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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you are welcome to order from us. The order form, list of available products and procedure are available on the website. Please consult the section on Products.

Yes we are obliged to indicate it in case someone may be allergic to any of the products. Most products are comprised of a mixture of various herbs that work synergistically, i.e. compounds complement and strength one another for more effective working.

The dosage is indicated on the remedy, usually 20 drop twice a day in a little water (and less for children – one drop per year of age). 

Many herbs, like other medicines, are best not to be used during pregnancy.

There are thousands of medicinal plants with healing properties available today and research is on-going. Normally, herbalists only make use of round about 130- 150 different herbs for treatment and support. About 40 popular and common herbs can treat most common ailments (Booklet with more information available from the office).

Yes, if you use them in tea form. Herbal medicines must be used under supervision of a health care provider.

Definitely, yes. Some plants are poisonous for human consumption and some medicinal herbs such as Fox glove from which the heart stimulant digitalis is produced are very potent and can only be used when prescribed by a medical practitioner who needs to monitor it. The same applies to herbs such as medical cannabis.

They do. Many medicines derive from medicinal plants. Think about aspirin derived from the bark of the white willow, the cancer medicine vincristine from Madagascar periwinkle and malaria pills that are obtained from the cinchona tree, to name only a few examples.

You must be joking. They cannot patent herbs to make money. It serves their purpose best to abstract one or two active compounds, or to prepare it synthetically once the chemical formula is known.  

There are many reasons. Let’s list a few:
- Medicines work well for acute problems; such as antiseptics or antibiotics, heart stimulants or pain medication, but does not always get to the root of the problem. Herbs are often better suited for chronic conditions.
- Chronic diseases are complex metabolic dysfunctions without a single cause. Hence, diabetes, arthritis, cancer and heart disease are difficult to treat. Herbs support the homeostasis (self-healing mechanism) of the human body to restore health in many instances.
- Whole herbs work best due to the synergy between various complementary compounds, for instance in supporting arthritis, one compound may ease pain, whilst a next may reduce inflammation and a third may improve healing of tissues.   

Most herbs are very affordable to use and not expensive at all. A tincture sells between R55 and R130 for 50ml which could last for 30 days use. Some scarce herbs such as golden root are more expensive than abundant herbs. Herbal teas sell between R15-R35 per 50/100mg depending on the scarcity of the herb.

Herbs are safe for most children to use but the dosage must be correct. The general rule is one drop per year of age, so a ten year old may use ten drops and children 18 and older adult dosages.

Herbs may sometime work fast, but in supporting the natural healing ability of the body it may take time to restore a body to health, especially when it has been possibly abused for a long time.

Herbalism works on biochemical (and sometimes energy) level, whilst homeopathy uses the principle of dilutions to improve health.

All people who are keen to practice natural health care. Herbs, especially culinary herbs, can be used as teas of self-care purposes. They are fairly safe to use, very affordable, and effective, readily available and without serious side effects. More and more people read about herbs on Google and are motivated to use natural ways to heal or to stay healthy. Remember herbs also work well for prevention of diseases such as cancer or high blood pressure.  

No, not the medicinal herbs that we use. Many plants are poisonous but are not used by herbalists. Poisonous plants may cause long term problems or sudden death. Also, herbalists know which part of the plant is safe to use. Some leaves may have medicinal value, while the roots may be harmful and vice versa. Also, some herbs may be safe whilst another herb from the same family of plants may be less safe.

It depends on the concentration of the medicinal compounds. Parts used may include the leaves and or stems (thyme and parsley), bark (example slippery elm and cinnamon), gum (frankincense), root and rhizomes (turmeric or ginger) fruits or seeds (bilberry and anise) or even flowers (borage).

Plants contain active medicinal compounds known as secondary metabolites that they have developed over time to protect themselves and combat attacks from predators such as herbivores, bacteria, viruses and fungi. We have learned to know many of them as dyes (e.g. indigo), insecticides (e.g. piperine) and flavours such as vanillin, mustard and capsaicin, as well as stimulants such as nicotine and caffeine, and of course therapeutic agents such as quinine, codeine and morphine.

Secondary metabolites can produce pharmaceutical effects in various ways such as supressing certain enzymes, facilitating signal transduction, performing electron transport in the cell, or influencing cell receptors. One of the most exciting recent discoveries is the way cannabis can influence the endocannabinoid system of the human body to balance cell function.   

The study of herbal medicine is known as phytotherapy. Herbs are classified according to their therapeutic function, for instance:

- Analgesic for pain
- Anti-inflammatory
- Antibacterial
- Antifungal
- Antiviral
- Hepatic – for liver support
- Adaptogens – for stress management
- Diuretic – to promote the flow of urine
- Muscle relaxant
- Diaphoretics to support the skin
- Cardio tonic for heart support
- Nervine for nerve support
- Aphrodisiac for libido
- Laxatives to stimulate peristalsis
- Demulcents to support mucous membranes of digestive tract
- Emmenagogues to stimulate menstrual flow
- Etc.   

The use of herbs is mainly based on anecdotal evidence of herbal use throughout the ages. The history of the use of medicinal plants can be traced back thousands of years. Interestingly enough current research confirms many of the folk medicine uses of herbs. An example is the old Cape remedy – Sutherlandia or cancer bush (Afr. Kankerbos/Wilde gansies) as it is known in folk medicine. It has documented anticancer and antiviral activities. Another example is the well-known Echinacea or purple cone flower that was used by the red Indians for wound healing and as an antidote for insect and snake bites. Its interest today is a remedy for colds and flu because it acts as an immune stimulant as it contains polysaccharides and amides that have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Many other examples can be cited.

Herbal remedies form part of natural medicine where the objective is to limit intervention as far as possible so as not to disturb the natural processes of the human body. A guideline for the meaning of natural is that it is something such as a plant that is recognized by the human body.

Pharmaceuticals are medicinal drugs which normally have many side effects and contra indications. In acute conditions they are useful, but herbal medicines are often more suited for chronic conditions because they normalize the body and restore balance.   

NaCare herbs are available as tinctures, i.e. alcohol based fluids that contain the extracts of the active compounds. It is well preserved in alcohol for a long shelve life and easily absorbed by the human body. Herbal remedies are also available in many other forms such as tablets, capsules and ointments for topical use.

Practitioners who purchase 10 or more units pay wholesale prices.

Medicinal plants contain hundreds of secondary metabolites – some may help for one condition whilst other compounds in the same herb may be used for other ailments. An example is goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) which is traditionally used to stop diarrhoea, bleeding, as laxative, and used externally to treat stomatitis (inflammatory diseases of the mouth) as well as for anti-microbial conditions. The wide spectrum of uses is ascribed to the alkaloids such as hydrastine and berberine.

Yes, herbs work well but in a holistic approach it is realized that a client may in addition also require counselling or lifestyle adaptations to contribute to healing.

Most remedies are comprised of a synergetic blend of complementary herbs, but single herbs on their own may also be beneficial. With about forty herbs most conditions can be supported.

NaCare have been manufacturing herbal remedies since 2000.  

Before our phytotherapists formulate a remedy, in depth research is conducted to ensure that the herbs will offer maximum benefit.

There is a herb or two for any ailment ranging from pain to sinusitis. Herbs are normalizers and can assist the human body in healing. Herbs are especially suitable to aid the body in chronic conditions. Talk to your natural health care provider or health shop tenant for the best recommendation.

Herbs seldom have side effects, but some people may be allergic to some compounds. Like with other medicines, the dosage is important. Usually the symptoms appear the moment people stop using the herbs.

Not at all. Many people need medicinal drugs for serious conditions and a herbal doctor will never interfere with medical treatment. If you use medication, please consult your physician before using herbal medicines’ for some herbs may interfere with medicinal drugs. It is for instance not advised to use St. John’s wort when someone is on anti-depressants. This underscores the reason why herbs should best be used under supervision of a health practitioner.

Any serious conditions; such as severe high blood pressure or bad cholesterol levels, a lump or serious wound, cancer, heart conditions, etc.  

In South Africa there are different kinds of herbal practitioners. Phytotherapists practice Western herbalism and register at the Allied Health Council. It also includes Eastern practitioners such as Chinese Herbalists, Ayurveda and Unani Tibb practitioners, etc. Wellness practitioners belong to a different category and practice herbalism as part of life style coaching. They register at the ASCHP – the Association for Supportive Counsellors and Holistic Practitioners – a SAQA registered body (ID 984) with designations listed on the National Qualifications Framework.

Yes, you are welcome to contact the office and request a referral to a Wellness Practitioner in your area.

No, but we refer prospective learners to the Synergetica Tutor Centre who serves as Research Associate of DaVinci Institute and ABA Health, who are registered training providers. NaCare may, however, assist with practical works.

Yes, we also are in a process of developing the NaCare Perma Culture gardens – see under that section.

Many culinary herbs can be used to support the healing of the human body. Herbal remedies are best used under the supervision of a Wellness Counsellor/coach. 

All cultures all over the world have a rich tradition of folk medicine. In South Africa herbal health care may use some of the same indigenous plants as traditional healers but the regimen of practice and philosophy differ.

1 Ben Erik van Wyk et al in Medicinal plants of the world.

2 The NaCare poster with forty herbs for body systems provide a visual guide to practitioners of its uses.