Side-effects

A good many patients find their way to a herbalist because they’ve been on medication, and found the side-effects unacceptable. It’s swings and roundabouts; you can’t have a powerful magic bullet without the risk of consequences you don’t want. Whole remedies are much less likely to cause trouble in this way.
In fact, they can go further. A good example is aspirin, or salicylic acid. It’s very useful at easing pain and inflammation, but it irritates the stomach lining, and can lead to ulceration. Sooner or later, people taking it to manage rheumatic pain, for example, have to move on to some other drug. Salicylic acid is found in many plants, and one of the best is Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria). However, Meadowsweet can be used indefinitely without any trouble, because it also contains active ingredients that buffer the irritating effect of the salicylic acid; so much so, in fact, that we use it to help heal gastric problems, including ulcers.
Isolate one ingredient in the search for a magic bullet, and you lose the subtle synergy of a whole plant remedy.

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