The Difference Between Herbs and Midicines

Fundamentally, the body (via the brain) knows what to do and how to process a whole food, such as an herb, but a drug is a more aggresive substance that force a chemical change in the body. This is why drugs need to be administered by doctors: They can be dangerous and are deadly substances if used incorrectly.

Herbs are much more forgiving. If you overdose on an herb, the worst you may experience is vomiting and a headache. In contrast, drugs need to be taken with much caution and regulation, as they can cause death when taken in the wrong combination or dosage.

Let me explain why this is so important. Let's say for example that you suffer from high blood pressure. First of all your body is raising you blood pressure in an attempt to improve your circulation that is being inhibited (many times due to fat clogging the arteries). Then the doctor gives you a blood pressure medicine that blocks the mechanisms that allow your blood pressure to raise.

This is an artificial cure, because now your body really wants to raise your pressure in an attemp to get the nutrient, oxygen-rich blood to all areas of the body. In a sense, your body works harder and pressure builds as the medication works againts your body's natural process.

If you suddenly discontinue your medications, the cork can be blown out, so to speak, and your blood pressure can rise to dangerously high levels very fast. (I liken this example to pushing hard againts a door to open it and suddenly someone opens the door.)

It is so much wiser and easier use herbs first, to get to the source of your problem, (in this case, cleaning the cholesterol) and have your blood pressure return to normal as your body was designed to do in the first place. This is the natural approach to health and is where many medical doctors and holistic practitioners differ.

Unlike using a synthetic medication designed to surpress a symptoms immediately, nature tends to have her own time schedule. Depending on your genetic makeup, you will have to wait for the results, which vary from person to person. Sometimes you will use an herb that works overnight for you, and other times it will take a much longer time to notice changes.

Our bodies all work a little differently. For one person, an herb will work within 20 minutes; for you might take two weeks. Remember, however, that your body is sick because it usually is missing one or many nutrients. How fast you will notice healing evidence depends on the extent of your deficiency and how long you have been deficient.

Remember that nature takes her time, so hang it there and continue feeding your body the nutrients it needs to heal itself. Herbs work differently than medications. Sometime herbs have a cleansing or a detoxifying effect (detoxing means to remove toxins from the body). Toxins can be construed as anything toxic, poisonous, or of no positive value to the body.

By strengthening you, herbs can make your body more effective at aliminating foreign substances from your system. Some medications have by products that are unnatural to the body (synthetic materials), so the cleansing herbs may lessen the effect of your medications by pushing out these foreign substances.

Conversely, some herbal properties have the same effects as medications and can actually enhance the effects of each other. This can also be a cause for caution. Make sure your prescribing doctor monitors your prescription dosages if taking herbs and medications together.

It is always wise to let both your prescribing doctor and medications you are taking to avoid unpleasant interactions. I have found that many of my clients who have been on medications when starting on an herbal program have been able to cut back or even eliminate their medication. This has happened with synthetic thyroid medications, insulin, and even antidepresants.

However, do not attempt this yourself−supervision by a competent physician is important when working with herbs and medications together. It's exiting to see how herbs can strengthen the body and lessen the need for drugs. The body is trully a sufficient manufacturing plant, which requires the correct raw materials to keep it running smoothly.