The practice of using herbs and herbal preparations to assist the healing process is the oldest form of medicine in the world. For thousands of years in many parts of the world, people both ancient and modern have looked to nature to provide substances that have a therapeutic effect on the human mind and body.
In the modern context, science and scientific investigation have resulted in pharmaceutical preparations rather than raw herbal ingredients being used in therapeutic treatments. Many of these pharmaceutical drugs have been formulated by taking isolated ingredients from traditionally-used herbal preparations.
As more research is conducted into the active ingredients in herbs, it becomes increasingly evident that nature has provided us with a complex pharmacy of deep-acting and very effective medicines. Ironically, there are often several active ingredients in one herb that give each ingredient a ‘synergistic’ or more powerful effect in combination than when it is given in isolation. This is often nature’s way of avoiding the side-effects so often noted with the use of chemical drugs – even when they have been synthesised from an isolated plant ingredient.
Many people use herbs in their daily life, such as peppermint tea to calm digestion, valerian for sleep or olive leaf for immunity. These kinds of simple herbs are readily available in shops and have a long-proven record of safe home usage. In days gone by, it was common for families to have a herb garden containing medicinal herbs that could be picked and used as a tea to treat a variety of basic ailments.
When health issues need more specific treatment, these simple home herbals cannot act deeply enough in the body. This is when the experience of a practitioner trained in the use of herbal medicine is essential. The practitioner knows how to carefully assess all presenting symptoms and to establish the most likely cause. With this information, an exact herbal prescription is given that will improve health by eliminating the cause of illness rather than only suppressing obvious symptoms.
This approach to treatment provide long-term wellness.