The history of herbal medicine dates as far back as the history of mankind. This is especially true during earlier times when people had no access to modern medicines and relied mainly on what nature could offer. The use of herbal remedies can be referred to as “medicinal botany” as it basically utilizes the different parts and ingredients present in the plant to provide cures for common illnesses.
Herbal Medicine and its History
The use of herbs for medicinal purposes has been the oldest form of health care known to man. Recent studies have shown the therapeutic and medicinal value present in most herbs. They naturally produce chemical substances that respond to viruses or bacteria that cause disease.
Herbs are used in several cultures throughout the world. As the world evolved into modern civilization, herbal medicine went along with it. And despite of the intense modernization, it remains to be an integral part of this society. As history progressed and more modern technologies innovated, the use of herbal medicine progressed as well.
In-Depth Look at Herbal Medicine
Several parts within a plant or herb are utilized for life-saving, curing, preventive, or relieve from illnesses. Some of the parts of the plant that are extracted with healing properties include:
The list encompasses almost every part of the plant. For remedies at home, the parts of the plant are applied directly to the infected areas, or drank as a solution or juice to provide the desired relief. One of the many reasons why people are turning to herbal medicine is the lack of harmful side effects, knowing that only natural ingredients are used.
Herbal Medicine Today
As the world modernized, so did herbal medicine. Laboratories produce synthetic medicines but there may be underlying side effects to the body. This is because they contain rich concentrations of chemical substances.
Chemists have analyzed the components of herbs, then isolated and extracted those that have healing properties. Then, these properties are synthesized in modern laboratories so they can be incorporated into the manufacture of medicines. You can now find several herbal preparations that are prepared into easy to administer pills, tablets, or capsules but still have the same benefits derived from natural herbs.
Common Herbal Remedies
As we discussed above, with the growth of herbal medicines and the use of herbal components for pharmaceutical preparations, they are now made available in various forms to make them more convenient.
Since most herbs leave an unpleasant taste, administering them or drinking juices from these herbal solutions just aren’t pleasing to the taste buds. Therefore, they now come in forms similar to manufactured medicines but still have the natural content of medicinal herbs.
– Capsules and tablets -contain powdered form of the medicinal herb and make it easy to intake or administer
– Teas – just like in capsules and tablets, the herbal formulation is placed in bags (as opposed to capsules) to be dipped in hot water for sipping or drinking
– Ointments and rubs – today, you can find several herbal-based ointments that provide relief or reparation from wounds, broken skin, rashes, sunburn, irritation, etc.
Commercialization of Herbal Medicines
With the influx of commercially prepared herbal-based products, many fear that they no longer have the same level of efficacy as compared to herbal preparations prepared at home. However, you can be assured that further research has identified active properties present in most plants. These can be used to produce medicines.
You can still opt for the traditional recipes and preparation for medicinal herbs to treat illnesses. You must consult with your physician with regards to the proper dosage and ingredients present in your chosen herb. But if you want to get medicinal relief from herbal properties, you can get them in various forms at a nearby drug store. All this does is to expand the healing capacity of medicinal herbs and make them accessible to more people.