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Myths about herbs...

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

MYTH #1:

If an herbal product comes from China, it’s got to be good.

Not necessarily so. China is at the center of the herbal universe. Most of the world’s best herbal products do come from China -- but so do some of the worst, thanks to “mountain bandits.” It all depends on how the herbs were picked and processed, and whether traditional herbal recipes were strictly followed. Herbs should also be shipped and sold in a timely manner, or they’ll deteriorate. MYTH #2:

All herbal products are pure and natural.

Sometimes they’re neither pure nor natural, and contain chemical contaminates. Unethical manufacturers also switch ingredients, if the genuine herb is in short supply. And "bad" ingredients are rarely listed on the packaging. MYTH #3:

Herbs are safe to use, and have no side-effects.

Not necessarily. For example, some imported herbs contain mercury sulfide -- used as a cheap antibiotic in the third world -- which can cause nerve and kidney damage. Also, herbs contain natural chemical properties, which provide their healing qualities… and potential risk. Of course, a diluted herb with little potency won’t hurt you… nor will it help you. MYTH #4:

All herbs are basically alike. i.e. Ginseng is Ginseng. And there’s nothing too complicated about herbs -- just grow them, and harvest them.

Not true. Herbs can differ enormously, depending on how and where they are grown, harvested and processed. MYTH #5:

The "New Age" natural herb business is more ethical than the pharmaceutical industry.

Don’t count on it! The herb business is now a (60) billion dollar industry, and very aggressive. Remember, too, being somewhat free of FDA regulation, herb companies have more freedom to be dishonest. (As shown in the lengthy series in The Los Angeles Times.) MYTH #6:

Your doctor "knows best."

Maybe yes, maybe no -- but it’s YOUR body, and you’ve got to think for yourself. Is he/she open-minded about alternative medicines? Does he/she recognize the power of mental and spiritual healing? Or is every patient just a bunch of symptoms, to be zapped with drugs and technology? The medical profession is in the midst of a furious debate over alternative cures, and individual physicians range from being open-minded to Stone Age-reactionary. Where does your doctor stand? MYTH #7:

Herbal cures are exotic… "mysterious."

They should not be. (Well, alright, but only occasionally. Have you heard about the “Valley of Youth”?) There are thousands of plant species containing scientifically proven healing properties. Interestingly, the drug companies are finally waking up. They’re pouring millions of dollars into tropical plant research -- looking for new/old herbal cures they can reformulate and patent. (That’s how Aloe Vera was born, even though native healers have been using it for over a thousand years.) MYTH #8:

The medical, health-care and pharmaceutical industries beliefs in "anti-herb" position is quite sincere. They believe in the superiority of western medicine because they don't know any better. They have been taught that their way is the only way.

The truth is herbs are the oldest form of medicine on the earth and herbs have never stopped working for us, we just stopped using them for the convenience of "popping a pill"... MYTH #9: The FDA would like to play a more positive role in herbal healing.

Actually, the Food and Drug Administration folks have it backwards. They want to intrude where they shouldn’t be involved… while they neglect a major need. Here’s the problem: The burgeoning herb industry has no industry standards… little internal policing… bad / diluted herbs are being distributed… yet there’s no government scrutiny before marketing. False labeling, too, is a real problem that calls for FDA attention. MYTH #10: You can find herbal health in a few bottles or packages.

There are levels of herbal healing: Make sure you’re using good herbs, which is why most of the products sold by Thailand's Best are alkaline grown herbs -- and remember, there’s more to herbal health than a few bottles of pills. Herbal Healing has to become a lifestyle...

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