How Effective Is The Herbal Medicine
how to overcome the plateau effectI have been confused by the reports published over the last year, by more than a few prominent medical journals, asserting that some of the well-liked herbal supplements that many people (including myself) have used for years to address some common health issues are not effective.
Among the herbs quotes as “ineffective” are, Black Cohosh, used for menopausal symptoms; Echinacea, used for the immune system; and Glucosamine Sulfate, used for arthritis and joint problems.
As an accountable herbalist and homeopath there have been anecdotal proof, supporting the “healing power” of each of these for their respective purported purposes. There are several specific cases where Glucosamine Sulfate helped arthritis victims recommence a superiority of life that was once lost to joint pain and stiffness. There was an 87 year old woman in great pain from a viral induced infection of Shingles that tried Echinacea and was healed.
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In the case of the Echinacea study, numerous herbalist and critics assail the fact that the learning was done on a group of healthy college sophomores, given a rhinovirus. Any healthy 19 or 20 year old has a powerful immune system. What would the results of the study have shown if the elderly, children, and those with compromised immune systems were incorporated?
It is known that the immune system’s capacity to fight infection and foreign invaders reduces as we age, so it seems reasonable that “older” immune systems would show support from Echinacea much better than the immune system of a young adult whose immune system is at its peak of growth.
Comparable concerns exist in the studies with the additional herbs. In the case of Black Cohosh, the consequences pale in light of the fact that it is used as an effectual alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by medical doctors. Others mention the low dosage used in the Glucosamine study. The study results published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) reported amounts of 900mg/daily of the powdered root of Echinacea.
source : Herbal Medicine in the United States: Review of Efficacy, Safety, and Regulation