Herbal Medicine uses medicinal plants to treat, manage and prevent disease.
Herbal Medicine is also known under the following names: Phytotherapy (from “phyto” plant and therapy), Plant Medicine and Botanical Medicine.
It relies on both traditional evidence (knowledge of plants derived from historical and contemporary herbal texts) and current scientific research.
It works through the interaction of plant phytochemicals with human physiology. Most well-known synthetic drugs in use today originated from medicinal plants, e.g. aspirin (active ingredient salicylic acid was originally extracted from willow bark), metformin – mainstay drug for diabetes Type 2 (active ingredient galegine was originally extracted from goat’s rue).
Herbal medicine uses only whole plant extracts of medicinal plants and preparations from them to access the full phytochemical profile.
Unlike pharmaceutical drugs that have one active ingredient, plants have multiple active phytochemicals that work in synergy (a core concept in herbal medicine). The synergetic effect of a whole plant extract translates into multiple medicinal actions.
The phytochemical complexity of plants is ideally suited for treatment, management and prevention of complex human pathologies.
Herbal medicine, when prescribed by a qualified practitioner, is very safe and has little or no side effects.