Use herbs wisely

February 26, 2012

Health, Herbs, Natural therapies

When the herbalist has acquired the necessary information from the client, the first thing he or she must consider is the list of prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs the client is taking.

by Leslie Anne Rubel — 

Many clinical herbalists will tell you that from time to time their friends and associates approach them with questions about herbs and supplements, hoping for an on-the-spot response. The astute herbalist will always answer: “This requires more information from you than we can discuss right now. Please make an appointment, fill out my intake form and we will discuss your options at that time.”

When the herbalist has acquired the necessary information from the client, the first thing he or she must consider is the list of prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs the client is taking.

Stephanie, a fellow herbalist, told me about a client who was worried about her father in Delaware. She had sent him an intake form and, when he returned it, she found that he was taking 13 prescription medications. As Stephanie read through the symptoms he described on his form, she immediately checked for drug interactions at an online FDA-approved site. She found five medications that could cause serious problems — the same problems he described on his intake form.

Stephanie called the man’s concerned daughter and told her what was likely occurring with her father. She also added, “I will not consider any herbal supplements until his two physicians explore the possibility that some of his medications could be interfering with his health.” The daughter called her dad immediately. He made appointments with his physicians and held them accountable for all the medications they had prescribed.

This story illustrates that any supplement or medication can cause problems. Herbs are drugs, and great care must be taken when combining them with other medications. Always consult a clinically trained herbalist or naturopath before using. He or she can give you the information you need to make wise choices regarding your personal health.

 

Leslie Anne Rubel, M.A., H.H.C.P., is owner of Eminence Healing Therapies, LLC and a member of N’Shama.com. She is an intuitive counselor who facilitates healing through transformational energy medicine, herbal medicine, reflexology and other modalities. 602-290-6422 or www.alternativemesaaz.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 4, Aug/Sept 2010.

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