Northwest Center for Optimal Health: Natural Medicine Specialists

 

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In the words
of our patients

"I healed more in three months than in the past ten years."

"The right tests showed the problem wasn't in my head."

HERBAL (BOTANICAL) MEDICINE


What is herbal medicine?
Herbal or botanical medicine is the practice of using plant roots, seeds, flowers, or leaves as medicine to treat conditions/symptoms.

What is the history of herbal medicine?
Herbal medicine has been documented as being used since as far back as 3,000 BC. Modern medicines were originally extracted from herbal medicines, and to this day, nearly one third of modern drugs are derived from plants.

How do herbal medicines work?
Plant medicines have hundreds of constituents, with many health properties. For example, some plants are anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, some calm nerves, others help with sleep. These are just a few examples of the ways plants can nourish our body back to health!

Why are herbal medicines preferred to drugs?
There are some situations where drugs are preferred over plants. However, in many cases, plants have synergistic constituents that not only help the condition, but serve to restore health.

As example, high blood pressure can be related to potassium deficiency. Many standard diuretic drugs used to treat high blood pressure also deplete potassium as a side effect, which must then be taken separately. Contrast this approach with diuretic plants like dandelion and celery that are also rich in potassium thereby not only reducing blood pressure through diuresis, but also addressing the potassium deficiency. Of course, plant medicines are just that: Medicines, and should be taken under a doctor's advice.

What conditions can be helped by herbal medicine?
Many conditions can be helped with herbal medicines. A few examples include:

-Skin (acne, eczema, dry skin, flaking skin)
-Frequent colds (congestion, cough, sinus pain)
-Headaches
-Gastrointestinal symptoms (gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea)
-Fatigue
-High Blood Pressure
-High Cholesterol
-Joint pain
-Emotional symptoms (anxiety, depression, stress)
-Sleep problems (insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, quality of sleep)
-Hormonal imbalances (PMS, menopausal symptoms)
-Sexual dysfunction (libido enhancement, erectile dysfunction)
-Brain function (memory, focus, alertness)and others

Why should I have a Naturopathic physician prescribe the herbal medicines I take?
Although highly effective, herbal medicines can also be just as dangerous as drugs in untrained hands. Our doctors have undergone hundreds of hours of formal education in herbal medicine prescribing, and appropriate mixing of herbs, diet, nutritional supplements, and (when necessary) drugs. In fact our doctors are the only doctors that have passed a board exam that includes both herbal and drug prescribing.

How can I find out if herbal medicines would be a good alternative to the drugs I'm taking?
You can give our office a call, and schedule an appointment with one of our doctors. We can help. Call (360)651-WELL



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Copyright © 2002 Northwest Center for Optimal Health
316 State Avenue, Suite A - Marysville, WA 98270
360.651.9355 - info@ncoh.net