Q: Are there side-effects from using herbs?
A: Sometimes foods or herbs result in temporary side-effects as they change our condition for the better. For example, a skin-cleansing formula for acne can be laxative or a weightloss tea diuretic. Most people need this sort of reaction so they do not feel uncomfortable. Some people require a smaller dose because of diet restrictions or a special sensitivity to herbs. You can use common sense: If you had diarrhea, you would avoid salad. Likewise, taking a cleansing formula would increase cleansing. Always be sensitive to your individual requirements.
Herbs like foods give temporary results. Chinese herbal combinations are built to avoid most side-effects. Cooling, cleansing herbs are often combined with moderating herbs. Nourishing blood tonics are combines with energy and digestive tonics to improve absorption. Here are a few simple rules for you to follow to avoid discomfort:
1. Take cleansing herbs (laxatives) and weightloss herbs unless otherwise directed in the morning in order to allow yourself time to cleanse.
2. Avoid tea, stimulants, and herbal cleansers at night. Otherwise, you may stay awake all night.
3. Take digestive herbs with meals. If digestion is weak, you can combine some tonic formulas such as those containing ginseng and dong quai with meals.
4. Take herbs for problems other than digestion between meals. They may include herbs for sinus congestion, aches and pains, arthritis, skin problems, or improved breathing. That way you avoid mixing digestive acid with the healing process.
5. Unless otherwise directed, when using a new formula, take the smallest recommended dose. If possible, use only the new formula for a day. That way you can notice its effects on body and mind. You may have to adjust your diet temporarily. Often we crave the foods that make the problem worse.
6. If withdrawal from coffee or yeast gives you a pounding headache, try homeopathic belladonna 30C. That usually works with 1 -2 doses. A homeopathic remedy should always be taken between meals, waiting 2 hours after eating. Never mix a remedy with coffee, tea, toothpaste or food. That way it can enter the blood stream easily and work quickly.
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