First off, we want to start this article by saying we applaud Dr. Oz’s championing of natural health alternatives, his focus on healthy eating and exercise, and his over-all philosophy of empowering people to take their health into their own hands.
But we want to point out some issues we have with what and how he recommends herbs.
While herbs are typically safer than their pharmaceutical counterparts, this is not always the case. Many herbs have been used to produce some very potent mediations (Digoxin from Fox gloves is an excellent example) and many can have serious side-effects, especially when taken in combination with prescription and over-the-counter medications.
With the high numbers of people taking medications in this country, even things considered “innocuous” such as Advil and Tylenol, there is a high potential for problems. Taking an herb simply because someone says it’s “safe” for adults and doesn’t have the same side-effects as medications does NOT make it safe to just start taking an herb.
Herbs can also negatively interact with people’s individual biochemistry and symptoms to exacerbate the issues or cause others problems completely unrelated to why they were taking the herb in the first place.
Some herbs are also very dangerous for people with specific medical conditions, including but not limited to conditions such as depression, anxiety, hypertension, and women who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding.
If you have heard about an herb that is supposed to help with a problem that you are experiencing, please do not simply go out and start taking the herb.
Find an educated herbalist, naturopath, or integrative doctor to discuss your particular issues with first; you can do some research on your own by looking for some good quality herbal safety reference books to keep around your house. You can even Google the herb and it’s contraindications, but only rely on websites that offer real evidence (we have provided a few links at the end of this post that we trust)
We love herbs and we love that people want to use herbs, but we also want to make sure that they are used with the caution and respect they deserve.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with our herbalists please call the store to arrange an appointment.
Herbal Academy’s Herbarium
The word “herbarium” is traditionally used to describe a collection of dried plants preserved in some fashion to display and offer as reference. A traditional herbarium may be a room or a building, a box, or a cabinet. Ours is something a little different — we’ve reproduced tangible herbariums into a grand virtual herbarium. The Herbarium’s digital walls preserve our herbs and our knowledge, which are catalogued, filed, and offered as an invaluable resource for members and educators. As a member, you will be privy to our ever-expanding library of plant monographs, photographs, articles, podcasts, videos, tutorials, and charts, all based on carefully gathered research and the wisdom of many contributing herbalists, and all at your fingertips.
Along with quick facts, there is detailed information on the medicinal uses of each plant. Multiple images and botanical prints, scientific research, and numerous categories of information make these monographs wonderful tools for learning, whether you are a student of herbalism or a curious dabbler. We’ve hand-selected some of our favorite herbs to photograph and write about in great length for your continued study and use. https://herbarium.herbalacademyofne.com
American Botanical Council (ABC)
For over a decade, The American Botanical Council has educated the public, governmental agencies, research institutions and industries on solid scientific research on the safe and effective use of medicinal plants. ABC publishes the well-respected peer reviewed journal, Herbalgram.
The American Herbalists Guild (AHG)
The American Herbalists Guild is a non-profit, educational organization that represents the goals and voices of herbalists. It is the only peer-review organization for professional herbalists who specialize in the medicinal use of plants. Their web site provides a searchable database of herbalists in the U.S.
American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP)
The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia’s goal is to produce 300 qualitative monographs on therapeutic botanicals, including many of the Ayurvedic, Chinese and Western herbs most frequently used in the United States. Once completed, AHP’s monographs will represent the most comprehensive and critically reviewed body of information on herbal medicines in the English language, and will serve as a primary reference in the United States.
American Herbal Products Association Botanical Safety Website: https://bsh.ahpa.org/HomePage.aspx
Christopher Hobbs Virtual Herbal
This Virtual Herbal is devoted to honoring the plants, the spirit and traditions of herbal medicine, and to the celebration of health-your health, and the health of all life on Earth. Christopher Hobbs LAc, AHG, is a licensed acupuncturist and fourth generation herbalist and botanist with more than 30 years of experience.
Dietary Supplement Information Bureau
This is a project of the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (DSEA), an ambitious partnership created to promote the responsible use of vitamins, minerals, herbs and specialty supplements, Committed to ensuring that consumers, the media, health professionals, and policymakers have the complete facts about dietary supplements, DSEA combines the resources of scientific authorities, educational organizations and industry to conduct broad-based education campaigns to reach men and women of all ages
Dr. Duke’s USDA Phytochemical Database
Dr. James Duke, PhD, while working at the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 30 years, created this searchable database so that a user can type in almost any plant and get a list of the plant’s chemical components. The user can also type in a specific chemical and receive a list of plants containing that chemical.
HerbMed is an interactive, electronic herbal database that provides hyper linked access to the scientific data underlying the use of herbs for health. It is an evidence-based information resource for professionals, researchers, and general public. HerbMed® is a project of the Alternative Medicine Foundation, Inc, provided as a freely available, public resource.
Herb Research Foundation (HRF)
As an education organization, the Herb Research Foundation has been educating the public, health practitioners, legislators, and the media about the health benefits and safety of herbs. HRF has built a specialty botanical library containing more than 250,000 scientific papers on thousands of herbs.
National Institutes of Health Pub Med
PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine, provides access to over 11 million MEDLINE citations back to the mid-1960’s and additional life science journals. PubMed includes links to many sites providing full text articles and other related resources.
ESCOP was founded in June 1989 as an umbrella organisation representing national herbal medicine or phytotherapy associations across Europe, especially in their discussions with European medicines regulators. In particular it produces reviews of the therapeutic use of leading herbal medicinal products based on leading expertise across Europe.
University of Texas Herbal Safety info