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The Guide to Herbalism, Herbal Medicines, Natural Cures and Therapies.









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Herbal-Therapy - The Guide to Herbalism, Herbal Medicines and Natural Herbal Therapies.
Herbalism is a traditional medicinal practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts.
Herbalists use the leaves, seeds, flowers, bark, stems, berries, and roots of plants to prevent, relieve, and treat illness. Many regard these herbal treatments as experimental, however the reality is that herbal medicine has a long and respected history. Numerous familiar medications of the twentieth century were developed from ancient healing traditions that treated health problems with specific plants.

Modern medicine has its roots in the use of herbs. It is only within the last fifty years that science has isolated the medicinal properties of a large number of botanicals, and have extracted and analysed their healing components. Many plant components are now synthesised in vast amounts. For example, vincristine (an antitumor drug) and digitalis (a heart regulator) were both originally discovered through research on plants.
In recent years we have seen a significant growth in popularity of herbalism often as part of an alternative/ complementary form of health care. People are recognising that the use of herbal therapies is an effective and relatively inexpensive form of health care, they can see the advantages of using totally natural products that have been popular for many centuries.
Herbal remedies make use of wholly natural products and therefore they are less likely to cause the side effects often associated with modern drugs.

Herbal therapy is a general term used to refer to types of healthcare treatment that uses fresh or dried herbs. The use of herbs can take the form of herbal baths, herbal capsules, herbal compresses, supplements, tinctures, fusions or teas, topical creams and poultices. Often Herbal therapy can include the use of a healing steam that is scented with various combinations of herbs. The majority of prescriptions for treatment in herbal medicine will actually be mixtures of herbs, plant extracts and other organic substances, rather than just strictly one herb for every disorder, disease, and illness.
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. 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
Herbs are utilised in more than a quarter of the alternative therapies for treatment after diagnosis. Herbal medicine constitutes a large part of what is practiced as traditional medicine around the world although Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and Western Herbal Medicine all have distinctly different systems of herbology.
Herbalists, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, pharmacists, medical doctors, and practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine all may use herbs to treat illness. Naturopathic physicians believe that the body is continually striving for balance and that natural therapies can support this process.

Many drugs in common use today originate from plants and herbs.
Some examples are:-


from white willow bark and meadow sweet plant

•Atropine used to treat irregular heartbeats - from belladonna leaves.
•Colchicine used for gout - from autumn crocus.
Digoxin the most widely prescribed heart medication - from foxglove, a poisonous plant.
Ephedrine is used to widen or relax the airways - from the ephedra plant.
•Morphine & Codeine potent narcotics - from the opium poppy.
•Paclitaxel (Taxol) used to treat metastatic ovarian cancer - from the yew tree.
•Quinine a drug for malaria ­ from cinchona bark.
Vinblastine (Velban) and vincristine (Dncovin) anticancer drugs - from periwinkle.

"Herbs won't replace pharmaceuticals, but the research shows that--for many conditions--herbs work well, are cheaper than drugs and cause fewer side effects,"
Mary Hardy, M.D., medical director of the integrative medicine program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Herbalism is also known as:-

  • botanical medicine,
  • medical herbalism,
  • herbal medicine,
  • herbology, and phytotherapy.

Some Basic Definitions.

Herbal medicine

  • The study or use of medicinal herbs to prevent and treat diseases and ailments or to promote health and healing.
  • A drug or preparation made from a plant or plants and used for any of such purposes.


  • The medical use of preparations containing only plant material.
    study and practice of using plants to treat ill-ness and promote health.


  • One who grows, collects, or specializes in the use of herbs, especially medicinal herbs.


  • Of, relating to, or containing herbs
  • A book about plants and herbs, especially those that are useful to humans.

When using a herbal medicine these simple rules should apply

  • Consult your doctor first
  • Avoid taking a bigger dose than the label recommends
  • Take it under the guidance of a trained medical professional
  • Be especially cautious if you are pregnant or nursing

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