6 thoughts on “What is the difference between herbal medicines and the medicine the doctor prescribes?

  1. sometimes they’re refined extracts of certain herbs. sometimes with other stuff. sometimes generic reproductions of a natural chemical. be it animal, mineral or vegetable.

    you could theoretically extract the essence of roses or of poppies and make drugs from them. If you’re real good you’ll need a liscense. and a factory.

  2. The primary difference is quality assurance.

    Your grandmothers chicken soup and steam treatments may in fact give you a greater benefit than anything your doc could prescribe, but can we gaurentee that result for all people treated, can we gaurentee that result for all grandmothers.

    Thats the entire debate. Some medications are directly derived from herbals, but the quality assurance they go through to ensure you are receiving a controlled dose is the whole key. And its the only thing that matters. Receiving too low or high a dose is either a waste of your money or a threat to your well being. Could you imagine an aspirin bottle filled with some pills that had 10 mg and other pills that contained 15000mg? Thats nuts, … thats the herbal market.

    Now the second response. There are probably 1000 times as many medications that have been derived chemically without any involvement of herbs, plants or food ever having been involved. Current research uses computer modeling to design medications exactly for their specific purpose.

  3. Prescription drugs are TESTED and approved by the FDA, making them both standardized and presumably safe. Herbal remedies are not approved by the FDA and are not considered drugs but can treat a condition just as well. The problem with herbal remedies is that they are not tested for interaction with other drugs or herbs so you must be cautious when taking them. You must also consider the source of the herb, some varieties are more potent than others. I personally try to stay away from prescription drugs because I believe that they cause more problems in your body when you take them. Please use caution with herbal remedies especially if you are taking other drugs or herbs.

  4. Anything that is prescribed by a MD has had to go through clinical trials that prove that medications efficacy (effectiveness). Herbal medications do not have this standard.

    Also medicines prescribed by a Doctor are tested for side effects which are listed on the label or on the product insert (information sheet). This way the person taking the medicine can be made aware of the benefits and risks of the drug. Herbal medications do not have the same legal standards.

  5. Both are pharmaceutically active within your body, but those that are approved by the FDA are standardized and tested.

    When you buy something herbal, it is unregulated. There have been studies done to measure what the herbal preparations contain, and the variability is staggering. Some contained a fraction of what the bottle said, some contained many times the amount, and some contained other drugs. You just don’t know what you’re getting unless you grow it yourself.

    If you have congestive heart failure, you can chew on some foxglove, or you can take digitalis. It’s the same thing. Because the therapeutic levels are well defined, and an overdose could kill you, I’d stick with the digitalis.

  6. The medicein the doctor prescribes is a single pure chemical. It’s been tested by the FDA to demonstrate that it isn’t toxic to you, and that it is likely to treat whatever you are givien it for.

    And that pill itself has been quality checked to make sure that it actaully has what the bottle says it has.

    Herbals medicine have all kinds of chemicals in them, and there’s no FDA to tell you if the pill is what it is supposed to be, if it’s safe, or if it will actually help you.

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