If you publish a blog, you know that there are people who spend a good deal of time and energy posting comments that include links to their businesses - aka spam. In order that these are more often allowed, they try to come up with comments that will be agreeable, appear to cheer for your content, and also seem as if they might have actually read the content.
The other day I got a comment, and have been savoring it in its very perfection of spamminess.
It said simply:
"This is absolutely true that herbal products are affective (sic) for us. They are safe, no side effects and work effectively. "
Oh my my. Really, Mr. or Ms. anti-aging website that probably involves some magical (and affective !) weight loss and/or penile growth serums???? Really? Have you thought that one through all the way?
Back in our days as herb shop owners (and I'm certain that current brick and mortar owners will be nodding emphatically along with me here...), this was probably one of our most frequent conversations.
It seemed most common in the fresh-faced herb newbies. "Herbs are safe!" they say, "and they can't hurt you!" At the same time, they are thrilled with how effective they are for things that allopathic meds haven't fixed and they are miracles, and they can save the world AT LEAST!
The problem is that you really can't have it both ways. You just can't say that something is completely safe and harmless while it is effective and attacks disease. Is it safER? I think so. But not with that kind of attitude, it isn't. Are there times when it is flat-out stupid to use herbs instead of allopathic medicine? *I* believe so. Not everyone agrees, and that's entirely up to them. In my opinion, examples like compound fractures, abscessed teeth, acute kidney failure are just a few that should make it clear that there are good reasons for hospitals. Very few herbalists have nearly enough education to work on serious disease, and it frightens me to see people who read a book, take a distance course, and set up to practice.
One of the easiest examples of safe, harmless, natural and deadly refers to a radio contest that required the contestants to drink large quantities of water. A woman died from water intoxication in the contest.
There are lots of natural substances that we do not want to use in or on our bodies. As the editor and publisher of The Essential Herbal magazine, I advocate education, moderation and the blending of medical models - the best of all worlds.