Information About Medicine

Among the medicines, herbal medicine is the oldest form of health care known to mankind, and is also called botanical medicine or herbalism. This type of medicine began with primitive cultures using different plants for shelter, clothing, and medicine. Herbal medicine is a complementary therapy that uses plants or plant extracts to treat different ailments, and is an important part of keeping healthy holistically and naturally.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that as many as 4 billion people or 80 percent of the world's population presently use herbal medicine for some aspects of their primary health care. Almost all of the people, including ancient cultures dating back thousands of years, have used herbs. Medicinal herbs were found in the personal uses of an "Ice man" whose body was frozen in the Swiss Alps for more than 5,300 years. Those people appear to have been used to treat the parasites found in his intestines. In the written record, the study of herbal medicine dates back over 5,000 years to the Sumerians, who described well-established medicinal uses for such plants as laurel, caraway, and thyme. The continuing importance of this medicine for the centuries following the middle ages is indicated by the hundreds of pages of information on medicine published after the invention of printing in the fifteenth century.

There was written information on the usage of medicines. This can be prepared in a variety of forms depending on their purpose. They have been used in all cultures throughout medicinal history to restore balance by nourishing the body and have provided humankind with medicine from the earliest beginnings of civilization. Herbs contain a large number of naturally occurring chemicals that have immense biological activity. Herbs can act on the body as powerfully as pharmaceutical drugs and must be treated with the same caution and respect.

Herbal medicines can also have undesirable side effects just as pharmaceutical products can. These medicines may be harmful if taken for the wrong conditions, used in excessive amounts, combined with prescription drugs or alcohol, or used by persons who do not know what they are doing. Most medicinal traditions have accumulated knowledge without modern scientific controls to distinguish between the placebo effect, the body's natural ability to heal it self, and the actual benefits of the herbs themselves.

Medicinal herbs or plants can be used by anyone, for example as part of a salad, an herbal tea or supplement. Most of the medicinal herbs and spices used by humans to season food yield useful medicinal compounds. To use a medicinal product as safely as possible consult people should always consult their doctor or a trained herbalist before they begin. People should never take a bigger dose than the label recommends and should take it under the guidance of someone trained in and experienced with herbal use. People should be especially cautious if they are pregnant or nursing. While herbal medicine is older than any other type of health care, it continues to influence the modern medicines. Herbal medicine has proven to be a great benefit to mankind and has never been more popular than it is today.

People can improve their health and personal well being as they begin to use complementary herbal medicines confidently and effectively.