The other day I stumbled across an online article called “The Dangers of Herbs” by an author, Ashira R of which I could find little information. She didn’t even use her last name. This as you can imagine caught my attention. I had to know more about these killer herbs.
Upon reading I found that much of it was about misidentified herbs, well-known poisonous herbs or out right ridiculous assertions (like her claim that bay leaf is a carcinogen). Quick! Run! They’re serving clam chowder!
The article was peppered with statements like, “Aloe is a wonderful herb to heal external wounds and burns - taken internally is dangerous.”
AND “American or Black Hellbore is a violent narcotic that effects the heart - it can kill”.
I underlined “effects” to show that is the adjective the author used, not I. I believe she meant affects
Was the author talking about the aloe juice that relieves acute constipation and digestive problems or the aloe that helps detoxify and balance the body’s ph factor and is an anti-inflammatory when ingested? Black Hellbore? What obscure hat did she pull that out of? This is a plant that is known more for its long lasting and attractive flowers than its medicinal properties. The only use of hellbore this herbalist can recall is that Hippocrates used it as a purgative (to induce vomiting) and an anthelmintic (to expel worms). But it has properties very similar to the drug, digoxin; and there are so many herbs that are safer and more effective than hellbore.
Now let me be clear; I wouldn’t consider using any form of hellbore and I inform my clients who are pregnant or nursing not to consume aloe juice for prolonged periods due to the remote possibility it could cause uterine contractions and jeopardize the pregnancy. What's more, Aloe is such a good detoxifier that it can cause impurities to be expelled through the breast milk; therefore I don’t recommend drinking aloe juice to detox while nursing.
I have complete trust of the safety and efficacy of the herbs I use but I also know that if there is an unsafe herb around, there is probably someone waiting to abuse it beyond all reasonable protocol. This prompted me to do a little research and what I found amazed even me. The yearly expected deaths from the use and/or abuse of herbs (including cannabis) = 0. That’s right! Zero! http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n04.shtml
. So I took it one step further to see what the mortality rate from “weight-loss formulas” that use extracted properties
such as ephedrine from the ephedra plant. http://www.digitalnaturopath.com/treat/T327561.html
I was unable to find out the time period but up until 2004 when ephedra was banned there was a total
of 155 deaths. This is surprising because they actually had to change the laws to ban an herb. For this reason I always use whole herbs. I disagree the scientific view that tries to find the so-called “magic bullet” in a plant. This produces nothing more than a pharmaceutical that overrides the innate intelligence built into our body’s immune system.
I have to wonder why no one is calling for acetaminophen (Tylanol) to be banned, it causes almost 1000 deaths every
In contrast, let’s take a look at death rates from pharmaceuticals. In 2006 the estimated total number of iatrogenic deaths—that is, deaths induced inadvertently by a physician, surgeon, and by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures— 783,936 in the US annually. The number of estimated deaths per year simply from prescription drugs is 106,000
. This does not include intentional overdose. That is 106,000 deaths from properly prescribed drugs. http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2006/aug2006_report_death_01.htm
That number is more than double
the amount of 37,465 deaths attributed to all illicit drugs combined
for the same year.
You have to ask your self why then does the FDA never approve an herb as being safe while it rubber-stamps pharmaceuticals one after another following only minimal studies? What’s more, this clinical research is done by the very same manufacturers of these drugs who ultimately will profit from the sales of the drug in question. As if that weren’t enough, they get to pick and choose the studies they include in the submission for FDA approval. Does anyone see a conflict of interest here?
I am not saying that allopathic medicine is of no value. In the case of acute illness or traumatic injury it is the best. My concern is that we, as a nation are using ever-increasing amount of drugs from pharmaceutical companies under increased pressure to make higher profit margins. This puts us at risk of unexpected reactions and death.
What I am saying is that you need to take your health into your own hands. If not you could end up like one of my clients who has unquestionably taken prednisone (in large amounts) prescribed by her doctor for 39 years. Now her bones are disintegrating, her diabetes is off the charts and she is unable to reduce her dose by even the smallest amount without horrendous reactions. I can’t tell you how many people I know who have been harmed by the very professionals they sought out for help.
If you have a chronic condition I urge you to investigate natural ways to treat it so that you truly heal. Most every disease is a deficiency or toxicity. An aspirin might help a headache but try to think about it this way: having a headache doesn’t mean you have an aspirin deficiency so if it happens often, you might want to consider using some feverfew or rosemary
Love and Light, Lori Jacobs