The benefits of phytotherapy in self-medication

Published on : 24 April 20206 min reading time

In view of the results of numerous scientific studies, official health-related organizations are increasingly recognizing the effectiveness of herbal medicine on health and well-being. Indeed, many common symptoms can be treated with medicinal plants. Some of the virtues of these plants are also a great help for a slimming program, so many people use them as self-medication for their weight problem. Indeed, weight loss is increasingly desired by many people, whether for aesthetic reasons or for health problems such as obesity.

General information on phytotherapy

Classified as “alternative medicine” or “alternative medicine”, phytotherapy is a medicine based on the use of so-called medicinal plants. Used for thousands of years in several regions of the world, these plants are exploited for their medicinal virtues. For most of them, these virtues are currently recognized by scientific committees and international organizations related to health such as the WHO. These plants are used in the form of extracts containing a set of molecules or bio-active principles that interact to give the expected beneficial effects. These extracts are prepared and packaged as needed, either for oral administration or for external use. Because of their virtues, many medicinal plants are used to treat many benign ailments and help people lose weight, among other things.

Benefits and advantages of herbal medicine

Phytotherapy does not treat all diseases. It can in no way replace modern medical and surgical treatments for serious conditions such as cancer, genetic disease, autoimmune disease. However, it can be of great support in combination with modern medicine.

Phytotherapy, on the other hand, can be used to treat a large number of common health problems. Extracts of medicinal plants can indeed have therapeutic virtues against stress, insomnia, chronic fatigue, respiratory disorders, digestive, liver and joint problems, to name but a few.

Medicinal plants can also replace conventional synthetic medicines for the treatment of certain chronic diseases. Most medicinal plants have no or very few side effects compared to conventional synthetic drugs. For herbal medicines, there is a wide margin between therapeutic doses and possible toxic doses.

Use of herbal medicine for weight loss

In addition to their therapeutic virtues, medicinal plants are an important aid to accompany a slimming program.

Phytotherapy uses plants to help a person lose weight. Plants in themselves do not have direct slimming effects, but some of them can accelerate the processes that help a person lose weight faster.

Consumed in the form of natural food supplements, infusions, herbal teas or juices, these herbal products help the body eliminate toxins and excess water retention. Combined with a healthy diet and physical exercise, these virtues contribute to rapid weight loss. These slimming virtues also exist in medicinal plant extracts in the form of creams, or in the form of essential oils, which can be used both internally and externally.

Some caffeine-based plants, such as green tea, act as a natural “fat burner”, thus contributing in their own way to weight loss. For some plant extracts, the action consists of notorious natural appetite suppressant effects, limiting cravings and thus helping people to better manage their diet. The other slimming actions of phytotherapy products lie in the fact that they reduce the sugar level in the body, thus limiting the person’s caloric intake.

Phytotherapy in self-medication

Self-medication, although not recommended in modern medicine, is applied by many patients. Caution is the rule in this case, and the same applies to herbal medicine.

However, side effects are often minimal, if not non-existent with herbal medicines. The risk/effectiveness ratio is thus in favour of herbal medicine compared to synthetic drugs. If herbal extracts are manufactured properly and if patients use them correctly, phytotherapy can be used without fear, even in self-medication.

Not all treatments using herbal medicine are good or effective. It is just as dangerous to take a medicinal plant that is really not indicated for one’s case, at the risk of delaying the disease to be treated and creating other secondary affections. The same is true for not respecting the dosage and possible precautions to be taken.

The long-term use of some medicinal plants can still cause serious and irreversible side effects. It is therefore preferable to seek the advice of an experienced professional (herbalist, phytotherapist or specialized doctor) before starting any self-medication.

Some herbal products can sometimes cause undesirable side effects if taken in combination with conventional medications. If possible, it is advisable to report any possible use of herbal products as a natural or other dietary supplement to your doctor. This will enable the doctor to take the necessary steps if he or she is trained or informed about the specifics of the product in question.

Self-medication thus engages the responsibility of the patient in the correct use and the good dosage of medicinal preparations. If these are well respected, self-medication in phytotherapy will be to the advantage of the person, because he or she will be able to benefit in complete tranquillity from the virtues of this alternative medicine.

How to get phytotherapy products?

A certain caution is required when acquiring phytotherapy products. One has the choice between herbalists, pharmacies, parapharmacies, supermarkets, markets and the Internet. But for more safety, it is advised to opt for herbalism. With the latter, you benefit not only from the traceability and quality of the products, but also from the advice of experienced professionals available in this type of establishment. All of this is valid even for an online herbalist’s shop.

A herbalist’s shop, even online, does not limit itself to selling its plant extracts. It also accompanies its customers in the choice of phytotherapy products to be taken and advice on methods of administration, dosage and precautions to be respected. The herbalist can also follow up on treatment, since side effects and interactions with other drugs can go unnoticed by patients. This follow-up can be done either during subsequent visits by patients for physical herbalism, or via communication systems such as the telephone or Internet exchange for online herbalism.

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