What is herbal medicine?


New member
Aug 20, 2012
Herbal medicine – also called botanical medicine or phytomedicine – refers to using a plant’s seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers for medicinal purposes. Herbalism has a long tradition of use outside of conventional medicine. It is becoming more mainstream as improvements in analysis and quality control along with advances in clinical research show the value of herbal medicine in the treatment and preventing disease. What is the history of herbal medicine? Plants had been used for medicinal purposes long before recorded history. Ancient Chinese and Egyptian papyrus writings describe medicinal uses for plants. Indigenous cultures (such as African and Native American) used herbs in their healing rituals, while others developed traditional medical systems (such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine) in which herbal therapies were used. Researchers found that people in different parts of the world tended to use the same or similar plants for the same purposes. In the early 19th century, when chemical analysis first became available, scientists began to extract and modify the active ingredients from plants. Later, chemists began making their own version of plant compounds, and over time, the use of herbal medicines declined in favor of drugs. Recently, the World Health Organization estimated that 80% of people worldwide rely on herbal medicines for some part of their primary health care. In Germany, about 600-700 plant-based medicines are available and prescribed by some 70% of German physicians. In the last 20 years in the United States, public dissatisfaction with the cost of prescription medications, combined with an interest in returning to natural or organic remedies, has led to an increase in herbal medicine use. What is herbal medicine good for? Herbal medicine is used to treat many conditions, such as asthma, eczema, premenstrual syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine, menopausal symptoms, chronic fatigue, and irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia and other degenerative diseases, among others. Herbal supplements are best taken under the guidance of a trained health care provider. Be sure to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any herbs. Who is using herbal medicine? Nearly one-third of Americans use herbs. Unfortunately, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that nearly 70% of people taking herbal medicines (most of whom were well educated and had higher-than-average income) were reluctant to tell their doctors that they used complementary and alternative medicine. Many herbs can interact with prescription medications and cause unwanted or dangerous reactions. Be sure to consult your doctor before trying any herbal products. How can I find a qualified herbalist in my area? For additional information, or to locate an experienced herbalist in your area, Dr. Strande recommends contacting the American Herbalists Guild (AHG) or visiting a professional herbalist website. Dr. Strande is a Naturopath and a Microbiologist. His services include phone consultations with patients all over the world. Alex Strande, ND, Ph.D., is a naturopath and microbiologist. His primary location is in Houston, Texas. If you have any issues concerning your health, please visit us at www.simplyhealingclinic.com or call us to set up a consultation on 713.660.1420. We do long distance phone/Skype consultations with people from all around the world. Share Bookmark on Delicious Recommend on Facebook Buzz it up Share on Linkedin Share via MySpace Share on Orkut share via Reddit Share on identica Share with Stumblers Share on technorati Tumblr it Tweet about it Print for later Bookmark in Browser