Herbal medicine is the use of botanical extracts and plants in the treatment and prevention of disease. It is the oldest form of medicine known. At the current time in the UK herbalism is classed as “alternative” or “complementary” medicine, but it is still the most widely practised form of medicine world-wide with 80% of the world’s population relying on herbs for healthcare.
Herbal remedies help restore the body’s balance thus enabling it to mobilise it’s own healing powers. Specific herbs can tone, nourish and detoxify specific organs, organ systems and improve circulation, thus allowing waste products to be eliminated more effectively and increase the amount of healing nutrition into needed areas.
How do Herbs differ from chemical drugs?
Pharmaceutical drugs are made of active, often synthetic compounds, which are extracted and dispensed in concentrated doses and believed to work most specifically on symptoms.
Unfortunately these potent extracts and their synthetic counterparts often travel to the unaffected parts of the body causing side effects, which range from the uncomfortable to the alarming. This is where the herbalist’s use of the whole plant, rather than a single concentrated chemical constituent, comes into its own. The whole plant offers the active chemicals in balanced proportions and effective quantities, designed by nature.
Safe assimilation by the body is therefore guaranteed.
Whole plant medicine stimulates the body’s own powers of healing, and therefore people suffering from chronic conditions need not fear the build up of powerful chemicals in the body that can occur with prolonged treatment of pharmaceutical drugs.
Herbal Medicine TREATS THE WHOLE PERSON AS AN INDIVIDUAL, not as a collection of symptoms.
Obviously those wishing to test the healing powers of herbal medicine would be advised to work under the direction of a qualified practitioner. However, it may be well worth looking more closely at the benefits, especially as these treatments can work alongside conventional medicine.
by Sandra Hillawi (BSc, MH,CT,MET,ET)