Herbal Supplements

Herbal Supplements

Herbal Supplements
Herbal supplements are dietary supplements derived from nature. Herbal plants or parts of a plant are broken down and used for their scent, flavor and therapeutic benefits. When taken as a supplement, they can deliver strong benefits, however, herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA and can have dangerous side effects. They act like drugs once in your system and can affect metabolism, circulation and excretion of other substances in your body. It is important to discuss with your doctor if you are on prescription medications, are breastfeeding or have chronic illnesses and want to add herbal supplements to your health regimen.

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    Herbs include flowering plants, shrubs, trees, moss, fern, algae, seaweed or fungus. In most cultures, including Western culture, herbs are used in medicine not only as a part of the treatment of disease, but also in the enhancement of life, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Plant parts, including flowers, fruits, leaves, twigs, bark, roots or seeds, are all considered usable. 
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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    Ellagic acid is a phenolic compound related to flavonoids. It is present in plants in the form of complexes called ellagitannins. When these complexes are broken down, they yield ellagic acid. Ellagic acid exhibits significant anticancer activity. A potent antioxidant, ellagic acid protects against damage to the chromosomes. It also blocks the cancer-causing actions of many pollutants, such as the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) found in cigarette smoke and toxic chemicals, such as benzopyrene.

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    The essential oil of pennyroyal is considered toxic. Death has been reported after the consumption of small amounts. A characteristic noted in most cases of pennyroyal overdose is a strong minty smell on the patient's breath.
     
    A possible role for N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in the management of pennyroyal overdose has been suggested. However, this application has not been confirmed by animal or human studies.
     
    The essential oil of pennyroyal may act as an emmenagogue (menstrual flow stimulant) and induce abortion. However, it may do so at lethal or near-lethal doses, making this action unpredictable and dangerous. Future research to determine the safety and efficacy of the less toxic parts of the pennyroyal plant on the menstrual cycle is needed before a recommendation can be made.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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    The genus Sassafras contains two main species, Sassafras albidum andSassafras tzumu. Sassafras albidumis found in eastern North America, and Sassafras tzumu is found in Asia, primarily in China.

    Although sassafras was used originally in Native American medicine, sassafras should not be used internally, as safrole found in sassafras oil and tea is carcinogenic (cancer-causing). Increased incidence of esophageal cancer has been noted in areas with habitual sassafras consumption. In addition, safrole is hepatotoxic (liver damaging).

    There is insufficient evidence in humans to support the use of sassafras for any indication.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.



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    Tea tree oil is obtained by steam distillation of the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia. Tea tree oil is purported to have antiseptic properties and has been used traditionally to prevent and treat infections. While numerous laboratory studies have demonstrated antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil (likely due to the compound terpinen-4-ol), only a small number of high-quality trials have been published. Human studies have focused on the use of topical tea tree oil for fungal infections (including fungal infections of the nails and athlete's foot), acne, and vaginal infections. However, there is a lack of definitive available evidence for the use of tea tree oil in any of these conditions, and further study is warranted.
     
    Tea tree oil should not be used orally; there are reports of toxicity after consuming tea tree oil by mouth. When applied to the skin, tea tree oil is reported to be mildly irritating and has been associated with the development of allergic contact dermatitis, which may limit its potential as a topical agent for some patients.

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    Since many of your hangover symptoms are believed to be caused by inflammation, stopping that inflammation may reduce symptoms. Chemicals in prickly pear cactus extract stop inflammation in the body. Treatment with prickly pear extract has been shown to reduce the dry mouth, queasiness, and loss of appetite.

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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered
    Bladderwrack, also known as fucus vesiculous, grows in both the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It is rich in nutrient and contains a fair amount of magnesium, potassium, and micronutrients. Micronutrients are often not found in many other foods we normally eat.

    One nutrient it contains is iodine. Iodine is an essential nutrient for the thyroid gland. Bladderwrack has been used in traditional natural medicine to help support the thyroid for years. This is considered helpful for those that have hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid. In truth, there needs to be studies to confirm this, but anecdotal reports suggest it can be effective.

    The best way to take this is in capsule form. Have your blood checked, and look for underactive symptoms to improve (symptoms like constipation, feeling cold, dry hair, raised cholesterol, and slow thinking) and your blood thyroid levels to normalize.

    Because bladderwrack is harvested in the ocean, you want make sure you check the labels to make sure it was harvested in clean water and is contaminant-free. People who have overstimulated thyroid conditions should not take bladderwrack.
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    Liver extract and desiccated (dried) liver have been marketed as iron supplements for over a century. The extract is processed cow or pig liver that may either be a freeze-dried brownish powder or a concentrated liquid that has had most of the fat and cholesterol removed.

    Preliminary clinical studies indicate that liver extract may be helpful in treating hepatic (liver) dysfunction. In addition, liver extract seems to work synergistically with interferon in treating hepatitis C and other viral infections. More research is needed in these areas.

    Laboratory studies indicate that liver extract may have some effects that could be useful in treating certain forms of cancer, such as the ability to direct migration of metastasizing cells and the inhibition of DNA, RNA and protein formation. More research is needed in these areas to quantify liver extract's properties.

    Some concern has been raised about the safety of liver extract, as it is made of animal liver, which may be infected with parasites, bacteria or prion diseases. Although there are currently no available reports of diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE, or mad cow disease) being transmitted by liver extract, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still cautions against the use of any animal organ extract. It is not clear how the processing of liver extract affects the transmission of these organisms.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.



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    Nutmeg and mace are two commonly used spices originating from the same tree, Myristica fragrans. Nutmeg is derived from the seed of the tree and mace from the seed covering.

    Nutmeg has a history of abuse as a popular recreational psychoactive drug. However, mace does not have a history of this use.

    Based on human study, mace extract, when used as part of a chewing gum, may decrease plaque and gingivitis. Although not well studied in humans, mace extract may also have antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects. Mace is a popular medicine in India to treat measles.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.



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    Since marijuana cannot be distributed through a conventional pharmacy, some patients grow their own or turn to a caregiver for supplies.

    Others go to dispensaries, which are legal in some places. These dispensaries, often known as cannabis clubs or cannabis co-ops,often have names that denote health or caregiving.

    The dispensaries often call themselves collectives and claim that the marijuana sold there was grown by its members, who also are patients.

    Critics claim that many dispensaries actually buy marijuana illegally and create the potential for abuse by people who do not need marijuana for medical reasons.