Natural Remedies (Homeopathy)
Uses, Benefits and Side Effects of Natural Remedies (Homeopathy).
Natural Remedies (Homeopathy) Overview
Natural Remedies or Homeopathy refers to the prevention or treatment of diseases or medical conditions through natural substances, most notably herbs and medicinal plants. Different cultures around the world have different natural remedies, derived from deep-rooted religious or cultural beliefs. These remedies are based on the practices, beliefs, and experiences, evolving over cultures and times. While they are often unexplainable, they are used to maintain health, including prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of illnesses.
How Do Natural Remedies Work?
Natural remedies are made from herbal extracts and natural substances that promote and enhance the body’s metabolism and functioning. They work essentially by promoting the production of certain chemicals and substances by the body to strengthen the immune system and help the human body fight off diseases. These remedies also ameliorate the pain caused by certain conditions.
Benefits of Natural Remedies
Natural Remedies, more than often, provide effective and quick relief from diseases such as seasonal allergies, cardiovascular diseases, cough, fever, common cold, flu, depression, and inflammation. These have been acknowledged worldwide as a potential element in boosting the immune system. A significant amount of the population worldwide relies on natural remedies for the prevention and cure of diseases. This reliance and unwavering belief in these remedies can be associated with several factors and benefits, including the following:
- These remedies are more affordable.
- They stem from deep-rooted beliefs, and therefore, are trusted to a greater extent by people.
- Natural remedies align closely with the patient’s ideology.
- People prefer these remedies to prevent and avoid the adverse effects of chemicals in modern medicine.
Side Effects of Natural Remedies
Like all other medicines, natural remedies have proved efficacious in the prevention and treatment of diseases. However, there are still some adverse side effects and considerations that one should keep in mind before using these remedies. The lack of a systemic approach to comprehend the benefits and side effects of these remedies only expose the general population to unprecedented side effects. Some of these include:
- Herbal compounds extracted from plants might be contaminated or contain toxic compounds.
- Their side effects might not have been studied or discovered thoroughly.
- They can interact with other drugs or medicines being taken by the patient and worsen the condition. They are particularly susceptible to interfering with asthma, cardiovascular, blood pressure and heart medications, and immunosuppressants.
Normal Dosage of Natural Remedies
Natural remedies are usually available in various forms, depending on the most effective form of herbal extracts. Some herbal extracts work better in pills, while others may require to be extracted as liquids. They can be given in the form of tablets, liquids, and skin creams.
The normal dosage of natural remedies varies in each case and depends upon a number of factors including:
- Type of disease
- Intensity of disease
- Form of the natural remedy being given
Due to these remedies’ unknown side effects, we highly recommend to always consult with your doctor before you take these remedies. It is even preferable to consult and thoroughly discuss side effects with a professional herbalist before taking these remedies.
As stated earlier, natural remedies can have some side effects. Therefore, we particularly recommend always using these remedies only based on a herbalist or a doctor. Furthermore, the dosage of these remedies should be as specified by the doctor. Natural remedies should only be used for the period prescribed by the doctor. Prolonged use of these remedies over extended periods can result in adverse risks such as heart diseases, and kidney and liver failure.
Natural remedies also have a susceptibility to interfering with any other medications being taken. Therefore, we strongly recommend providing your doctor or herbalist with a complete medical history. The herbalist or doctor should be informed of any medications being taken by the patient to prevent these remedies’ side effects.
Treatment of Overdose
If any side effect is observed, consult your doctor right away in case of an overdosage of natural remedies. Avoid taking these remedies until permitted again by your herbalist or doctor. Complete information, such as the herbal extract taken, the condition for which the extract was taken, or any other information required by the doctor or herbalist should be provided accordingly. These remedies should particularly be avoided if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, about to undergo, or have recently been through major surgery.
Storage of Natural Remedies
Herbal extracts in natural remedies are often prone to decay, especially during storage. The decay might lead to loss of active component and the production of toxic components in extreme cases. Therefore, it is essential to ensure the proper storage of these remedies. The substances should be kept away from direct heat, sunlight, or moisture. They should also be protected against any changes in the pH of the environment. Herbal extracts should be kept away from the reach of children.
Disposal of Herbal Extracts
The herbal extracts in natural remedies are prone to interact with other substances in the environment and may produce toxic substances. Therefore, it is essential to dispose of the extracts appropriately. Herbal medicines should not be used after the completion of their shelf lives. Any expired medication should be disposed of according to the instructions of your doctor or herbalist.
Natural remedies are effective and often provide instant relief. Extracts from plants and herbs are scientifically proven to have beneficial effects on the human body. These extracts help in diseases such as seasonal allergies, cough, cold and flu and strengthen the body’s immune system. However, prolonged use can have adverse effects. Therefore, we strongly recommend using herbal medicines only upon the recommendation of a professional herbalist or doctor. The patient should not entirely depend on herbal medicine and appropriate medical assistance should also be sought.
Written by: Madiha Ather Hashmi (July 22, 2020)
- Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S (2011). “Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition”. CRC Press/Taylor & Francis.
- Craig Hospital (2015). “Herbs & Herbal Medicine”. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Committee of Craig Hospital.
- Linda J. Vorvick, MD (2018). “A guide to herbal remedies”. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
- Lovely Thakur, Umang Ghodasra, Nilesh Patel, Mahesh Dabhi (2011). “Novel approaches for stability improvement in natural medicines”. Medknow Publications.
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Last Updated on July 5, 2023