Herbal Formulas - Herbs Vitamins Cleansing Weight Loss
"Herbs and plants are medical jewels gracing the woods, fields and lanes which few eyes see, and few minds understand. Through this want of observation and knowledge the world suffers immense loss."
During the past decade there has been an exponential increase in the use of herbal remedies. Today, most pharmacies in western countries dedicate large portions of shelf space to herbal remedies, however many of these remedies are not standardized in terms of potency and quality.
Herbal formulations work in a subtle manner that is harmonious with the bodyís healing processes. The bodyís natural defenses are strengthened, allowing it to heal itself. These remedies donít just alleviate the symptoms of illness, but actually work towards fixing the underlying cause of the problem.
Lavender is the most versatile of herbs with a multitude of uses: rejuvenating, relaxing with antibacterial properties. Lavender essential oil is helpful for insomnia, eczema, acne, headaches, migraines, inflammation and pain. Its lovely scent makes a delightful natural perfume.
Curcumin reduces the action of a number of genes that promote inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, colon cancer and Alzheimer's. "It's probably no coincidence that India has the lowest incidence of Alzheimer's in the world," says Sally Frautschy, a professor of neurology at UCLA, who studies turmeric together with her husband and colleague, Greg Cole. "What I hear from the pharmaceutical industry," says Cole, "is 'What are you trying to do, ruin us?'
Around the end of the World War II, the field of chemistry made significant advances in the ability to isolate and synthesize single plant compounds. Use of plants for medicinal purposes based on long-standing empirical medical experience came to be considered old fashioned. Simple herbal remedies became forgotten. As time passed, medical schools ceased to include much about herbal preparations in their pharmaceutical curricula. A small group of healthcare practitioners retained the use of whole plants and plant extracts in their practices. Practitioners included in this group were herbalists, naturopaths, eclectic physicians and traditional healers of Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4 billion people - 80 percent of the world population - use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care. Herbal medicine is a major component in all indigenous peoples' traditional medicine. Native Americans introduced white Europeans to many valuable herbs: black cohosh, black haw, boneset, cascara sagrada, Echinacea, chaparral, goldenseal, lobelia, Oregon grape, sarsaparilla, slippery elm, wild cherry and witch hazel.
According to a national survey conducted for Prevention magazine, 49 percent of American adults used an herbal medicine during 1998 and 1999, and 23.4 percent called themselves regular users of herbal medicines.
Baby Boomers and the "Boom" in Alternative Medicine
This group of approximately 76 million people tends to look for new solutions to treat old problems. They have a desire for wellness and they expect it. Boomers project an aggressive consumerism as well as a healthy disregard for authority and conformity. They do not wish to "grow old gracefully" and they are starving for answers to the age-old puzzle of youth extension. More than any demographic population before them, this group not only wants to hold on to their youth, but also knows it is possible to do so.
Their demand for exploring these alternative health options derives from a number of factors, such as their frustration with the limitations of mainstream medicine in providing them the answers they seek. Other factors include a growing body of scientific literature linking chronic degenerative diseases to nutritional and emotional factors, and a greater awareness of the medical practices of other cultures such as Eastern, Ayurvedic, and Native American.
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