Herbal Medicine

Herbal Medicine

Today’s world uses herbal medicine around quite effectively as 25 percent of the drugs prescribed worldwide are derived from plants. World Health Organisation’s essential medicine listed 252 drugs and 11 percent are exclusive of plant origin. 200 years ago, pharmacological produced “morphine” from opium extracted from the seed pods of the poppy flower. After that scientists have been studying a lot about plants to create pharmaceutical products. 

Resistant bacteria in the microbiome creating problem to remedy using chemical medicines. So people are beginning to pay more attention to natural, herbal medicine again. Millions of dollars have invested in looking for medicinal herbs. It proves that researchers are starting to steer away from conventional drug development and look toward more alternative and natural forms of treatment.

Herbal medicine has many names like herbalism or botanical medicine also phytotherapy or phytomedicine, this is a medical system based on the use of plants or plant extracts that may be eaten or used to the skin. Since ancient times, herbal medicine has been used by numerous different cultures throughout the world to treat illness and to helps bodily functions. Many countries it is not a licensed profession but herbal remedies in the form of extracts, tinctures, capsules, and tablets as well as teas may be recommended by healthcare practitioners of various disciplines.

Herbal medicine sits the line between foods and medicines. It is one of the best ways to take advantage of their healing power by using herbs and spices that have a disease-preventive effect. In this process, a cure may come from the leaf, flower, stem, seed, root, fruit or bark of the plant and it may be used to treat wounds and also other conditions.

What is an Herbalist?

Medical Herbalists make use of various plants that traditional uses are backed up by modern scientific research and clinical trials. A Qualified Herbalist has a BSc or equivalent degree in Herbal Medicine, he has studied orthodox medicine also plant medicine. He has knowledge of the same diagnostic skills.

Herbalists treating the underlying cause of disease rather than just the symptoms. Many patients are referred to a Herbalist by their GP for treatment because this herbal treatment remedies process can be used alongside other medication. Herbal Medicine is suitable for people of any age as each patient is treated as an individual.

History of Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine is considered to be the most ancient herbs influence on many systems of medicine, such as Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic (Indian) medicine, Native American, Indigenous Australian medicine also known as conventional medicine.

The history of Herbal medicine is found in Roman, Egyptian, Persian, and Hebrew cultures that show herbs were used to treat practically every known illness. Herbal medicine came to Europe from the Middle East during the crusades.

Now estimated 400,000 plants we know today, but only a fraction of these have been studied and used. We are unknown of their healing powers but pharmaceutical companies and many others actively examining the potential of plants to provide new antibiotics and other medicines.

How does Herbal Medicine Work?

Herbs contain a large number of naturally that have some type of biological activity. It works in a similar fashion to many pharmaceutical preparations. Though many pharmaceutical medicines are still obtained from plants, like the malaria medicine quinine is extracted from the bark of the cinchona tree, also the pain medicine morphine is produced from the opium poppy.

Herbalists believe that herbs should be used in their complete form to ensure the balance of constituents contained in the plant is utilised. They consider that herbal remedies are of most benefit when used to treat chronic, ongoing conditions basically there is no quick-fix herbal treatments.

Herbal treatments have fewer side effects that are often seen in conventional pharmaceutical treatments and so it can be very effective in the treatment of many conditions.

Type of Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicines are made from differing combinations of plant parts like leaves, flowers or roots also both fresh and dried plant matter is used, depending on the herb. Each part has different medicinal uses and the many types of chemical constituents need different extraction methods.  

  • Water-based preparations including:
  • Infusions: dried or fresh herbs
  • Decoction: harder plant material
  • Syrups: herbs incorporated into a sweet liquid
  • Poultices: moistened herbs
  • Lotions: infusions delivered in a smooth liquid
  • Compresses: a soft cloth wrung (hot or cold infusion)

Alcohol-based preparations usually called “Tinctures”, also there are non-alcoholic alternatives such as glycerites or vinegar.

  • Oil-based preparations: infused oils or ointments

Commonly used preparations:

  • Powders: applied externally
  • Capsules: natural chemical powders took internally
  • Juices: herbal Juices are very nutritive
  • Creams: preferred in the treatment of skin

Also has some advanced technologies such as: 

  • Steam inhalations
  • Baths or skin washes
  • Mouthwashes
  • Pessaries
  • Suppositories
What does a Herbalist Treat?

Medical herbalism is for everyone and so it can treat including:

  • Joints and Bone
  • Heart and Blood Circulation
  • Skin
  • Nutrition
  • Fertility, Pregnancy, and Childbirth
  • Hormone Health
  • Emotional Health like insomnia, stress 
  • Headaches and migraine
  • Fatigue Syndrome
  • Energy and Stamina
  • Digestion
  • Allergy
  • The Immune System
Benefits of Herbal Medicine

Conventional Medicine certainly comes with a high price tag. Herbal medicine is becoming more popular recently is that people simply can’t afford to pay for their medication continuously. Researchers found that natural health products show evidence of cost-effectiveness though more research is needed to determine the cost-effectiveness. But the initial data point that herbal products are more affordable than pharmaceuticals.

Herbal products are commonly found, like herbal extracts, essential oils, and herbal teas, are available in most health food and even grocery stores. Another advantage is that you don’t have to see a doctor to get prescriptions before purchasing them. This makes herbal products easier to obtain and avoid additional health care costs. Herbs are classified as dietary supplements, so they marketed without going through the FDA. But to avoid unwanted risks make sure to read the ingredients and labels carefully before using. Purchase from a trustworthy company that verifies the product is 100 percent pure-grade and safe.

Medicinal Uses for Specific Herbs
  • Raw Garlic: Garlic contains flavonoids, oligosaccharides, selenium, allicin and high levels of sulphur.
  • Ginger: Ginger is the most widely used dietary condiment in the world today because of “Gingerols”, the oily resin from the root that acts as a highly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. 
  • Turmeric: Turmeric is a plant that has a 4,000 years’ history of medicinal use.
  • Ginseng: Ginseng medicines have been used in Asia and North American for centuries.
  • Milk Thistle: Milk thistle extracts also used nearly 2,000 years for remedies.

Uses of Herbal Medicine:

  • Depression:

Do you know each year 1.5m packs of Hypericum extract know as St John’s wort are sold in the UK? Research suggests that it is more effective than placebo and as effective as prescribed antidepressant drugs such as Prozac.

  • Cancer:

Many people turn to herbal medicine and complementary therapies when they feel shortchanged by conventional medicine.

Most drugs used to treat cancer are formed from plants, such as taxol from yew trees and vincristine from periwinkle. The herb milk thistle may have liver-protective effects and so that can be useful in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy but further study needed.

  • Diabetes:

Many patients with diabetes turn to natural herbs treatments and use spices to lower blood sugar, including: 

    • aloe vera
    • bilberry extract 
    • bitter melon
    • ginger
    • cinnamon
    • okra

Ayurvedic physicians use a mixture of herbs and lifestyle advice to treat diabetes found some positive results and no serious side-effects.

  • Asthma:

Many herbal remedies are effective in treating asthma. An analysis of 17 randomised controlled trials into the use of herbal preparations in asthma found a significant improvement.

Commonly Tylophora Indica, marijuana, and dried leaf extract are used to treat Asthma. Also royal jelly, that is made by bees is also use. 

How Long Will Herbal Treatment Take?

There is no definitive answer because it depends on person to person. Influential factors that can affect the duration of therapy:

  • The condition
  • The severity of the condition
  • How long it has been present
  • Past medical history
  • Drug history
  • Current health status

After taking a detailed case history your herbalist may be able to give you an estimated guideline.

Normally herbal medicine can take a long time before starting to achieve its desired effect compared to pharmaceutical drugs. But it’s action aims to address the root cause of the condition and therefore usually produces more permanent results.

Summary

Human used natural plant products throughout human history for various purposes. It has more than 5,000 years of history. The plant produces remedies various concerns and conditions, such as allergies, arthritis, migraines, fatigue, skin infections, wounds, burns, gastrointestinal issues, and even cancer. These herbs are less expensive and safer than conventional medications, so many people are choosing to go back to this traditional idea of medicine.

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