Herbal & Natural Remedies


beachbabe
on Mar 21, 2011 @ 05:01 pm

Being in only my 3rd year of nursing school, I am certainly not an expert by any means. However, I have gathered a little bit of knowledge from clinical experience as well as some theory class, pharmacology included.

More and more people are trying to get into "herbal and natural" remedies, or homeopathic medicine. The problem with this is people fall into the trap of thinking, "Hey, this stuff is all natural! It will only improve my condition or not effect me at all! This is awesome!" And that is such dangerous thinking!! So many natural products on the shelves have not been proven to be safe or effective and yet people buy into it thinking it is perfectly ok. For example, something like oil of oregano. People are flocking to the shelves for! Dying to try this "miracle oil" that can supposedly cure bacterial and viral infections, fungal infections, boost your immune system even if you are not sick, treat hay fever, and on and on the list goes. BUT oil of oregano also is a natural blood thinner. The potency I am unsure of since there have not been thorough studies done on it just yet. But mixing something like Coumadin (a prescription blood thinner) with oil of oregano could have very dangerous side effects. Too much of a blood thinner within the body can result in bleeding within the tissues or organs or severe hemorrhaging which may be deadly.

There's also the issue that herbal remedies are readily available without a prescription. And with easy access to the internet, many people can now self-diagnose and self-prescribe at just a few clicks. It may also prolong people getting the proper diagnosis (and prescription if needed) and medical attention they may very much need.

What are your thoughts on this ladies? Are you a naturalist or a prescriptionist?

**Please remember if you want to take a natural remedy, first look on the packaging for a DIN (drug identification number). This will ensure that the product is proven safe and effective by Health Canada/FDA. Ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse if there are any possible interactions with other over-the-counter or prescription medications prior to use.**
 


5 Replies


beachbabe
Oops! on Mar 21, 2011 @ 05:10 pm

Sorry guys. I meant look for a Natural Product Number (NPN), Drug Identification Number (DIN), or Drug Identification Number for Homeopathic Medicine (DIN-HM) to ensure the product has been approved for safe and effective use. It is a 8-digit number and it will have DIN, NPN or DIN-HM before the numbers.

Example: DIN 02036312
(Advil Cold & Sinus)
Reply

LaurenBlair
Yikes on Mar 22, 2011 @ 02:08 pm

That stuff about blood thinning is really scary. I'm usually sceptical of anything people would call a 'miracle' pill/potion/cream so I wouldn't be grabbing anything like that anytime soon. I think people just assume that because things are listed as natural it's ok to take as many of them as they want and in any combination.

Great post! It gets people thinking.
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sassartist
Yes and No on Apr 05, 2011 @ 03:09 pm

I totally agree with you, but as long as you do your research many of these alternatives can be effective. I've been with a homeopathic doctor for almost a year now and the results have been wonderful! It's very important to always follow up and do your own research because, with the right amount of funding and advertising, anything can be "the perfect drug".

Scary it is......
Reply

beachbabe
@sassartist on Apr 05, 2011 @ 04:28 pm

Definitely, I agree. It's just important to be aware of the benefits and risks of a natural remedy. Basically, it should be treated like any other medication because they can still have the same dangerous effects if you're not careful and assume that because it's "natural" it's "safe". So I think that's great you're going to someone who is specialized in this area. That's the way to do it! Not self-diagnose and then self-prescribe :)
Reply

mamaluv
agreed! on Apr 05, 2011 @ 04:38 pm

I totally agree, beachbabe! Just because it's "natural" does not mean that it's automatically safe to self-prescribe. As Sassartist says, under the care of a trained professional, I have no doubt that these medicines can be very effective for the right person in the correct dose.

Unfortunately, many of these products are not regulated the same way as prescription medications, which means you cannot be as assured of the quality, the oversight, and the wealth of studies to back the product up.

Remember, poison ivy and snake venom are also "natural", but obviously you'd never take these with your morning glass of OJ! As always, common sense and professional advice should be first and foremost before agreeing to any kind of medical regimen - "natural" or pharmaceutical.

I'm also the kind who is more likely to trust a doctor who's studied for 8, 10, 12, whatever years than my Wikipedia searches - and unfortunately, there are just far too many people out there who don't know how to sort the "fact" from the fiction you find online and even in books.
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