Today, the World Health Organization estimates that over 80% of Asian and African countries use herbal remedies as their main source of health care. They also estimate that the basis of over 25% of modern pharmaceutical drugs have plant based origins. Among the 120 active compounds isolated from the higher plants and used in modern medicine today, 80% link their modern therapeutic use to the traditional use of the plants from which they are derived. Even in the recent fight to contain the Ebola virus, native African herbs have been the subject of study to help manage the latest outbreak. More than two thirds of the world’s plant species, over 35,000, are estimated to have medicinal value.
Herbal Medicine still relies heavily on traditional dried herbs from specific plant parts as the full spectrum of chemicals and plant nutrients are contained in the remedy. However, modern day herbal supplements also take advantage of herbal extraction to concentrate particular components of a plant that are known to have therapeutic activity. Medical research often favours herbal extracts (standardized extracts or botanical concentrates) to more accurately quantify the efficacy of the plant. The extraction process is sometimes controversial, because traditional herbal medicine suggests it is the synergistic action of all ingredients in a plant that result in the therapeutic action; rather than any one particular component that has the most benefit.
Often herbs may have different traditional uses versus their modern day use. For example, the herb Ma Huang – also known as Ephedra – was traditionally used in China and India for over 5,000 years as a treatment for the common symptoms of colds. More recently, with standardized extracts, ephedra became marketed for use as a weight loss aid and ergogenic aid to support athletic performance. Safety became an issue when reports of severe side-effects increased dramatically, leading to an eventual full ban of ephedra use in 2004 in the USA, and partial ban in Canada. Today, ephedra is allowed for sale in Canada only for the traditional use as a decongestant with strict directions and dosage limits.
There are many herbal products to choose from in the NOW® brand for many different conditions and uses. Here is a closer look at the top 5 most popular remedies:
Rhodiola – temporarily supports physical stamina – this herb has been found to reduce mental fatigue and other symptoms of stress. It can support cognitive function and is rich in antioxidants.
Maca – helps to support healthy mood balance during menopause. Helps to support emotional aspects of sexual health. Provides antioxidants.
Curcumin – provides antioxidants for the maintenance of good health. Used in Herbal Medicine to help relieve joint inflammation.
Relora – a herbal combination of Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense that have been found to alleviate symptoms of stress and promote relaxation.
Fenugreek – this herb can help improve milk production in breastfeeding mothers. Recent research has also found its rich antioxidant content may help promote prostate health and balanced blood sugar, plus many other health benefits.
Herbals can be powerful remedies, but a healthy respect for proper use is important. There can be many interactions with medications, plus complications with certain health conditions. It is important to heed Risk Cautions on labels. In most cases, herbals are not recommended for use during pregnancy and lactation, but there are some herbs that are safe. Read labels and consult with your health care provider. This same advice applies to use with children and pets. Some herbs that should never be used with children such as Aconite, Comfrey, Pennyroyal, and MaHuang (Ephedra).
With NOW® Herbals, you can have confidence in over 80 remedies to help you and your family and friends stay healthy and combat some of the most complicated health concerns, such as: Energy, Immune, Mood, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Stress/Relax/Sleep, Digestion/Regularity, Joint Health, Inflammation, Cardiovascular, Cognitive/Memory, Cleansing/Detox and more.
Any way you look at it, natural is just better. That’s why NOW® is committed to using natural and organic ingredients whenever possible. By sourcing the finest natural ingredients on the planet, we will continue to produce Herbal products that work in unison with the body’s natural chemistry.
NOW® is a leader when it comes to herbal remedies. We offer one of the most comprehensive selections of natural, science-based Herbal supplements. By combining potent, standardized extracts with whole herb powders we can deliver all the healthy benefits that Mother Nature intended.