Botanical Medicine


 
 

What is Botanical Medicine?

Botanical Medicine refers to using a plant’s seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers for medicinal purposes. Botanical Medicine has a long tradition of use outside conventional medicine and since ancient times has been used by many different cultures throughout the world to treat illness and to assist bodily functions.

botanical

It is becoming more mainstream as improvements in production, along with advances in clinical research, show the value of herbal medicine in treating and preventing disease.

 

What is the history of Botanical Medicine?

Plants have been used for medicinal purposes long before recorded history. Ancient Chinese and Egyptian papyrus writings describe medicinal uses for plants as early as 3,000 BC.

In the early 19th century, when chemical analysis first became available, scientists began to extract and modify the active ingredients from plants. Later, chemists began making their own version of plant compounds and, over time, the use of herbal medicines declined in flavour of drugs. Almost one fourth of pharmaceutical drugs are derived from botanicals.

Recently, the (WHO) World Health Organization estimated that 80% of people worldwide rely on herbal medicines for some part of their primary health care. In North America public dissatisfaction with the cost of prescription medications, combined with an interest in returning to natural or organic remedies, has led to an increase in herbal medicine use.

What is Botanical Medicine good for?

Herbal medicine is used to treat many conditions, such as allergies, asthma, eczema, premenstrual syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, menopausal symptoms, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, and cancer, among others. It is best to take herbal supplements under the guidance of a trained provider.
 
Botanical medicine blurs the line between foods and medicines. Using herbs and spices that have disease-preventive effect in foods is one of the best ways to take advantage of their healing power.


 
However, since herbal medicines can potentially interact with prescription medications, and may worsen certain medical conditions, be sure to consult with your Naturopathic Doctor before taking any herbs.