Medical practitioners have been using plants to promote health and wellness for thousands of years. In most parts of the world, herbal medicine is still the main form of health care because it is much more affordable than modern pharmaceutical medication and is available locally.
Herbal medicine uses the berries, roots, leaves, bark, flowers, or seeds of medicinal plants for the treatment and prevention of disease. Medicinal plants contain active ingredients that are present in some prescription medications, but they also contain other compounds that mitigate the side-effects of these potent ingredients.
Different Types of Herbal Medicines
- Tinctures are made by placing herbs in pure alcohol to extract their active ingredients. They are prescribed as drops.
- Capsules or tablets contain the whole dried herb in a convenient easy-to-swallow format.
- Teas are dried herbs that are placed in hot water to extract their active ingredients.
What symptoms and illnesses respond to herbal medicine?
Herbal medicine can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions, both acute and chronic, such as arthritis, insomnia, anxiety, depression, frequent colds and flus, hormonal imbalances, allergies, digestive disorders, and many others.
How long would I need to take herbal medicine?
Usually, the length of time you need to take herbal medicine depends on whether your condition is acute or chronic. For acute conditions, such as colds or flus, you only need to take herbs for a few days or weeks, depending on how quickly your symptoms resolve. For chronic conditions, such as arthritis or depression, you may need to take herbal medicine for several months or years, depending on the severity of your condition.
How many different herbal medicines would I have to take?
It depends on your condition. Sometimes, combinations of several different herbs, which can be taken as a tincture, capsule, or tea, are more effective than a single herb in treating certain conditions. For other illnesses, one herb may work very well.
Are herbs safe to take?
Herbs are safe to take when they are prescribed properly. It is important to buy herbs from reputable companies that make sure no dangerous substances, such as lead, are present.
Naturopathic doctors do a careful check of all pharmaceutical medications you are currently taking to make sure that there are no dangerous interactions with any herbal medicines.
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