• oldtimekid2

    Literally any herbs (plants used medicinally) that are used as remedies. Some examples are Echinacea to boost the immune system, Ginkgo Biloba to help memory and brain health, Hawthorn berries for cardiovascular health, and the list goes on.
    If you have a question about helping a specific part of the body, feel free to E-mail me and I’ll do my best to help narrow it down for you.

    On the flip side of that, if you’re looking for a definition with citations (for a project, for example), you can take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbal_remedies to see a lot more in-depth information and more that’s in layman’s terms. Although you should be aware that since anyone can edit Wikipedia, there are some sections that are pro-herbs and some that are anti-herbs (much like various members that frequent this section). Good luck and I hope I helped!

  • trish

    most modern medicines are derived from herbs. If you want to learn about herbal medicine then I can recommend this great herbal book from Study Holistics.

  • SkepDoc 3.0

    There are very few herbal preparations that have been shown to be effective and safe. The ones that have are now mostly called medicine.

    Many miraculous health claims are made for herbs..most are unproven, but many "popular" ones are completely disproven or not as impressive as purported:
    -Echinacea does not "boost the immune system" (whatever that means) but may have a mild effect on shortening the duration of a cold. Whether 6-9 days suffering is an improvement on 7-10 days is a judgement call.
    -Ginkgo biloba has no effect on memory…even NCCAM agrees.
    -Glucosamine has no effect on arthritis…even NCCAM agrees
    -Saw Palmetto has no effect on prostate disorders…even NCCAM agrees
    -Hawthorne may have cardiovascular effects….and may be toxic for that reason

    All plants and herbal treatments are plausible, because plants have evolved thousands of chemicals over millions of years for their own specific needs. By chance, a few of these will have biological activity in humans and other animals.
    Sometimes these are beneficial..
    sometimes they are harmful.
    sometimes they are just recreational
    sometimes they are nutritional
    most times…they do nothing at all other than add roughage to our diet or spice to our food

    Up to 25% of modern drugs are derived from or purified from or modified from plant sources (eg. ASA, Tamoxifen, Digoxin) All the drugs derived from plants have proven efficacy and are safer and more reliable than their plant based source. Any plant that is proven safe and effective is being used as medicine. Those that have yet to prove themselves should not be used at all, by anyone until quality evidence accumulates to justify their use

    Lastly, when herbs do something, it is because they are drugs…medicine. They should not be prescribed by anyone who doesn’t have training in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Most herbalists are self taught and have no training other than "use this herb for that symptom".

    Even if herbs work the people doing the "prescribing" should be different from the people making the diagnosis. That is simply a conflict of interest we don’t condone with real medicine. Pharmacists don’t diagnose and then suggest treatement, they just happen to sell….neither should herbalists.

    Herbalists have no skills or education in diagnosis of illness, and should not be pretending they do, and offering mostly useless, but potentially harmful products for sale. Practicing medicine without a license is a federal offense…how do these people get a free pass?

    It’s not that herbs are a total scam like crystals or Reiki; where people may only be harmed financially, emotionally or by neglect of effective treatments of real illnesses.
    In the case of herbs, people can be directly harmed, here’s a few hundred examples. In my own practice I have seen 2 cases of acute liver failure in the last year from otherwise healthy people taking Chinese herbals http://whatstheharm.net/herbalremedies.html
    EDIT Live Free
    The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is a division of the NIH that was set up at the instigation of Alt Med supporters in order to do large, well funded quality studies of Alt Med and prove that it works. All of the above are findings from studies that were undertaken and published in high quality peer reviewed journals, and you can look them up yourself by going to the NCCAM website. NCCAM has spent 1 billion dollars in the last decade, and has yet to find find evidence that anything works as claimed. And remember…they’ve started off studying the most popular, and most plausible ones…they haven’t even started with the really whacky stuff yet.

    WhatstheHarm is not scientific, correct, and I didnt’ claim it was…it just collects anecdotes of harm from AltMed. I thought you Alties preferred anecdotes over objective science? If you do a PubMed search on harm from herbals you will find hundreds of articles documenting thousands of case reports. One huge problem is that Big Herba does not actually keep track of adverse events of its products, and science only does it sporadically.

    Lastly, I did not report your answer in another question. My answer however was reported…and now re-instated with apologies from Yahoo. I would much prefer yours be there so that the smackdown I gave you was available for all to see.

  • Phillip Ray

    the study or use of medicinal herbs to prevent and treat diseases and ailments or to promote health and healing / a drug or preparation made from a plant or plants and used for any of such purposes.

  • roter chaot

    Heart, hypertension: Garlic,co-enzyme cq 10, cayenne pepper
    Immune: probiotics, Vitamin C, seaweed
    Viral infection: plenty of raw garlic(anti viral, anti-bacterial, and anti fungal properties)
    Low mood: 5-HTP
    Eczema: phytoplankton
    Osteoporosis: healing clay
    blood toxicity: healing clay, seaweed
    Sunburn: apple cider vinegar
    diabetes: 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    Nail fungus: distilled white vinegar(soak daily), blow dryer(dry toe nails)

  • Gary Y

    Crude drugs.

    In most cases:
    Quality is variable;
    Efficacy is unproven;
    Safety is unknown;
    Side effects are unestablished;
    Interactions are unestablished;
    Long term effects are not known.

    Please read:
    "Alternative medicine: Evaluate claims of treatment success"

    EDIT: ho-hum. @altmedspecilaist, I simply don’t believe you that your cranberry answer was deleted by YA. You have demonstrated previously that when backed into a corner you will either delete your entire answer, or answer again with another account, which of course is against YA rules.

    However I did not see anything in your cranberry answer that YA would have a problem with; so if it was truly reported, you can appeal the deletion. As skepdoc and I pointed out, you totally misinterpreted the cranberry study you posted, and that study actually supported Skepdoc’s and my postion. Yes you were smacked down. So you would win more respect if you just accepted that, changed you mind and moved on, instead of scrambling to make up excuses.

    You shouldn’t try to be smart and present me with my own advice about interpreting clinical trials – something you have not shown an ability to do. However, are you seriously suggesting that someone has carried out studies to show that studies have NOT been carried out? Yes you are, and demanding such studies only shows (a) you don’t know what you are talking about, or (b) your are being disingenuous, again.

    Go to medline, look at the data for herbs and supplements and you will find that for the vast majority of them, it is stated “There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary”, and “Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods.” I’m sure you will understand how problematic this is in terms of clinical trials. And medline are only able to report on a small number of the vast myriad of herbs that are available. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/herb_All.html#A You may want to read the cranberry entry while you are there.

    EDIT: @live free or die, here is the sentence that contains your "with UTIs":

    "Howell and Foxman examined various E. coli isolates from the urine of women and men with UTIs, introducing them into urine samples collected from healthy subjects before and after drinking eight ounces of cranberry juice cocktail."

    Perhaps you need to read this several times. They ISOLATED the E. coli from people with UTIs to test cranberry’s prevention ability in HEALTHY people.

    The study wasn’t even looking at treating UTI:
    "The scientists tested the effectiveness of cranberry juice cocktail in disabling a number of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria, some of which are resistant to certain drugs. Preventing UTIs could potentially reduce the use of antibiotics, and subsequently reduce further development of antibiotic resistance."

    Here is the whole article, anyone who may interested can decide for themselves: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:lClhjblEJZIJ:www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Cranberry-juice-touted-as-alternative-to-antibiotics-in-UTI-treatment+JAMA,+researchers+at+Rutgers+University+and+the+University+of+Michigan+cranberry&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    Once again, the study supports skepdoc’s and my position.

    You should refrain from hijacking people’s questions.

  • Live free or Die

    They are nutritional treatments that supply nutrition to aid body in staying healthy.

    Edit: Skepdoc where is your evidence to back up your claims against the supplements you mentioned? NCCAM reports are not evidence. It needs to be published in a medical journal so please show me published medical journal reports if each herb you mentioned proving they do not work.

    BTW your link at bottom is also not evidence as it’s not published with the FDA. The FDA and connected Gov agencies report on deaths related to supplements. Nice try though!

    Also did you have my comments removed from "Cranberry and Infection" question?

    Edit: Gary Y there is no good evidence that these statements of yours are true:
    "Crude drugs.
    In most cases:
    Quality is variable;
    Efficacy is unproven;
    Safety is unknown;
    Side effects are unestablished;
    Interactions are unestablished;
    Long term effects are not known."

    Just thought I would point that out. A few tips for you:Look for published journal studies to prove every point you made and avoid animal testing and small trials. Look for big clinical studies. Please show your work. Thanks! As you know according to you and skepdoc unless it’s published in a medical journal,it means nothing and even mayo clinic report is not evidence! Thanks and have a nice day!.

    Edit: Gary Y,dave,skepdoc and Rhianna I sincerely apologize for implying or calling you dishonest and if I called you liars I apologize for too if I did. I thought I called your actions dishonest,but I need to be more professional and I’m sorry for that!

    Edit: Skepdoc They are your claims! YOU look them up and post the reports! It’s YOUR job to site references directly and specifically! Implying," it’s in there find it" is not accepted as evidence! I’ll be waiting for your links to show evidence about every claim you made. So as of right now your answer here gets FAIL for a grade!

    Edit: Skepdoc if you clump me in with alties in general,then you have no idea who I am. I NEVER use anecdotes as evidence! I do pass on anecdotes and explain them as such while surrounding them with warnings and cautions.

    Read my answer on "Natural remedies for lupus?" question. Not only did I back up Gary Y 100%,I also warned person of taking any natural remedies except through a sever negative research done very slowly to be sure all warnings are checked and no interactions with meds have been found,while checking with her doctor as well. I even knew of some herbs that may help her,but refrained from mentioning them because all safety issues would have to be researched first. Lastly,FYI I never tell anyone what to do! I only pass on all information I have found and I pass on even the slightest warning I know of.

    Example: Bromelain helps me a lot. I use it for inflammation and pain,but if I mention it to anyone I tell them,"it thins the blood and enhances the absorption of antibiotics." I also tell them if they are on any medications at all to check with their doctor. I also add that even blood pressure medication can have an anti-coagulating effect,to avoid bromelain if on them as well.

    So skepdoc if you think I’m some herbalist that is bias,you have me all wrong. My issue with you,dave,Gary and Rhianna is that you over step your scientific bounds and make claims you can’t back up. If you say ,"all reports I’ve found makes me believe they don’t work and may even be dangerous,but here is what I found and decide for yourself." That’s fine!

    Your mistake is that you put your statement as fact when it is not. Warn people all day long,PLEASE! I’m for that,but to almost always only paint one side of the picture isn’t fair or scientific. Look how Gary Y phrased his answer on,"Natural remedies for lupus?" question, It is absolutely PERFECT and fair!

    Finally,for you to ask for a certain level of scientific evidence,then you need to provide the same specifically and directly! BTW I soundly thrashed you in the cranberry debate and you know it!

    Edit: Gary Y I apologized to you,you should apologize to me for making claims I erased answers and made a second ID for dishonest reasons.

    Edit skepdoc I’m reading your comment again. Smackdown? Really? You mean the smakcdown you handed me by ignoring the medical journal report I showed you that cranberry may be able to be used for TREATMENT of UTIs? Yeah you really let me have it didn’t you? How you discredited University human study as being no evidence because it wasn’t published in a journal was even better.

    It is evidence even if it isn’t published my friend. If studies are not evidence until they are published,then nothing would ever get published because a medical journal would not be publishing studies with no evidence.

    Edit: Gary Y HERE YOU GO!

    Flag this message
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    Hello Live free or Die

    You have posted content to Yahoo! Answers in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. As a result, your content has been deleted. Community Guidelines help to keep Yahoo! Answers a safe and useful community, so we appreciate your consideration of its rules.

    Question: cranberry juice and an infection?
    Deleted Answer: Cranberry has been shown in human studies to be an effective treatment against active infections! Edit: Rhianna,Gary I made a mistake,so here’s the report that proves you both wrong anyways! …..{Gary Y this is long so that was beginning of YA’s e-mail to me and here is the end~>} …Violation Reason: Insulting or Ranting Content

    In Yahoo! Answers you may not demean or insult others, or post tirades directed towards persons or groups.

    If you feel this content was removed in error, please read the Community Guidelines and make sure that this content: 1. respects the question-answer format and is not chatty or personal communication; 2. does not contain non-relevant links to external sites or other questions and does not promote your own blog or website; 3. is respectful to other people and does not offend other community members. If you still believe this content has been removed in error, please contact Customer Care and tell us why.

    Yahoo! Customer Care

    Gary Y ~YOU CAN APOLOGIZE ANYTIME NOW! BTW there are TWO violation notices,one for each account! Do you want me to post the other one?

    Edit: Gary Y please explain the report saying,"with UTIs" and how that means prevention. You can’t do that and that’s why I won the debate! You can say all you want,but the truth is that you can’t explain the human study that shows that people were TREATED successfully with cranberry for urinary tract infections!

    Also, you will be held to the same standard of questioning that you demand of others. Furthermore,don’t tell me to look up anything! If YOU make a claim then YOU show the evidence!

    Thanks for playing,but YOU LOSE! NEXT!

    Edit: Gary proving your false claims wrong is part of questions and answers that you don’t like. You call it hijacking because you don’t like to hear the truth.

  • Platypus Reloaded

    The only working and natural drugs to improve your health or heal your maladies.
    Live free or Die, you should change your Avatar.
    What you just put in end of your blog is pure cowardice.

  • Flizbap 2.0

    Unrefined, unregulated drugs.

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