Herbs are usually used for cooking, medicine or religious purposes. For our purpose, we want to focus on herbal medicine – also called botanical medicine, phytomedicine or herbalism - which focuses on the use of any plant’s seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark or flowers for medicinal use.
Whole herbs contain many components, and the specific ingredient that causes a therapeutic effect is not yet known. The strengths of herbs vary by doses, the type of growing environment, how it was harvested, processed and stored. A variety of complementary herbs are often used together to enhance an herb’s effectiveness, to reduce toxicity and provide synergistic actions and reactions.
Most people use herbs to:
- correct imbalances
- resolve patterns of dysfunction
- treat the underlying cause of their symptom
Herbal medicines contain a combination of chemicals – each with a specific action. Herbs can be very powerful, elicit complex physiological responses and interact differently with conventional medicines or drugs. Also, since herbal medicine is unregulated, some herbal products are often mislabeled and may contain additional additives that you do not want.
Whatever you do, consult an expert, your doctor or a trained professional before using herbs.
Different Herb Forms:
Each form of the herb has its own strength and medicinal qualities. Read your labels and know what they contain and the amount of active herb ingredients you are consuming.
- fresh or dried
- liquid extracts
Partial Herb or Medicinal Medicine List
Some Alternative Medicine Practices:
Whatever you choose, look for an alternative medicine that works for you in conjunction with your medical professional.