Herbalism (also herbology or herbal medicine) is the use of plants for medicinal purposes, and the study of botany for such use. Plants have been the basis for medical treatments through much of human history, and such traditional medicine is still widely practiced today. Modern medicine recognizes herbalism as a form of alternative medicine, as the practice of herbalism is not strictly based on evidence gathered using the scientific method. Modern medicine, does, however, make use of many plant-derived compounds as the basis for evidence-tested pharmaceutical drugs, phytotherapy, and phytochemistry works to apply modern standards of effectiveness testing to herbs and medicines that are derived from natural sources. The scope of herbal medicine is sometimes extended to include fungal and bee products, as well as minerals, shells and certain animal parts.
Herbal medicine has its origins in ancient cultures including those of the Egyptians, American Indians and Chinese. It involves the medicinal use of plants to treat disease and enhance general health and well being. Some herbs have potent ingredients and should be treated with the same care and respect as pharmaceutical drugs. In fact, many pharmaceutical drugs are based on the synthesized versions of naturally occurring compounds found in plants. For instance, the heart drug digitalis was derived from the herb foxglove. In recent years, interest in herbal medicine has skyrocketed, leading to a greater scientific interest in the medicinal use of plants. Many international studies have shown that plants are capable of treating disease and improving health, often without any significant side effects… view the presentation for more.