The other day I was watching TV. There was an ad about hair cream, they said it was a herbal product so it‘s safe to use. I thought what? It‘s safe to use just because it is herbal? It‘s an Indian movie channel. They showed this ad repeatedly every fifteen minutes. You watch ads more than the movie. They say that’s how all these channels are.
Another day a friend and myself went to Le Cute shop. We were browsing creams for hair and face. She was looking for things that are herbal. It’s taking forever. But I was patient. Being curious, I asked why she was looking for herbal products?
She said herbal products don’t have chemicals so it doesn’t harm your skin or body. My eyes widened and asked a in deep sounded voice ‘really?‘
Without hesitation she said yes. I paused, then didn’t bother it. Because it will take time to explain. And the explanation will ruin her mood. So I changed the subject.
I have seen many people get this confusion. So I decided clarify it. By doing so, many people will get benefit from it.
Herbal products are made of herbs, spices and other natural ingredients. These ingredients are used as medicine during the ancient times. Does it work? yes, it does. Persian scholar Avicenna wrote about such plants and their effects. Hippocrates wrote one of the earliest work about the effects on herbs and spices.
Herbal ingredients works same like anything else that works in chemistry. All chemicals we find in chemistry book comes from nature. Sometimes from sea, sometimes from land. From likely places and from unlikely places. These chemicals have a quality called reaction. It means when one chemical meet the other they transform into something else. For example when you put fuel and oxygen in one place and heat it, a fire breaks out. Once we know all these chemical reactions then we can create any reaction we want by adjusting different chemicals. This is how everything on the outside world works. And this is the same way human body also works. Within the human body there are many chemicals, one competing another. These chemicals find a balance and try to stay there. When they stay on this balance, our body becomes healthy and normal. But once one of these chemical takes over, our body becomes weak or sick. This sickness happens because of either bacteria or virus, which is responsible for changing the balance. Skin problems, hair loss, stamina and all these things are the result of chemical imbalance. Chemicals live in a zero sum world. One chemical can win only by making another chemical loose.
What we understand is that our body operates through millions of chemical reactions. When we eat food, our digestive system separate all chemicals and discard everything else as waste. We call these chemicals nutrients, but they are chemicals.
Everything in nature is created from chemicals. It react to each other in a very predictable way. This is why we can have any desired outcome we want from the reaction. This is how medicine works. It’s like first you deicde a place to go and after that finding the roads to get there. You choose the result you want, and then find ways to adjust it.
Herbs and other spices come from plants. These plants are capable of producing different chemicals. So when you take these plants, you are also taking that chemical and it will have the same effect as if you eat the chemical without the plant. There is a famous mushroom grown in Indonesia called magic mushroom. It gives you a hallucination and take you on a trip once you mix it with a drink and drink it. This mushroom contains a chemical called psilocybin. That’s what is sending you to trip. If you extract it from a mushroom and take it separately, the result will be the same. It goes this way with all other chemicals too. When you take the herb, it is the chemical that contains in these herbs is causing to fix the problem. Almost all the chemicals in the medicine comes from plants and other natural products. What they do is they extract it separately for the convenience of it.
The reason scientists separate these chemicals is because it is easier to use and it‘s easy to mix two. It is much easier to mix two chemicals rather than mixing a Cinnamon and Aloe Vera. Another thing is the smell and taste, of course some chemicals taste bitter. But it’s not as close as any Indian herbal medicine.
In my opinion effectiveness between chemical products and herbal products are same. It cannot be otherwise because both products are working with its chemical contents. No from anything else.
Since I‘m no scientist, my claims are weak if I leave it without supporting strong research. For this reason, any point which I think reader might find difficult to agree, I added evidence and research supporting it in the reference.