Phytotherapy is the practice of using medicinal products derived from plants or herbs to treat or prevent health problems. Although their popularity is increasing around the world, more research is needed to determine their effectiveness and possible side effects.
What is phytotherapy?
the use of plants or herbs to control health conditions.Also refers to substances derived from plants or herbs. Medicinal plants and herbs are a form of complementary medicine.
These are therapies that you can receive along with traditional western medicine. are other terms commonly used for herbal or herbal medicines.
Phytomedicines are sold in the USA Over-the-counter as a dietary supplements.
As such, they have not undergone rigorous scientific studies for efficacy, safety, or quality. In some other countries, particularly Europe, herbal medicines are more regulated and available by prescription. You should never take herbal medicines without first talking to your doctor.
What does phytotherapy treat?
Historically, people have used herbal medicines to treat a variety of acute and chronic health conditions. These can include anything from musculoskeletal pain to memory loss. There are not many studies on the effectiveness of herbal medicine. However, researchers are studying the risks and benefits of herbal medicines.
They are trying to figure out how herbal medicines can help prevent disease and control symptoms. It’s also important to note that herbal medicines are not tightly regulated in the United States.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not consider herbal medicines to be medicines. Instead, the FDA considers them a type of food.
Therefore, there are no strict safety or quality standards for dosages or concentrations of ingredients in herbal medicines.
How does phytotherapy work?
Phytotherapy can affect the physiology of your body in different ways. Many non-human studies have attempted to understand the possible mechanisms by which herbal medicines affect humans.
Some can affect brain chemistry, the immune system, and appetite. herbal medicines can work by preventing damage to your cells.
This damage can lead to serious diseases such as cancer and dementia. Researchers are studying how certain chemicals in plants, called phytochemicals, can slow or prevent this damage.
What are some examples of phytotherapy?
Examples of herbal therapy that researchers have studied include:
Beta-sitosterol (a micronutrient found in plants) may help with skin problems, wound healing, and heart health.
Fish oils with omega-3 fatty acids can prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Ginger may help relieve symptoms of nausea and vomiting, although research is ongoing on ginger’s safety for pregnant women with morning sickness.
Green tea could help fight cancerous tumors or improve diabetes-related retinopathy.
Both diseases are related to the abnormal growth of blood vessels.
Green tea can also prevent the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis).
Probiotics may help relieve gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic diarrhea, or pouchitis.
Soy products can help lower high cholesterol.
What forms does phytotherapy come in?
Phytopharmaceuticals come in many different forms. You can get one as a tincture (concentrated extract), a pill or capsule that you swallow, or a tea that you drink.
They can also come as ointments or compresses that are applied directly to the skin.
How effective are phytotherapy?
Research studies into the effectiveness of herbal medicines have had mixed results. There are many factors that can affect the quality of herbal medicines including:
Amount of chemicals in the plant How the plant was harvested and stored Ingredients added to the herbal medicine
Processing the attachment.
Plant species and parts of plants used.
What are the risks of phytotherapy?
Phytopharmaceuticals can have risks. Herbal or herbal medicines can:
- Be toxic and make you sick.
- Contain dangerous substances such as heavy metals or harmful bacteria.
- Increase the risk of certain diseases.
- Interact with other drugs and have dangerous side effects.
- Have no clear ingredients or dosing instructions.
- Reduce the effectiveness of other medications.
- Trigger allergies, including dangerous allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis.
Talk to your doctor before taking any herbal medicine. Research shows that many people take herbal supplements or phytomedicines and don’t tell their doctor. It is important that your treatment team is aware of all the medications and supplements you are taking. helps them create a safe and effective treatment plan.
What interactions should I look out for?
There is limited research on the potential for interactions between herbal medicines and medications. Therefore, it is important to talk to your doctor about taking any herbs or herbal medicines. It’s possible that some herbal medicines may decrease effectiveness or interact with:
Aspirin and Nonsteroidal
Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).
Birth control pills.
Medicines for blood pressure.
Calcium channel blockers.
When should I see my doctor?
While taking any herbal medicine, talk to your doctor straight away if you get:
- chest pain diarrhea dizziness.
- Persistent headache.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Shortness of breath (dyspnoea).
- Rash (contact dermatitis).
A note from the Cleveland Clinic herbal medicine is a practice of complementary medicine.
Use substances from plants or herbs to treat or prevent diseases. Researchers are still studying the effectiveness of herbal medicines, but some research is promising.
Herbal medicines can cause side effects, interact with your current medications, or make other medications less effective.
Talk to your doctor before trying any form of herbal medicine.
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