Questions about Herbs?

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adrienne2242
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Questions about Herbs?

Postby adrienne2242 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:19 pm

So i heard that herbs can have great health benefits. But i also heard that making your own tea with them can be dangerous. I bought two herbs at the store yesturday. I bought erlder berrys,jasmine. Is it safe to make teas with them. How do you know if herbs are safe to use or not. And why are they not certified?

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Re: Questions about Herbs?

Postby ElectricMonk » Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:54 am

Hello there.

few things on the subject:
- some herbs are downright dangerous (nightshade, digitalis etc.), so if you don't know exactly what you've got things could get interesting
- depending on where they were picked they might be coated with pesticides or contain parasites
- packed tea is certified in the sense that it has to conform to FDA standards. If you bought herbs at a store sold for the expressed purpose of brewing them, they should be fine.

But there are plenty of herbs you can collect to brew your own tea (after washing them), such as mint or nettle.
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Re: Questions about Herbs?

Postby Aztexan » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:54 am

*exhales slowly
Whatcha wanna know, man? Like, herbs are beautiful. I mean, they are groovy, man, groovy, you know?
Hugs, bro
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Re: Questions about Herbs?

Postby Poodle » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:54 am

I do wonder why anyone would want to make a tea from some plant they know nothing about. As with all things, adrienne, until you're sure something's safe, don't do anything with it at all. Herbs are easy enough - you can find guides all over the place and, if you're buying from a herbalist, you can always ask. Fungi take a lot more work to prevent premature death - best not go there.
Buy yourself a good identification guide - with drawings AND photographs - and find someone knowledgeable to help. Apart from that, simply buying herbs from a reputable source should keep you safe.
WARNING: Most herbal teas taste like {!#%@}.

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Re: Questions about Herbs?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:21 am

adrienne2242 wrote:So i heard that herbs can have great health benefits.
Here is a general article on the topic.

Herbs and supplements / Evidence
"What's the evidence?"

"Few herbs and supplements have been extensively studied. The lack of research is partly due to the fact that the alternative medicines industry and scientific research institutions haven't worked closely together in the past, and the two may have different views on what counts as 'evidence'."

"Much of the evidence for alternative medicines is historical or anecdotal, such as success stories told by patients. And if an experienced practitioner has treated, say, a hundred patients with a particular herb, and most of them have improved, you'd think that was pretty solid."

"Scientifically speaking, though, it's not. Perhaps most of those patients would have got better anyway. How do we know that the herb was responsible?
"
http://www.abc.net.au/health/library/st ... 249548.htm

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Re: Questions about Herbs?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:30 pm

Herbs are fun. You think you are special because you are doing something no one else does (all a matter of degree). I think most get into them when they have a specific complaint and they read/are told somewhere about a herb that will cure. Usually a lead in with the bark they found aspirin in. But most such actually effective remedies are too weak if not put thru a chemical enhancement and mechanical press not available to the general public.

My mother used "Smooth Move" (sound too corny?--I may have that wrong) a supermarket shelf herbal tea that she swore by. I tried it.......nothing happened. I can't taste camomile, so don't see the appeal.

I do make a mix of 1-1-1 Black Tea, Green Tea, and Hybiscus Leaves (EDIT: Flowers not leaves, in the bulk bin at my grocery store)......and while this is one of the healthiest things you can drink, I do it for taste. ymmv.
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Re: Questions about Herbs?

Postby OlegTheBatty » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:59 pm

Aztexan wrote:*exhales slowly
Whatcha wanna know, man? Like, herbs are beautiful. I mean, they are groovy, man, groovy, you know?
Hugs, bro


There you go, Adrienne. Now you know why herbs are dangerous.
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Re: Questions about Herbs?

Postby scrmbldggs » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:17 pm

...and great Herbs can be depressive... :-P


(also beware of elderberry breath!)
.

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Re: Questions about Herbs?

Postby Aztexan » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:46 am

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Aztexan wrote:*exhales slowly
Whatcha wanna know, man? Like, herbs are beautiful. I mean, they are groovy, man, groovy, you know?
Hugs, bro


There you go, Adrienne. Now you know why herbs are dangerous.


Unless Adrienne is actually that batch of peanut patties my wife just made, no one is in danger.
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Re: Questions about Herbs?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:07 am

There was an article on herbal remedies a few years back in Scientific American. I forget most of it, but I remember that the author said that, of the relatively small percentage that have been checked scientifically, only roughly 1% actually were therapeutic. Of course, there are many thousands of herbal remedies, most of which have never been tested.

Herbal teas might be a bit different. But it might be worth remembering that standard tea, and standard coffee are both herbal teas, and both have proven health benefits. I really do not see why anyone should want to drink something untested.

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Re: Questions about Herbs?

Postby Gord » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:42 am

adrienne2242 wrote:So i heard that herbs can have great health benefits. But i also heard that making your own tea with them can be dangerous. I bought two herbs at the store yesturday. I bought erlder berrys,jasmine. Is it safe to make teas with them. How do you know if herbs are safe to use or not. And why are they not certified?

Here you go.

Elderberry: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-suppleme ... elderberry

Side Effects

Taking an elderberry juice extract is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth for up to 12 weeks. It’s not known if taking elderberry juice extract is safe when used for long periods of time.

Elderberry is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when the leaves, stems, unripened fruit, or uncooked fruit is consumed. The cooked elderberry fruit seems to be safe, but raw and unripe fruit might cause nausea, vomiting, or severe diarrhea.

Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the safety of using elderberry during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

“Autoimmune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Elderberry might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of autoimmune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it’s best to avoid using elderberry.

And jasmine: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-suppleme ... E&source=0

Side Effects

Jasmine is LIKELY SAFE for most people in food amounts. It is not known if jasmine is safe when used as medicine. Jasmine may cause allergic reactions.

Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking jasmine in medicinal amounts if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stick to food amounts.

There's a weird reason why so-called "health foods" are not certified: Nobody can figure out how to do it fairly and "for reals". People who want to sell them don't want them to be restricted, so they tend to get around FDA requirements on medications by selling them as food, not drugs. Many websites skirt the line and eventually get fined for promoting something as a treatment or cure, until they reword their ads just slightly enough to avoid the fines. Here's a quick wikipedia article that sort of discusses it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatio ... ted_States
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Re: Questions about Herbs?

Postby Poodle » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:30 pm

I (and thousands of other Brits) have been consuming a fermented mixture of raw elderberry juice and sugar for decades with no undesirable side effects apart from the occasional headache probably not caused by the juice. The elderberry, apart from the proportions of sugars and tannins, is chemically identical to the grape.
Enough said.

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Re: Questions about Herbs?

Postby ElectricMonk » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:55 pm

I self-medicate using a combination of sucrose and aqua.
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Re: Questions about Herbs?

Postby Nikki Nyx » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:22 pm

Poodle wrote:I (and thousands of other Brits) have been consuming a fermented mixture of raw elderberry juice and sugar for decades with no undesirable side effects apart from the occasional headache probably not caused by the juice. The elderberry, apart from the proportions of sugars and tannins, is chemically identical to the grape.
Enough said.
That explains, "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!"
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Re: Questions about Herbs?

Postby Poodle » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:47 pm

He often smelled of other liquids based on cereals, but he wouldn't have known an elderberry bush if one fell on him. Actually, I'd recommend that everyone should try one single ripe elderberry. Everyone will then discover why eating raw elderberries is not great - the amount of tannin in there will dry out the linings of your cheeks and you'll taste that tannin for hours. We cognoscenti, however, know that a well-produced elderberry wine, given a few years to mature, can compete against the very best the grape world has to offer.
Elderflower wine, on the other hand, tastes like gnat's piss. The rest of the the elder plant isn't used for anything (apart from the fact that a section from a mature branch can make a great peashooter.

EDIT: Hang on - I'm making the assumption that everyone's elderberry is the same thing. It should be Sambucus nigra.

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Re: Questions about Herbs?

Postby OlegTheBatty » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:57 pm

Poodle wrote:He often smelled of other liquids based on cereals, but he wouldn't have known an elderberry bush if one fell on him. Actually, I'd recommend that everyone should try one single ripe elderberry. Everyone will then discover why eating raw elderberries is not great - the amount of tannin in there will dry out the linings of your cheeks and you'll taste that tannin for hours. We cognoscenti, however, know that a well-produced elderberry wine, given a few years to mature, can compete against the very best the grape world has to offer.
Elderflower wine, on the other hand, tastes like gnat's piss. The rest of the the elder plant isn't used for anything (apart from the fact that a section from a mature branch can make a great peashooter.

EDIT: Hang on - I'm making the assumption that everyone's elderberry is the same thing. It should be Sambucus nigra.


My mother grew a few because she wanted to make wine, but she didn't have enough bushes to get a large enough crop. I never tasted a berry because I noticed that the black bears that were ubiquitous around there from July to September (hectares of various wild berry bushes nearby) wouldn't touch them.
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