The Healing Power of Herbs

Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.

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The Healing Power of Herbs

Ancient cultures had no idea why herbs worked – they just knew certain plants produced certain desired results.

Only in the last hundred years or so have chemists and pharmacists been isolating and purifying the beneficial chemical compounds in plants to make reliable pharmaceutical drugs.

About 25% of the prescription medicines sold today are (or were originally) derived from plants.

For example:

>Morphine and codeine come from the opium poppy.

>Aspirin came from willow bark.

>Digitalis, a heart muscle strengthener, comes from the foxglove plant.

>Paclitaxel (Taxol), used in cancer chemotherapy, comes from the Pacific yew tree.

Phytomedicine, a recently coined term, refers to an herbal medicine that’s a whole-plant preparation, rather than a single isolated chemical compound.

The herbal preparation made from a whole plant or plant part is considered the active entity, even though it may actually contain hundreds of individual active components.

Phytomedicines are standardized, however, which means they contain set percentages of specified active components, and their therapeutic values are backed by pharmacological and clinical studies and experience.

Phytomedicines are widely recognized in Europe, where they’re categorized as plant-derived drugs.

In Germany, for example, phytomedicines are considered “ethical drugs,” and physicians prescribe them and pharmacists dispense them.

In the U.S., phytomedicines are sold as over-the-counter dietary supplements in health food stores and in some pharmacies.

A few mainstream doctors now have begun prescribing herbal remedies along with standard drugs.

Some health insurance companies cover the cost of herbal medicines when they’re prescribed by health care professionals.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), part of the National Institutes of Health, is funding research on herbal remedies.

According to Harvard Medical School, more than 18% of the U.S. population, or 38 million adults, use herbal supplements.

Although herbal supplements aren’t subject to the same standards as prescription and over-the-counter drugs, they are regulated by the FDA.

In fact, in July 2008 the FDA applied a new set of regulations to supplements called Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

These rules ensure all supplements are manufactured in a uniform way and that what appears on the label is what’s in the product.

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Dick and Lenay

email: – 715-431-0657

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