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Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine is a natural form of medicine.

Herbs and plants were our first medicines, and predate recorded history. Herbal medicine is the oldest and the most widely used system of medicine in the world today. This medicine is made exclusively from plants and is used in all societies and cultures. Using plants as medicine provides significant advantages for treating many conditions. The therapeutic activity of a plant is due to its complex chemical nature with different parts of the plant providing certain therapeutic effects.

Herbal medicine is increasingly being validated by scientific investigation. Modern science seeks to understand the active chemistry of medicinal herbs, and to confirm their safety and efficacy through clinical trials. Many modern pharmaceuticals have been modelled on or derived from chemicals found in plants. An example is the heart medication digoxin, derived from foxglove (Digitalis purpurea).

Herbal medicine can treat almost any condition, both acute and chronic, that patients might take to their doctor, e.g. skin and circulatory problems, digestive and gynaecological disorders, etc.

A medical herbalist takes a holistic view towards health and illness and will assess you as a person, not a disease. S/he prescribes and dispenses plant medicines in a safe and effective manner, seeking to treat the underlying cause of the problem, while acknowledging the body’s innate ability to heal itself. S/he aims to prevent illness and restore health by providing dietary and lifestyle advice.


Sourced from: New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists

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