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Herbal Medicine

Herbal Medicine is the procedure of using plants or herbs to treat illness, and to enhance general wellbeing. Herbal medicine can be used to treat the following:

  •     Anxiety;
  •     Arthritis;
  •     Depression;
  •     High blood pressure;
  •     Insomnia;
  •     Hormonal imbalances;
  •     Headaches and migrains;
  •     Skin issues such as eczema;
  •     Other disorders.
Herbs needed to be treated with care as they have the potential to act as powerfully on the body as pharmaceutical drugs.  Herbs are administered by a herbalist or herbal therapist.

In recent years, the interest in herbal medicine has grown.  This has led to greater scientific research into the benefits and actions of the medicinal use of plants.

Active Ingredients and Herbal Medicine

A pharmaceutical drug will typically use a synthesized version of a plant’s active ingredient.  Practitioners of herbal medicine believe that the remedy will have greater healing strength if the whole plant is used in the remedy.

Specific Herbs and Their Uses

The aim of herbal medicine is to return the body to a state of natural balance.  By doing this, the hope is that the body can then start to heal itself.  There are some herbs that have been researched and have been proven to be effective and safe.  These include:

  • Echinacea.  This herb is known to boost the immune system and support the body in fighting infection;
  •  Dong quai (dang gui).  Used for treating gynaecological complaints, such as premenstrual tension and menopause symptoms;
  •  Garlic.  Contains antibiotic and antiviral properties;
  •  Ginger.  Many studies have found ginger to be effective in treating nausea and travel sickness;
  •  Ginseng.  Commonly used to boost immunity and improve mental functioning;
  •  Hypericum.  This herb is commonly known as St John’s Wort.  Research shows that this herb may be effective for anxiety and insomnia.
It is very important to note that herbal medicine must never be used to replace prescribed conventional medicine but may be used to compliment it in those scenarios where conventional medication is being used.

If you are planning to start taking a course of herbal medicine, it is vital that you tell your herbal practitioner what conventional drugs you are taking.  It is equally important to tell your doctor which herbal remedies you might be taking. 

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