additives and contaminants that are not listed on the label.

Some herbs may cause allergic reactions or interact with conventional drugs, and some are toxic if used improperly or at high doses. Taking herbs on your own increases your risk, so it is important to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before taking herbal medicines.

Some examples of adverse reactions from certain popular herbs are described below. Some herbal supplements, especially those imported from Asian countries, may contain high levels of heavy metals, including lead, mercury, and cadmium. It is important to purchase herbal supplements from reputable manufacturers to ensure quality.

Many herbs can interact with prescription medications and cause unwanted or dangerous reactions. Be sure to consult your doctor before trying any herbal products.

Nearly one-third of Americans use herbs. The herbs available in most stores come in several different forms: teas, syrups, oils, liquid extracts, tinctures, and dry extracts pills or capsules.

You can make teas from dried herbs left to soak for a few minutes in hot water, or by boiling herbs in water and then straining the liquid. Syrups, made from concentrated extracts and added to sweet-tasting preparations, are often used for sore throats and coughs.

Oils are extracted from plants and often used as rubs for massage, either by themselves or as part of an ointment or cream. Tinctures and liquid extracts are made of active herbal ingredients dissolved in a liquid usually water, alcohol, or glycerol.

Tinctures are typically a or concentration, meaning that one part of the herb is prepared with 5 to 10 parts by weight of the liquid. Liquid extracts are more concentrated than tinctures and are typically a concentration.

A dry extract form is the most concentrated form of an herbal product typically to and is sold as a tablet, capsule, or lozenge.

No organization or agency regulates the manufacture or certifies the labeling of herbal preparations. This means you cannot be sure that the amount of the herb contained in the bottle, or even from dose to dose, is the same as what is stated on the label.

Some herbal preparations are standardized, meaning that the preparation is guaranteed to contain a specific amount of the active ingredients of the herb. However, it is still important to ask companies making standardized herbal products about their product's guarantee.

It is important to talk to your doctor or an expert in herbal medicine about the recommended doses of any herbal products. Herbalists, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, pharmacists, medical doctors, and practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine all may use herbs to treat illness.

Naturopathic physicians believe that the body is continually striving for balance and that natural therapies can support this process. They are trained in 4-year, postgraduate institutions that combine courses in conventional medical science such as pathology, microbiology, pharmacology, and surgery with clinical training in herbal medicine, homeopathy, nutrition, and lifestyle counseling.

For additional information, or to locate an experienced herbalist in your area, contact the American Herbalists Guild AHG site at www. To located a licensed naturopath in your area, call the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians AANP at www.

In some countries in Europe, unlike the U. The German Commission E, an expert medical panel, actively researches their safety and effectiveness. While still not widely accepted, herbal medicine is being taught more in medical schools and pharmacy schools. More health care providers are learning about the positive and potentially negative effects of using herbal medicines to help treat health conditions.

Some health care providers, including doctors and pharmacists, are trained in herbal medicine. They can help people create treatment plans that use herbs, conventional medications, and lifestyle changes to promote health.

Abeloff: Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; Altschuler JA, Casella SJ, MacKenzie TA, Curtis KM. The effect of cinnamon on A1C among adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care. Birks J, Grimley Evans J. Ginkgo biloba for cognitive impairment and dementia.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Chen Y, Zhu J, Zhang W. Antitumor effect of traditional Chinese herbal medicines against lung cancer. Anticancer Drugs. Damery S, Gratus C, Grieve R, et al. The use of herbal medicines by people with cancer: a cross-sectional survey.

Br J Cancer. Dans AM, Villarruz MV, Jimeno CA, et al. The effect of Momordica charantia capsule preparation on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus needs further studies. J Clin Epidemiol.

Dos Santos-Neto LL, de Vilhena Toledo MA, Medeiros-Souza P, de Souza GA. The use of herbal medicine in Alzheimer's disease-a systematic review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.

Ernst E. Some websites may appear to be legitimate, but are fronted by people pretending to be doctors or pharmacists.

Herbal products sold online may also contain banned ingredients and toxic substances. You can find a list of banned and restricted herbal ingredients on the GOV.

UK website. Herbal slimming products and products that claim to improve sexual performance, for example, are best avoided. This is because they have been found to contain dangerous ingredients, including pharmaceutical ingredients, that aren't stated on the label.

You can report any side effect or adverse reaction to a herbal medicine using the Yellow Card Scheme run by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency MHRA. This can help the MHRA identify new side effects or risks associated with medicines, including herbal remedies.

It's important to include as much detail as possible, particularly any brand name or manufacturer's details relating to the herbal medicine.

In the past, Yellow Card reports have been used to identify interactions between St John's wort and other medicines, and to highlight the use of dangerous substances like mercury, lead and arsenic in unlicensed Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicines.

Page last reviewed: 18 October Next review due: 18 October Home Health A to Z Back to Health A to Z. Herbal medicines. Potential issues with herbal medicines If you're taking, or plan to take, any herbal medicines, be aware of the following: They may cause problems if you're taking other medicines.

They could make the other medicine less effective or cause the other medicine to trigger unexpected side effects. How does Complementary and Alternative Therapies CAM work? Physical therapies Many physical therapies work by increasing people's ability to tolerate stress.

An example: We are not absolutely certain, but scientific evidence suggests that yoga practice provides benefit by acting on stress reactivity.

Nutraceuticals, h erbal remedies and supplements Researchers are investigating the effectiveness of a range of nutraceuticals, herbal remedies and supplements as treatments for depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses.

Who can Complementary and Alternative Therapies CAM benefit? Which CAMs appear to be helpful for mental illnesses? Risk of Side Effects The pros and cons of the specific CAM, and your personal health and medication status, are key factors to consider.

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Herbal alternative therapies Herval is Allergy relief remedies therxpies who would like Raspberry ketones for improving cognitive function try complementary medicines for yherapies mental health problem. It covers brain function and dementia, anxiety and sleep problems, depression and Insulin pump benefits therapied, psychotic states and more. The content in this leaflet is provided for general information only. It is not intended to, and does not, mount to advice which you should rely on. It is not in any way an alternative to specific advice. You must therefore obtain the relevant professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action based on the information in this leaflet.

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