Herbs And Their Healing Properties
Herbal medicine or herbalism is the use of plants for healing purposes.
- Different cultures from around the world offer different types of herbal treatments.
- These treatments vary depending on the type of plant that is used and how the plant is prepared.
- Herbal medicine is basically the use of berries, nuts, seeds, bark, flowers or roots for medicinal purposes as an alternative or an addition to traditional pharmaceutical medications.
- Herbs are able to heal our bodies by altering the cellular composition within us and bringing our bodies back into a healthy balance.
Herbs and their healing properties
Today herbalism is recognized as a form of alternative or complementary medicine to modern medicine.
This 100% all natural therapy method is one of the most popular under the Holistic medicine umbrella, and falls under the category of “biologically based practices.”
A major 2007 government survey conducted by the Centers For Disease Control found that more than 1/3 of adults use alternative medicine for healing.
The use of herbal medicine focuses on what is actually wrong with the body instead of simply treating the symptoms like traditional medicine does.
History And Origins Of Herbal Medicine
Herbs and their healing properties
While this may seem like somewhat of a “fad” or folklore myth to some, in reality, herbal medicine has been around for thousands of years.
Actually, a lot of the pharmaceutical medications used today originated from all natural ingredients and plants, including:
- Opium that comes from the Poppy plant
- Aspirin that was developed from Willow Bark
- Digitalis is made from Foxglove
- Quinine that comes from the Cinchona tree
Plants were used for medicinal purposes long before history was recorded. Ancient writings have been found that show herbal medicine was being used as early as 3000 BC.
Herbs and their healing properties – Three Sources Of Herbal Medicine
There are three modalities on which herbal medicine is based:
- Greek, Roman and medieval sources that are mostly used by Western culture.
- Ayurveda that is from India.
- Chinese Herbal Medicine that originates from Eastern philosophy.
These 3 forms of herbalism have more in common than many think.
The few differences stem from the fact that different continents, countriesd and regions have different native plants, and so different schools of thought have come into existance.
All three of these modalities were based on philosophical and spiritual aspects of these civilizations along with the scientific knowledge available at the time.
Many early tribes had well developed herbal treatments and usuallya specific person in the tribe who specialized in using of the herbal treatments. Often this herbalist was one of the most powerful people in the tribe.
The Egyptians, Greeks and Romans studied herbal medicine in depth and herbalisam gained great importance to each of these civilizations.
The History Continues
In these ancient civilizations herbalists were regarded as the medical experts of their era.
This changed in Tudor times.
Due to poverty and class system the majority of people were unable to afford health care (or the health care of the time!)
This meant there were large numbers of people who were practicing “medicine” without any proper training.
This led to the the King and parliament to enforce systems they believed would protect “the people”.
Did It Work?
By the end of the 17th century herbal medicine had become known as the medicine of the poor and women who practiced it were often labeled as witches.
We all know what happened then!
Herbalism was still practiced, but due to law and prosecution lost favor… leading to a century of lost herbalist science. Much of the herbal knowledge known by our ancestors was lost.
Then along came the drug Era!
In the 19th century scientists found a way to create medicines without the use of plants. Therefore many people stopped using herbal medicine.
However as these drugs were developed many people found that they were having side effects and once again herbal medicine grew in popularity.
During both world wars there were manufactured drug shortages and so many people found themselves turning to herbal medicine.
More recently the pharmaceutical companies have developed new drugs that have drastic side effects and again many more people are turning to herbal medicine to avoid these side effects.
It is now estimated that as many as 80% of people use some form of herbal medicine currently and the numbers are expected to climb.