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Herbal medicine advantages and disadvantages

Before deciding on herbal as alternative medicine, learn about its various disadvantages and advantages.

Before using herbs on yourself, get the opinion of a skilled naturopath, herbalist, or doctor to assess the benefits and drawbacks of various herbal therapies and cures.

Proving the Benefits and Drawbacks of Herbal Medicine Herbal medicine is still mostly an untested and imprecise science.

Although the history of herbal therapy contains centuries of anecdotal material, scientific research into herbal medicine is still in its early stages.

Herbal Medicines with Scientific Support While holistic therapists, herbalists, and naturopaths may provide a personal experience with herbs and effectively treat patients with herbs, there are few evidence-based herbal medicine trials and research to back up these claims.

Despite historical usage, most herbal medicine is categorized as anecdotal evidence due to a lack of scientific data to support its curative effect.

Because of this lack of scientific proof, it seems that orthodox medicine will be unable to embrace the use of herbal medicines.

Many medical experts, however, recognize the usefulness of herbal medicines and practice integrative medicine.

Many Herbal Medicine Studies Have IssuesResearchers discovered a lack of consistency in the few experiments undertaken on Traditional Chinese Medicine.

According to the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health in the United States, "proof of effectiveness or safety for the overwhelming majority of medicinal herbs has not been completely established by an evidence-based method."

Herb Studies on a Single Plant The rare herbal trial studies that used randomized clinical trials (RCTs) adhered to the Global Forum on Harmonization (ICH) Good Clinical Practice Guidelines, which evaluated the effectiveness and/or safety of the herb.

The majority of the studies included single-plant herbs.

Because most herbal therapies are a mix of herbs and are seldom a single plant medicine or therapy, measuring the efficiency of a single herb was challenging.

Herbal Medicines with Multiple Components The challenge with analyzing single plant herbs is how practitioners deliver the herbs.

Most herbalists recommend a mix of herbs that is tailored to the person.

This is particularly true in the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Chinese physicians will prescribe a tea that will be prepared specifically for the patient at their clinic pharmacy.

Because they are customized therapies, they are extremely difficult to analyze in a trial research.

Not All Herbs Are Created EqualAnother challenge that arises when trying to perform studies on the efficacy of herbs in treating ailments is herb quality.

Herbs are not controlled, and the quality of one herb varies greatly from another.

This makes validating herb effectiveness difficult, particularly when certain herbs are contaminated.

Herbal Treatments, Both Single and Compound The review looked at both single and compound plants. 

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rohollah motahari