History of Herbal Medicine
Medicinal herbs were first known to be grown by monks during the middle ages. Native Americans introduced colonists to medicinal herbs and plants, some of which are still used today.
In the early 1900s, chemists were able to extract and modify certain ingredients in plants, expanding the accessibility of herbal medicine. The effectiveness and safety of medicinal herbs have stood the test of time. Today, 40% of pharmaceuticals are botanical-based, and according the World Health Organization, about 80% of people worldwide rely on herbal medicinals for part of their primary healthcare needs.
Herbalism, or botanical medicine, is a healing method based on the use of plants and herbal extracts being ingested internally or applied externally to the skin. They are designed to support weakened or damaged systems, address pathology and at the appropriate times offer a form of palliative treatment that can have a positive impact on your health from a holistic perspective. Every culture around the world has used herbs for therapeutic purposes, as the benefits and uses are vast.
Herbal medicines work in a similar way as food. They nourish and sustain a person’s body while aiding in the treatment or prevention of ailments and diseases. One could make the analogy that herbal medicines are concentrated forms of food both medicinal and nutrient rich foods.
Western Herbal Medicine
Traditional western herbal medicine evolved from ancient Greeks who were influenced by Egyptian and Middle Eastern cultures. The use of herbal formulas for medicine is one of the oldest and most widespread forms of healing and has seen increased interest in the modern medical community.
Western herbal medicine integrates traditional knowledge of herbal medicine with science by healing through natural plant material with almost no industrial processing. The practice takes all or part of a plant, such as the bark, root, or leaves, to prevent or treat illnesses. Herbal remedies can be used to treat a vast range of ailments including emotional disorders, skin conditions, digestive problems, insomnia, and fatigue.
Versatility of Herbal Medicine
Herbalism can be used alone or in conjunction with traditional medicine. Herbal medicines are sometimes used to support the activity of pharmaceuticals so that only a small dose of the synthetic medicines need to be used. This can minimize unfavorable side effects that some people may experience with traditional medicine alone.
Herbal remedies can be used for countless medicinal purposes. They aim to improve the functions of major body systems in order to restore a balanced state in the body. Western herbal medicine improves mood, aids in sleep, relieves tension, increases energy, and promotes an overall sense of well-being.
Heart Spring Health is unique in that we formulate herbal medicine in-house, which allows practitioners to design formulas specifically for our patients. We carry bulk herbs, tinctures, teas, and flower essences.