Herbal medicine, also known as herbalism, botanical medicine or phytomedicine, is a medical system based on the use of plants or plant extracts for therapeutic purposes to treat & prevent disease, as well as to promote health. The practice of using herbs for medicine dates back thousands of years; it’s considered the oldest system of medicine and is still the most widely used in the world today. Herbal medicine has had a major influence on many systems of medicine, including Ayurvedic (Indian) medicine, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Native American and Indigenous Australian medicine. Written records of Roman, Hebrew, Egyptian and other ancient cultures show that herbs were used to treat myriad illnesses. Other healing modalities such as conventional allopathic medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy and flower essences have evolved from botanical medicine. In fact, many prescription medicines used today were originally derived from plants.
Herbal remedies may come from the leaf, flower, stem, seed, root, fruit or bark of the plant. They come in the form of extracts, tinctures, capsules, powders, tablets, lotions and creams; they are also used in baths and teas.
You’ve likely utilized herbal medicine yourself. Have you ever used:
The above just scratches the surface. Herbal medicine is used to treat myriad health conditions, including: