Herbal Products – Why are they becoming so popular?

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Have you ever checked the ingredients used in the processed food we consume daily? I am sure most of us do not check it. We are living in a world where people don’t even have time to sit and eat, checking the food is out of the question. So, let me tell you some facts. Did you know that around 9000 environmental chemicals end up in our food in distinct forms? They enter our bodies in the form of artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives. That’s an alarming number if we include the various other types of pollution around us. We are becoming more prone to health issues, stress, a decrease in immunity, and memory loss. In a rush to become more tech-savvy and superpower, we are ignoring the basic things. Unclean environment and lifestyle changes are the reason for many modern age problems. It’s becoming more difficult to find clean air, water, and food these days.
 

While thinking about these problems, I started observing the elders in my family. To my surprise, I found that most of them lived happy and healthy for a long time. They didn’t have any major ailments until the age of 80 or more. If you observe, you can see that they had limited exposure to modern medicine and other chemicals. The amount of processed food they consumed was very less. Many kinds of studies have now explained the side effects of using too many chemicals in the food. Synthetic medicine, processed food, artificial colours, flavours, fertilizers, all act like slow poison. They do not show immediate effect but can cause serious damage over a period. They cause issues like heart diseases, respiratory problems, memory loss and so on.

What if there was a way to live healthy like our elders? How can we cleanse our systems and become fit and strong again? All these questions led people to use natural products close to nature. Amongst the natural products, herbs and spices stood out the most. The reason was for its availability and ease of use. They were accessible to all, and many parts of the world used them for ages. Using herbal medicine and herbal products was a way of being close to nature. They teach us to connect with nature and enjoy its beauty. Hence herbal products are becoming more popular now. They had lost their value because of the popularity of synthetic medicine. Modern pharmaceutical companies had tried to misguide people about using herbal products. They had spread many myths surrounding the usage of these products. But now people have believed in their benefits. They have understood the amazing medicinal value of these herbal products. We can see that now even synthetic medicine manufacturers use herbs in their product. Cosmetics and many other products use herbs as their prime ingredient. All these companies use herbs as their key selling point. There are many reasons for the popularity of herbal products. I have listed a few of them below:

 

1) Herbal products have a very long history:

According to WHO, around 80% of the population worldwide use herbal medicine in some form. Around 21000 plant species have the potential to cure various diseases. People have been using herbal products since prehistoric times. Manuscripts from India, Egypt, and China describe the use of herbs. There is enough evidence that shows ancient medicines used in herbs 4000 years ago. Some cultures like Rome, Egypt, Africa, and Iran used herbs for healing rituals. But traditional medicinal systems like Unani, Ayurveda, and Chinese used systematic herbal therapies. Herbal medicine and herbal products were a common solution for simple health issues. India is famous worldwide for herbal medicine as it comprises a rich repository of the same. The forests in India have an abundant amount of different medicinal herbs and spices. Our ancient Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and tribal medicine were all made up of herbs and spices.

 

2) Ancient scholars have tried and tested herbal products many times:

Herbal medicine has been in use for a long time. There are many documents that show the usage of herbs as medicine for ages. Ancient scholars had identified a specific herb for an ailment. They knew the exact amount of herbs to use in medicine. It would not have been overnight. They would have experimented many times before deciding on the correct herb. These experiments also helped them decide on the quantity of each herb in medicine. The AYUSH system in India contains around 8000 herbal remedies codified. There are many more herbs not mentioned in any document. Most of the knowledge transfer happened through word of mouth earlier. Hence all the herbal remedies now have passed through many generations of trial.

 

3) Herbal products have minimal or no side effects:

The primary reason for the popularity of herbal products is because of its almost zero side effects. Modern pharmaceutical medicine causes at least one side effect on consumption. It might be as simple as dizziness to sometimes very severe effects. Every time we take it, we will have to check for any reaction. The usage of herbal products does not cause any adverse reactions in most people. Even if it does, that might be because of combining two herbs or products that should not mix.  Hence it is better to consult a herbal specialist before buying them. If used in the right proportion, herbal products do not cause any serious side effects. Since all the ingredients used would be available from nature, it is very safe to use in all aspects.

 

4) They help in improving the environment:

Herbal products are products derived from plants. Earlier, these products were being prepared using the plants in the forest. But as they became famous, the need for more raw materials increased. Nowadays, people are cultivating most of the herbs, and spices needed in their land. This has helped improve the surrounding environment. Many of these herbs help in cleaning the air in the atmosphere, supporting life around it. Also, these products come from nature and do not cause any pollution if given back to it. They improve the biodiversity of the ecosystem. Unlike pharmaceutical medicines, herbs improve oxygen content in the atmosphere. They also help remove allergy causing germs from the atmosphere.

 

5) Herbal products are easy to use and accessible to all:

We can grow most of these herbs in our backyard and hence easily accessible. We all have used herbs like tulsi, neem, turmeric, and ginger for medicinal use. They act as common home remedies in all our houses. That we use them as home remedies shows us how easy it is to get them. You would have many of these herbs stored in your kitchen cabinet too. If not, plant a few herbs like tulsi, mint, and turmeric in your backyard garden or in flower pots. They grow well, even if you show them little care. You can use fresh herbs as and when the need arises.

There are different forms of consuming herbal products. The most common are in the form of powder, capsules, syrup, essential oils and sometimes as a whole dried herb. You can drink them as tea or decoction or swallow them as tablets or capsules. These tablets contain dried herbs in powdered format. Herbal tea has become a very popular alternative to coffee and tea nowadays. Since they were easy to use, they became a favourite of naturalists in a brief time.

Along with the above points, each person would have his own reason to try herbals. Many people like me would have used it out of curiosity. But later continued after seeing the changes it caused. The first product I tried was a herbal tea called “Vitalitea”. It is a herbal decoction prepared with 8 ingredients. The reason I started drinking this herbal decoction was to avoid caffeine for a few days. Later I did not feel like going back to having coffee or tea and I loved this herbal product. It caused many visible changes in my body. I felt more relaxed and stronger after drinking it twice daily. I would like to suggest everyone try at least one herbal product for some time. The amazing benefits they provide will surprise you for sure. Let us know later how herbal products changed your life for the better.

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