Herbal Medicine

Herbal Medicine is the traditional medicinal practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts. Herbal Medicine is also known as botanical medicine, herbalism and phytotherapy, among others. Many plants synthesize substances that are useful for the maintenance and return of health in humans and other animals. Many of the herbs and spices that we use to season our food yield useful medicinal compounds, however limiting our use to seasoning is like using a smart phone only to make phone calls, without any contacts stored in the list!

Common Conditions That  Herbal Medicines Treat:

• Menopausal Imbalances & Menstrual Difficulties
• Pain and Inflammatory Conditions
• Infections & Immune System –Ear, Nose, Throat, Respiratory, Digestive, Urinary, Reproductive, Skin, AutoImmune etc.
• Fatigue & Low Energy States, Thyroid Imbalances
• Anxiety & Depression
• Digestive Disturbances
• Sleep Difficulties
• Skin Conditions – Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne,
• Detoxification and Cancer Prevention – Supports the organs of elimination


History

There is a long history of man’s use of herbs for therapeutic purposes. The first known Chinese herbal book, dating from about 2700 B.C., lists 365 medicinal plants and their uses - including ma-Huang, the shrub that introduced the drug ephedrine to modern medicine. The Egyptians of 1000 B.C. are known to have used garlic, opium, castor oil, coriander, mint, indigo, and other herbs for medicine and the Old Testament also mentions herb use and cultivation, including mandrake, vetch, caraway, wheat, barley, and rye.
Greek and Roman medicinal practices, as preserved in the writings of Hippocrates* and Galen, provided the patterns for later western medicine. Hippocrates advocated the use of a few simple herbal drugs, along with fresh air, rest, and proper diet. Galen, the Greek physician on the other hand, recommended large doses of more or less complicated drug mixtures - including plant, animal, and mineral ingredients. Galen compiled the first European treatise on the properties and uses of medicinal plants, De Materia Medica. *
The World Health Organization estimates that 80 percent of the world's population presently uses herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care. Many (upwards of 7,000) of the pharmaceuticals currently available to physicians have a long history of use as herbal remedies, (most of which were discovered due to their therapeutic use as herbs first) such as opium, asprin, digitalis, and quinine. The essential difference though between the use of pharmaceuticals and botanicals is that when one main component of a plant is extracted and used in isolation, as is done in pharmacology, it’s effect is not only stronger, it can really throw the body off balance and create negative side effects. On the other hand, when the whole plant is used as it is in Herbal Medicine, it has a balancing effect on the body.

There is no shortage of evidence that Herbs help humans. They are not to be feared. They are a gift to be respected and used appropriately. 

 


White Pines Naturopathic Clinic 

Waterdown – Ontario – Canada

905-690-6123