Herbal Medicine Basics: Why Wait for Herbal Benefits?
As a society we are used to taking purified drugs, powerful agents that typically produce immediate effects. When you are using herbal treatments, you are working with dilute, much weaker preparations. Natural remedies require you to think about health and medicine in a different way. We have become conditioned by pharmaceuticals to expect quick, dramatic responses in our bodies. But often, these drugs are only suppressing symptoms, rather than treating the root problem. With natural medicine, you are reaching more deeply into the body's systems to create lasting health.
Often when you use herbs and vitamins as remedies, you are working to change body chemistry and physiology, rather than simply suppress symptoms. In order to see the more profound changes, a certain amount of time is required. And often the change will be subtle.
Some herbal treatments and natural remedies can work quickly. One example is stinging nettle for hay fever. It relieves symptoms rapidly and without toxicity, with the added bonus of providing trace minerals. Other speedy solution include the ancient medicinal plant ephedra for acute asthma attacks, and licorice extract for stomach distress. And when you get a cold or the flu, you can expect echinacea, the purple coneflower to help out quickly. But in many cases, such as when using Saint-John's Wort to treat depression, it can take 6 to 8 weeks before you notice changes. It may also take that long for you to be reasonably sure it's the herb making the difference, not visit from friend or a pleasant surprise at work. With any of these herbs, you may see results sooner, but my point is to be patient when you are using natural remedies.