Medical Advice Online
We at Kitchen Witch have been pondering the amount of medical related questions we receive each week. Whether big or small, we’ve noticed folks love to take their ponderings and perplexities to social media to gather advice.
Sure, all of us find asking online easier than going to the doctor or pharmacy, with a click of a button and a few words the folk we have here in our community will offer a variety of opinions and personal experiences out of the goodness of their hearts.
What we want to make sure is happening is that the seekers of advice understand that none of the Admins of Kitchen Witch are medically trained specialist and we cannot presume our members are either.
We fear the scenario where a natural remedy is suggested but the advisor has no idea about the interactions with other medications or the seekers medical history and something goes wrong. As witches, pagans, and believers in “harm none” we cannot stand the idea of harming people, medically or emotionally.
Kitchen Witch School of Natural Witchery offers the following for the protection of all that come here:-
For advisors… There’s nothing wrong with your opinion or your personal experience, we welcome conversation after all but please be mindful. Without intending to, even the best and most well-intentioned advice can be really harmful if you don’t have all the details. Offer your opinion and personal experience by all means but also please if you want to help someone whose is suffering from a medical condition, advise them to go to the medical professionals, their local pharmacy and/or physician. These people are the best, most qualified people to give them the help they need and prescribe or administer appropriate medication. This could save them and you a lot of heartache!
To those seeking… please visit your pharmacy and/or physician to seek medical advice before making a decision on natural remedies.
We’ve turned to the NHS website for our British community
Herbal medicines are those with active ingredients made from plant parts, such as leaves, roots and flowers. But being “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean they’re safe to take.
Herbal medicines, just like conventional medicines, will have an effect on the body and can be potentially harmful if not used correctly. They should therefore be used with the same care and respect as conventional medicines.
Please be aware of the following:
- They may cause problems if you’re taking other medicines. They could result in reduced or enhanced effects of the medicine(s), including potential side effects.
- You may experience a bad reaction of side effects after taking a herbal medicine.
- Not all herbal medicines are regulated. Remedies specially prepared for individuals do not need a license and those manufactured outside of your country of residence may not be subject to regulation.
- Evidence for the effectiveness of herbal medicines is generally limited. Although some people find them helpful, in many cases their use tends to based on traditional use rather than scientific research.
Some groups of people should be particularly wary about herbal medicines and should consult a GP or pharmacist before hand. These groups include:
- People taking other medicines
- People with serious health conditions, such as heart, liver or kidney disease
- People due to have surgery
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- The elderly
If you’ve gathered some advice online, checked with your pharmacist or GP and still fancy the herbal medicine avenue, look about for a traditional herbal registration (THR) on the product packaging.
This means the medicine complies with quality standards relating to safety and manufacturing, and it provides information about how and when to use it.
But you should be aware that:
- THR products are intended for conditions that can be self-medicated and don’t require medical supervision, such as coughs, colds, or general aches and pains.
- Using THR products for more serious conditions could be harmful, especially if it means you’re delaying seeking medical advice.
- Claims made for THR products are based on traditional usage and not on evidence of the product’s effectiveness.
- A THR mark doesn’t mean the product is completely safe for everyone to take.
You often find the THR registered products in local health shops, pharmacies and supermarkets.
The risk of going online and buying medicines or creating your own from the herbs in your back garden is that you could be ingesting things that could be substandard and contaminated. The ones online may be copies of licensed medicines, but made in unlicensed factories with no quality control. They may contain banned ingredients and toxic substances. For those of us in the UK you can find a list of banned and restricted herbal ingredients on the GOV.UK website.
For our friends across the pond, we would like to offer you some sources online to check out and find out more about supplements, pharmaceuticals and the latest research.
• Herbs for Health magazine
•U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(For drug information)
•Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
(For dietary supplement information)
•Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
•National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
•NIH Office of Dietary Supplements
•United States Pharmacopeia
Information gathered together by Starlitenergies.