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Why you Should be Wary of the Term Herbal

Why you Should be Wary of the Term Herbal
May 09
13:12 2016

Not all plants are good for you. You probably learned the hard way why you should avoid poison ivy or oak.

With that being said, there are some plants that have healing properties and have been used long before modern medicine. Because these herbal remedies have been used for years and with the “all-natural” trend gaining more traction, herbal teas and remedies have grown in popularity.

However, a new study has shown that these herbs may be toxic. According to the researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and Stony Brook University, the plant Aristolochia, often used as an herbal remedy and has been used for thousands of years, is linked to aristolochic acid nephropathy (AAN.)

People who develop AAN experience renal failure, interstitial nephritis, and cancers of the urinary track.

Unfortunately, the population of Taiwan and China have been heavily exposed to this herbal product. In Taiwan only, 8 million people have had products containing Aristolochia from the years of 1997 to 2003. Tens of millions in both China and Taiwan are at risk of AAN.

It may be hard to get the public to stop consuming the herbal remedy since it has been part of the culture for over 2,000 years. But according to the authors of the study, “the intrinsic toxicities were not recognized, owing, in large part, to the latency period between exposure and the onset of symptomatic disease, and, in part, to genetic determinants that confer susceptibility to only approximately five percent of those exposed to this herb.”

This shocking discovery has led researchers to believe that other herbal products may have devastating effects.

“The history of Aristolachia indicates that other herbs that have been used for a long time may also have toxic and/or carcinogenic compounds,” said the authors. “It is prudent to assume that many herbs may contain toxic or carcinogenic substances that can cause subsequent health problems for humans.”

So next time you see the term herbal, don’t automatically assume it’s healthy for you!

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Kerri Adams

Kerri Adams

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