Garlic, herbs, oils, roots: Newest ‘modern’ medica

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    By SARAH DAVIS

    Herbal teas, pills and treatments, once believed to be used for witchcraft or alternative medicine, are making a comeback in the nutrition market of Utah.

    Mark Bartlett, Ph.D, Interior Design Nutritionals technical specialist at Nu Skin International said, “Scientists have largely unraveled the role that vitamins and minerals play in good health; however, an emerging science is providing evidence that many other plant nutrients can provide unique health benefits as well.”

    Many new herbs and natural foods are being marketed and sold in Utah. A few of the unusual substances that have started to appear in the markets are garlic, cayenne pepper, black walnuts, tea tree oil, licorice root, aloe vera and ginseng.

    In her book “Today’s Herbal Health,” Louise Tenney said, “Every plant put on this earth has a purpose. Every part of this earth has herbs that provide a remedy for diseases that might afflict mankind.”

    Do herbs really improve health?

    “I think the philosophy of herbs and natural health is preventative health,” said Blake Richards, product manager at Enrich International.

    Everyone’s bodies are different. When you overexert yourself, from stress or a busy lifestyle, your body tries to find ways to cope, Richards said.

    “The body will take the needed nutrients out of the muscles, bones and bodily systems. Herbs nutritionally support and build the systems in the body.”

    There is a lot of controversy over the use of herbs in medicine. Carey Baldwin, a dietician at St. Marks Hospital, said he had reservations about herbs.

    “I think it is hard for a dietician to recommend any herbal substances, because they haven’t been proven yet in the medical field. There is just not enough evidence,” Baldwin said.

    Herbal treatments have become a big deal in Utah, Baldwin said.

    “It is sad to see poor patients who spend their money on these. They (herbal treatments) are kind of for the “elite” — those people with a lot of money,” Baldwin said.

    Baldwin said people will spend outrageous amounts of money on herbal treatments. Some people are adamant about doing it because they want a cure. Parents with ill children are especially drawn to these treatments.

    “They want to do anything they can to help them,” Baldwin said.

    Most people feel they do not know enough about herbs to select the correct type and quantity for their specific problems.

    “It is not always easy for the consumer to determine which ingredients are beneficial and whether they are offered in large enough quantities to deliver the promised results,” Bartlett said.

    Many books have been written to aid those who do not think they have enough knowledge about herbal treatments and medicines. These books may be used as reference guides.

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