Understanding the Safety of Herbs & Common Misconceptions

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The original medicine of man is now very misunderstood and underappreciated. If people were accurately informed about the healing properties of herbs, more people and families would use them. Are herbs safe? At what dosages should herbs be taken? How about for pregnancy, children, or the elderly? Have herbs been researched or studied? We will cover many misconceptions about herbs so that you can confidently, and safely, use them to restore health for you and your family.

Are Herbs Safe?

God gave herbs to humanity to be used for nutrition, health, and healing. God is not flawed and always has our best interest in mind. Herbs are mostly food and nutrition. Some have a stronger medicinal effect than others, but all are generally safe. Very few herbs are considered dangerous, but there are certainly some to watch. As with any system of medicine, caution and wisdom should be applied. Herbs have been used for thousands of years, so they have a good track record of safety and research studies to prove it. With the internet, it is easy to find studies on specific herbs or formulas to find out how they’ve been used throughout history and what to expect when using them. 

Who Should be More Cautious with Herbal Medicine?

  1. Pregnant and nursing women

  2. Children

  3. The elderly

  4. People who have chronic sickness or disease

  5. People taking pharmaceutical drugs

If you fit into one of the categories above and want to start using herbs for medicinal purposes, don’t give up. We recommend that you work with a reputable herbalist who has studied the use of medicinal plants. They will be able to guide you through the process and teach you about which herbs are best for your individual body. 

With Which Herbs Should We Exercise Caution?

The list is extensive and can depend on each individual, so we will try to simplify. However, there are plenty of good books on this subject that will give you a more comprehensive understanding. 

Here Are Our Top Recommendations:

  1. If you take prescriptions: To be safe, always take herbs and pharmaceutical drugs two hours apart from each other.

  2. Pregnancy & nursing: 

    1. With pregnancy, it is safest to stick with what we like to call nutritive herbs. This would include herbs such as: 

      1. Greens: alfalfa, wheatgrass, barley grass, etc. 

      2. Seaweeds: kelp, chlorella, spirulina, etc.

      3. Berries: camu camu, amla, schisandra, etc.

      4. Look at our Superfood Powder as an example. All of these herbs are safe for pregnancy. 

    2. Adaptogens are also safe for pregnant women; these include ashwagandha, astragalus, ginseng, etc. Look at our Adaptogen Power Powder as an example.

    3. Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid all herbs in these categories: 

      1. Berberine herbs: Oregon grape, barberry, goldenseal, etc.

      2. Strong lymphatic herbs: bloodroot, poke root, chaparral, etc.

      3. Strong parasite and antimicrobial herbs: wormwood, black walnut, quassia bark, etc.

      4. Herbs that can affect milk supply: sage, black walnut, oregano, peppermint, etc.

      5. Strong cleansing herbs: senna, turkey rhubarb, cascara sagrada, etc.

  3. Herbs to avoid with high blood pressure: goldenseal, ginseng, licorice root, ephedra, and any stimulant herb such as kola nut or guarana.

  4. Herbs to avoid that have intense action: lobelia, ipecac, bayberry, black mustard, and elecampane. They are emetics and can induce vomiting. Also use caution with poke root, rue, foxglove, and thuja, which can be toxic in high amounts.

10 Common Misconceptions About Herbs

  1. Herbs are not safe.

  2. Herbs are not proven, researched, studied, or scientific.

  3. Herbs must be taken weeks or months before they will work.

  4. An herb will only work for one particular ailment. Herbs can only be used by men, or by women (for example, tongkat ali, saw palmetto, schisandra, and deer antler are generally known as gender-specific herbs but they can actually be used by anyone without side effects).

  5. Herbs are not as good or effective as prescription medications.

  6. All herbs are created equal; quality doesn’t matter.

  7. There are no side effects from using herbs.

  8. Doctors don’t use herbs.

  9. You must be an expert or herbalist to use herbs.

  10. Herbs are expensive.

What Dosages Should be Taken When Using Herbs?

  1. For formulas that are generally safe and nutritious (vitamin C powders, superfood formulas, greens formulas, protein powder formulas, etc.), a good medicinal dosage would be one teaspoon to one tablespoon twice daily, or 3-4 cups of tea daily. To understand the equivalent, taking one teaspoon of the powder is similar to taking 6-7 capsules.

  2. For formulas that are for hormone balancing (thyroid, adrenals, endocrine balance formula, etc.) or healing a specific organ or body system (liver, kidney, stomach, lymphatic, etc.), a good dosage would be ½ teaspoon twice daily for a powder or 1-2 cups of tea daily. It is always best to start slowly and increase as desired based on the effects you are feeling and your goals.

Shop all of our bulk herb powders, teas,and herbal blends here.