Herbal Medicine

The plants have enough spirit to transform our limited vision. Rosemary Gladstar, herbalist and author

What is Herbal Medicine?

Photo-Services-BotanicalHerbal medicine is the use of plants to treat common health conditions. The applications of plants as medicine has a rich tradition dating back centuries, and until recently, it represented the only form of medical prescriptions. Currently, plants have contributed to over half of the pharmaceuticals we know today, and are a powerful form of medicine that can assist healing on many levels. Naturopathic doctors are the only primary care providers trained in botanical medicine.

What is the difference between Herbal Medicine and Pharmaceuticals?

Plants are generally safer than pharmaceuticals and have less side effects. Herbal medicine commonly utilizes the whole plant, whereas pharmaceuticals extract, concentrate, and chemically alter a single compound from the plant. Using all the components of the plant produces a gentler, more complete medicine.

In general, pharmaceuticals are used to address symptoms of a condition, where botanicals are able to both address uncomfortable symptoms and heal the body by treating the cause. Many plants help to nourish, detoxify, and restore a taxed system, creating long-term, lasting health improvements. Plant alternatives to a medication do not always exist, and herbal medicine can often counter negative side effects or complement medications, increasing their effectiveness.

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