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Herbal Medication


      Herbalism is the practice of making or prescribing herbal remedies for medical conditions. Herbs were the first medicines used by humans and probably even the ancestors of humans. Many other animal species are known to use herbs (for example, cats will eat grass when their stomach is upset.) The use of herbal medicines is becoming more popular in the United States and the number of scientific studies demonstrating the usefulness of many herbs is growing. Unfortunately, there is no agency in the United States overseeing the manufacture of herbs like the FDA for prescription drugs so it is very difficult to make sure the herbal medication has what is listed on the bottle or that it was manufactured properly. Contrary to the opinion of some unknowledgeable store clerks and others, herbs can cause serious side effects and interactions with other herbs and prescription medications. Practitioners of herbalism may be licensed MDs, naturopaths, or osteopaths. They may also be unlicensed. Interested consumers should seek out knowledgeable, and preferably licensed, herbalists.

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