What is herbal medicine?
Plants have been used to heal animals and humans from earliest pre-historic times, and world-wide herbal medicine is still the widest used medicine by humans. The cells of our body are biologically familiar and compatible with the natural chemicals found in plants.
The way we take herbal medicine these days is not very different from ancient times, when plants were steeped in boiling water and the resulting infusion drunk by the patient.
Today, infusions are still a very common form of dispensing herbs, but we also extract the plants in a water/alcohol or glycerine solution to make a concentrated and convenient method of taking herbal medicine. Other options may include taking powders in your smoothie, or herbal capsules or, using herbs topically in ointments, creams or as a poultice.
Pharmaceutical companies continue to research the plant world as a basis for drug development, but they search for the single “active ingredient” of a plant's many chemical constituents when looking to develop medicines. Medical herbalists prefer to use the whole plant extract, because we believe in working with the balance of nature. Professionally prescribed, herbal medicine is incredibly safe and effective, and can be used as a stand-alone medical model or in conjunction with mainstream medicine.