Herbal Medicine: What is Herbal Medicine and is it Safe?

Herbal Medicine is a form of alternative medicine based on the use of plants in the form of herbal supplements, raw herbs, herbal extracts, herbal tinctures, and other herbal remedies such as tablets, ointments, and capsules. Herbal medicine use is on the rise. Many health enthusiasts are turning to this natural, plant-based form of medicine as opposed to the chemical, pharmaceutical choice. A natural form of medicine, herbal medicine is the most ancient form of medicine on the planet. Many modern day prescriptions and conventional medicines are based on a form of herbal medicine.

What Is Herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine is the use of plants to treat disease. Oftentimes called herbalism, herbology, or botanical medicine, herbal medicine is considered ‘alternative’ in the modern day, though it has an extensive and esteemed history. Many herbalists use the entire plant, from the flowers, stems, leaves, and roots, in the form of everything from teas to tablets. These plants contain natural, chemical substances that can treat the body for various ailments.
The History of Herbal Medicine

Herbal Medicine dates back to prehistoric times. Primitive man used plants for everything from shelter and food, to clothing and medicine. Herbal medicine evolved over time, with observation and experimentation. Each village and tribe throughout the world observed and experimented with the natural plant world around them and developed a knowledge base of regional herbs and herbal medicines. Many of these primitive herbal experimentations hold true today, with many conventional medicines stemming from herbal origins. For instance, morphine originated from the use of the opium poppy herb, while Echinacea was the common herbal treatment to fight off infection prior to the creation of antibiotics.

Modern Day Herbal Medicine
While some people feel that herbal remedies are an ‘alternative’ form of holistic medicine, they are actually the bases of at least one-fourth of all conventional medicines. Today, many plants are synthesized for pharmaceutical use, stemming from ancient, healing traditions of herbal medicine. If you are seeking to find a more natural and gentle form of medicine, you may want to visit a local health food store or try to find a local herbalist. Tinctures, extracts, teas, lozenges, ointments, salves, rubs, tablets, and capsules, are available at most health food stores and can be wonderful, natural alternatives to conventional medicines.
If using herbal medicine it is recommended that you let you doctor know each and every herb that you ingest to prevent a reaction between the herbs and any allopathic medicines that you may be using.

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