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Issue No 104
Fall 2005 
page 42

Herbal Myths EXPOSED
One of America's most respected herblists debunks a dozen herban legends

Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, DN-C, RH

Illustrations by:
Tristan Berlund

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    W hen it comes to medicinal herbs, myths and mysticism abound. Perhaps because our forebears typically passed along knowledge orally and anecdotally, we still tend to rely on hearsay about what works and what doesn’t, what’s safe and what isn’t.

With so many credible herbal sources at our disposal these days, we shouldn’t let the ever-churning myth factory distort the facts. Modern research has verified vast amounts of what was once considered folk wisdom. Additionally, those on the forefront of the myth-busting brigade—the professional herbalists—see what works and what doesn’t every day in their practices.

Unfortunately, as herbal medicine continues its steady rise in popularity, some mainstream media outlets remain committed to presenting sensational and often irrational “herbal exposés.” This puts the onus on the consumer to distinguish hype pieces from informative journalism—a task that requires research and effort.

Some of the current herban myths have become so pervasive, you may just "know" they're true. But as it turns out, 12 out of our most commonly held "facts" about popular herbs turn out to be fiction.
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