What is Herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine is a system of medicine which exclusively uses plants. Herbal medicine is the oldest form of medicine on our planet, and is still used as the primary form of medicine by over 75% of the world’s population. In fact it is the
traditional medicine of all cultures, and is based on observation and experience passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years.
Nowadays, there is also an enormous body of scientific information and research in the field of herbal medicine. This information assists herbalists to apply their traditional remedies with even greater safety and efficacy. Herbal medicine is the forerunner of modern drug medicine. Many chemical drugs are based on compounds found in plants. For example, the idea for aspirin came from the salicylates found in Willow bark, and heart drugs are still extracted from the Foxglove, more than 200 years after their discovery.
There are many other examples. The Madagascar Periwinkle provides drugs for the treatment of leukaemia, and taxol from the Pacific Yew offers one of the most promising breakthroughs in cancer chemotherapy for decades.
The World Health Organisation encourages herbal medicine because it is cheap and effective.