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History of herbal medicine

Essential facts

Herbal medicine (i.e. botanical medicine/phytomedicine) entails the use of various parts of herbs for the purpose of treating ailments and illness, or as it is perhaps more familiar to some – for medicinal purposes. One extremely important fact is that herbal medicine, i.e. herbalism, has quite a lengthy tradition of its own, and outside the boundaries of more modern conventional medicine, which many tend to disregard and forget all too often. And as the number of clinical trials and more in depth research studies increases in number, so does the significance of herbal medicine, as well in curing and preventing various ailments, starting from those mild ones all the way to those quite severe.

“Life on its own” and the background

The use of plants has been familiar to our earliest ancestors, which is to say even longer than the history records can account for. For example, ancient Chinese and Egyptian writings give a detailed account of the use of herbs for healing purposes in their time. Numerous indigenous cultures – Native American and African for e.g., made the herbs a quite significant part of their sacred rituals. Others have based entire traditional medical systems in herbs – Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese medicine are certainly at the forefront in this regard. But the progress in chemical analysis, which marked the beginning of the 19th century, accompanied by scientific experiments on plants and modification of their active ingredients, also marked a decline in the use of herbal medicines, which soon gave place to drugs.

In modern times, according to the claims of WHO (World Health Organization), as many as 80% of our society seek aid from herbal medicine for a significant part of their primary health care. If we take Germany for example, people can choose from 600-700 varieties of herbal medicines and furthermore, it has been confirmed that as many as 70% of German physicians give them the advantage when it comes to prescribing medicines. Also, on the US soil there has been a significant rise in the last twenty years in the number of people who decide to turn to natural remedies, due to overall dissatisfaction and dissatisfaction with the prices of conventional medications, i.e. prescription drugs.

Herbal functioning mode

Whole herbs are known to be comprised of a lot of active ingredients that can work together and produce those sought after and health beneficial effects. In quite a number of cases not even scientist can provide a well balanced and detailed account of the specific effects that certain herbs produce, since many factors do influence and determine the overall effect of the herb in question. When it comes to the use, herbs can be employed either separately, or in a form of a mixture, since in many cases this combination is even more health beneficial and effective. 

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