Herbal medicine or Herbology is one of the most ancient forms of healing available to man. It is the oldest form of healthcare known to mankind. Medicinal herbs and herbal remedies have been healing us since time immemorial.
Herbalism or Phytotherapy is the practice of folk or traditional medicine that aims to cure “dis-eases” in the body using plants and the active constituents found within them. An herb is a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, aromatic or savory qualities. They produce and contain a variety of chemical substances that act upon the body in a particular way.
" Why use herbs? They are Nature's remedies and have been placed here by an all-wise Creator. There is an herb for every disease that the human body may be afflicted with."
-Jethro Kloss, Back to Eden, 1939.
Unlike harsh chemical drugs that can shock and weaken our system, medicinal herbs act on our body in a gentle but confirmed way; Herbs are also holistic and life-giving.
Therefore they are aptly called the 'Green Medicines' of the world!
The world of medicinal herbs is diverse and surprising. Even the simplest looking leaf may have great medicinal properties.
Primitive man observed and appreciated the great diversity of plants available to him. It is believed that Herbology was the direct result of primitive man’s efforts to use the power of Nature to facilitate life and comfort.
The exact origin of Herbology is unknown, but the history of herbs can be traced through the ancient traditions and cultures around the world.
A Chinese book of herbal medicine dated from 2700 B.C. lists over 300 medicinal herbs. And, much has been written about the healing powers of herbs and herbal remedies from 2700 B.C. to the present day
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 82% of the world’s population uses herbal medicine in one way or the other.
Herbs had been used by all cultures throughout history. It was an integral part of the development of modern civilization. Many of the traditional systems of healing depend upon the healing power of herbs. It is a major component in all indigenous peoples’ traditional medicine and a common element in Ayurvedic, homeopathic, naturopathic, traditional oriental, and Native American Indian medicine.
In recent years, herbs are becoming increasingly popular. Even mainstream medicine is using herbal extracts to aid the healing process. Substances derived from the plants remain the basis for a large proportion of the commercial medications used today for the treatment of heart disease, high blood pressure, pain, asthma, and other problems. Many drugs commonly used today are of herbal origin. According to W.H.O., about 25 percent of the prescription drugs dispensed in the United States contain at least one active ingredient derived from plant material. Some are made from plant extracts; others are synthesized to mimic a natural plant compound.
But Is Herbalism effective and are there any side effects?
1. While herbs act strongly on the body, most herbs have no side effects.
2. If used properly, they will work miracles.
3. If used unscientifically, they will have no effect or may cause minor discomforts.