Wisely Using Herbal Supplements: Golden Seal & Lobelia

When most people discover the power of herbal supplements for both medicine and wellness, they often react one of two ways. Some people will pick just one herb that they’ve decided is a miracle drug, and they’ll only use that for whatever arises. Others however, start buying anything “herbal” they can find.

Both approaches are inappropriate of course. Even though some herbal supplements can appear to be useful for almost anything – Garlic for example – they can’t. And even though something says it’s “herbal” doesn’t mean it’s good for anything, because it depends on the type of herbal supplements you buy.

And as we’ve covered in previous articles, there are some herbal supplements which can be dangerous in specific situations, and herbs can counter the effects or enhance the effects of prescription medications too. So knowing what you’re using and why you’re using is one of the most important responsibilities of having an herbal medicine cabinet.

Golden seal is an herb many specialists keep on hand at all times to use for fighting infections for instance, but this herb is also a natural source of insulin, so you must be careful when giving it to diabetics or hypoglycemics. In some cases it can’t be used by them at all, and when this is the case, it can be substituted with myrhh. Golden seal can also be mixed with licorice to help counter the insulin lowering properties.

Lobelia (pictured above) is an herb that’s quite useful for relaxation. It can be rubbed on the shoulders of a restless child for instance, or taken by mouth to help calm nervousness and help someone go to sleep. This herb is also used in large doses however, to induce vomiting. So if someone were to use it for relaxation and took too much at once, it could cause them to become sick without their understanding why.

Like prescription synthetic medications, not all herbs and natural remedies will work the same for each person either. Some people have reactions to a medication – natural or not – while other people have no problems with it. Other people may experience great relief from discomfort, or show drastic improvements in their health when taking a particular medication or remedy, while others may see little to no difference themselves. This is an important point to understand, because sometimes multiple treatments must be tried before you find the right one for your particular needs.

The most common reason for herbal remedies to not work as well as expected however, is due to not fully understanding the underlying health conditions, or not fully knowing which herbal remedies to use. If you’re trying to treat a headache with echinacea for instance, you’re not likely going to see any relief from your headache.

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