Herbal Health Food – Helpful Information For Consumers

People take herbal health food for various reasons but the misguided notion about medicinal value is gradually being corrected. For whatever reasons people take herbal products and supplements, the guidelines prescribed through federal legislation provides that herbs cannot allege that these can prevent, detect or treat any ailment or disease.

The “health factor” was born out of the claims regarding positive effects of herbs on certain body functions or structures and the general welfare of those who consume these so-called natural products. However, this explanation is disputable and gives weight to ambiguous health claims. While legal stipulations have come out, consumers are still responsible for verifying their legitimacy and actual effects. The bottom line is to stay away from products with questionable claims despite all the hype about them.

What medical and fitness professionals maintain is that the best remedy for disease prevention is a healthy lifestyle. This consists of a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits and low in cholesterol. At the same time, physical exercises also play a vital role. Yet, workouts should be regulated. There is no available data suggesting that herbs are more useful than prescription drugs for curing illnesses.

Herbs have always been advertised as natural so millions of people believe that these are completely safe. Nevertheless, this is not always true. While many of these botanicals are considered safe, some have harmful side effects. There have already been several deaths because of the improper use of herbal products. In certain instances, even minimal amounts of herbs, have produced had injurious effects.

For the benefits of consumers, some of these products that have been mentioned by medical research and journals include the following:
• Ephedra allegedly for hypertension, strokes and seizures
• Chapparal for kidney and liver troubles
• Comfrey for liver poisoning
• Lobelia for breathing difficulty
• Wormwood for kidney ailments

Physicians recommend to their patients and the public in general that consuming herbal health food should only be for limited duration. It is still uncertain if temporary benefits that could lead to long-term use will be damaging to people’s health. You have to follow instructions printed on labels strictly and discontinue use in case of abnormal side effects. Medical practitioners do not prescribe herbs for medical remedies of chronic maladies like grave depression, diabetes, hypertension and heart ailments. Herbs are not recommended for kids under six years old; pregnant women; individuals with HIV; and, people affected by kidney and liver diseases.

Herbal vitamins and are classified by the United States Food and Drug Administration as mere dietary supplements and not as drugs. Henceforth, these are not tested for safety. Herbal commodities can be sold any time even without scientific research and approval from regulatory government agencies. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical firms are mandated to conduct clinical research to establish the usefulness of prescription medicine, probable interaction with other substances and proper dosages.

Consumers need to be well-informed for their own welfare especially at this time when the herbal industry continues to flourish. Research continues if only to determine the real causes and effects of herbal health food.

Is Online Counseling Right For You?

Online counseling is not new. Other terms for online counseling include etherapy, online therapy, cybertherapy, and internet counseling. Nearly 10 years have passed since I first offered online counseling. Professionals worried that online counselors were trying to replace traditional face-to-face psychotherapy. Now many psychotherapists offer online counseling or at least use technology to enhance relationships with existing clients.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to obtain counseling without scheduling hassles or the commute? Many people are finding that engaging in online counseling is easier, more convenient, and more cost effective. The idea of logging on from home or most anywhere with the convenience of wireless internet and a laptop is quite attractive.

So how is online counseling conducted? Email, chat and webcam are the most common methods of delivery. Some therapists are offering counseling in virtual worlds such as Second Life. But mostly, online counseling is text-based, meaning that the usual cues of hearing and seeing are not available. Some describe email therapy much like exchanging letters. Chat therapy is conversational in style and compares more readily to the process of traditional psychotherapy. With technological advances, webcams are offer more resolute images than just a few years ago. Webcams introduce the audio and visual components back into the process. Any of these delivery methods can be used singularly or in conjunction with one another.

If you are interested in online counseling, be sure you choose a therapist who understands the importance of confidentiality and offers an alternative to traditional chat and email. Ideally, your communication should be secure and encrypted and a variety of free encryption options are available that are very user-friendly. Many therapists who practice online have additional education that ideally indicates a certain level of proficiency. Therapists who have received additional training will usually indicate the training on their website. Therapists may opt to become certified as a Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC). This designation suggests a basic level of expertise and the certification is offered by through the Center for Credentialing Education and the National Board of Certified Counselors. In addition, you should be able to verify a therapist’s other credentials. At a minimum, expect your therapist to be able to practice independently. In the United States, this is usually indicated by a state license.

What You Should Know Regarding a Property Tax Assessment

If you are a homeowner, then like millions of people, you have had to go through the process of property tax assessment. Many have uncertainty about how property assessment works, but the results of that assessment will determine how much you as a homeowner will have to pay in taxes to your local government.

From the standpoint of the localities that levy these taxes, this assessment is generally a plus because there is no chance for a shortfall as you might see when income tax or sales tax is applied. As far as the assessment itself goes, much depends on how the property is valued in the given locale. Assessors may use market value to determine tax cost; they might also seek to use replacement cost or income approach in order to come up with a figure. The assessor will determine just what the true value of the property is, and then will levy a tax bill on the property owner.

Value taxes (known as ad valorem) on property are done on a basis of what is considered to be the property’s fair market value. Once that value is determined, an established rate of assessment is placed upon the property, and multiplied along with the value – leading to the calculation of your tax rate. In some states, property taxes have risen to more than 5%, and are considered one of the largest housing expenses in existence. At one time, these taxes were one of the chief revenue sources for states, until sales and income taxes became the way of generating revenue in most cases.

Homeowners aren’t the only ones affected by property tax assessment – the revenues that come in affect schools, hospitals, law enforcement, and general local maintenance as well, among other things. Council members and school boards even have a say in how these taxes are assessed and levied in some places. Once a budget has been determined, legislators decide how the money gets collected and distributed. There is also the personal property tax, which can cover items such as vehicles, stocks and bonds, and certain business inventory. Usually, these taxes are assessed by states.

Remember that in any event, your property tax assessment rates and methods depend on where you live – state, county and locale.