(cape cod, ma.)
QUESTION: Is it dangerous to take herbal cleanses? I just found out I have chronic lymphatic leukemia and was given an extended herbal cleanse…lower bowel, liver and gallbladder, kidney and blood stream herbs to take over a 6 week period to begin with. Is it ok or is one type fits all dangerous to the system? It says to tailor this program to your individual body’s need…but what does that mean?
Thank you for your consideration.
ANSWER: Dear Sandra, Thanks for writing with such a great question, and I’m sorry you’re dealing with this health challenge. It’s an important question as so much misinformation about herbal medicine is out there and it can be difficult to be an educated consumer. The truth is that one-size-fits-all in any kind of therapeutic modality is not likely to be very effective. Or rather, it may help some people but not others. This is true for surgeries and pharmaceutical drugs, as well as therapies like acupuncture, physical therapy and nutrition. And it is very true for herbal medicine as well. One of the reasons Chinese medicine is so powerful is that the practitioner completes a comprehensive diagnosis before prescribing an herbal formula that is tailored to your unique presentation.
An incorrect herbal formula can indeed produce unpleasant side effects, though rarely do herbs do lasting damage. Not knowing what herbs you are using, it would be difficult for me to help you determine their safety. I would recommend that you see an herbalist trained in Chinese medicine.
Lisa Marie Price, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.