Did You Know That Herbal Medicine Is As Old As Time?
In the ancient world there were no medical doctors and when people became unwell they would go to the village elder with the knowledge of the healing effects of various plant leaves, stem, flower and root that grew wild in the local natural environment.
Medicine from herbs is one of oldest forms of healthcare. It has a long and respected history of plants and parts of the plant being used for medicinal purposes based on the observation and testing of indigenous people.
Use of leaves, flowers, stems, berries, and roots of plants to prevent, relieve, treat and cure various medical conditions is known as herbal medicine.
Many modern medications have been derived from the knowledge of herbs and their healing properties. The medicinal component of the plant, herb, root or berry is analyzed and isolated. This component is then artificially stabilized and manufactured in large laboratories for use in pharmaceutical preparations.
Before the discovery and synthesis of antibiotics, Echinacea was most widely administered medicine to fight infection. It was even part of the medical kit for the men going to war. Echinacea is a herb that comes from a plant, commonly known as, purple coneflower. The scientists’ research today have found that it has immune boosting properties by encouraging the body to produce disease fighting white blood cells.
In the 1900’s as the Western medicine developed, through scientific research from an art to a science, modern medicine produced in pharmaceutical laboratories based on synthetic counterparts of medicine made from herbs became more popular pushing the practice of ancient traditional herbal medicine into relative obscurity.
But the big problem is WHY do they have side effects?
The World Health Organization has researched that out of 119 plant derived synthetic medicine, 74% are being prescribed for the same healing properties as has been used by indigenous people as herbal medicine, for centuries.
Pharmacologists identify, isolate and extract the active component and then synthesize it in the laboratories. The resultant powerful medicinal quality of the active component becomes toxic, creating side effects. It becomes toxic because it has been removed from its natural environment. The other supportive important components of the plant like vitamins, bioflavonoid, volatile oils, glycosides, minerals, alkaloids etc that enhance the properties of the active component have been eliminated. So the herbal medicine that was originally safe has a synthetic counterpart, which has side effects.
Herbal medicines in there natural forms are safe and do not usually suffer from the problem of side effects and are apt at addressing targeted problems.
WHO, World Health Organization has found that estimated 4 billion people, i.e. 80% of the World’s population, uses herbal medicine as their primary form of medication. Herbal medicine is a major part of indigenous peoples’ traditional medicine around the World, be it ayurveda, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, naturopathy or native American Indian medicine.
Herbs and prepared herbal medicine are available in many different forms with unique properties for healing various medical conditions. They are available in the form of raw herbs, tinctures, extracts, capsules, tablets, lozenges and ointments.