Why Herbal Medicine?
Plants have long been recognised for their therapeutic properties. From a Neanderthal burial site in Shanidar Cave (Iraq) up to the present day, medicinal herbs have proven indispensible to humans and animals. Contemporary science has acknowledged their active action hence the sources of many pharmaceutical drugs are synthesised from plants and natural products. In the 1800s many important pharmacological compounds were isolated from plants for the first time (e.g. morphine which was isolated from opium poppies - Papaver somniferum). Unlike synthetic drugs made from isolated compounds, medicinal plants have a synergistic effect. Synergy is a process in which some substances cooperate to reach a combined effect that is greater than the sum of their separate effects. American inventor and visionary Buckminster Fuller was quoted to say “Universe is synergetic. Life is synergetic”...
Herbal medicines are accessible, inexpensive, have a safer profile than synthetic drugs, and are not provided from a remote professional or government apparatus. Possibly for these reasons, according to World Health Organization, 80% of the world's population still rely on herbal medicine as a primary source of healthcare.
Some herbs can be toxic depending on dosage and some contraindicated. Misidentification of plants can be dangerous. Wrong plant part and incorrect preparation and administration can also be an issue. Always consult a medical herbalist before embarking on a herbal programme.