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Ever wondered the expression ‘Herbal Pharmaceutical’? Moreover, are you aware ‘Morphine’ is a medicinal extract of poppy flower seeds founded 2 centuries ago?
Herbal medicine - herbalism - botanical medicine, are medicines or medical approaches that use plants or its extracts for treating and healing purposes. This treatment method has been used since ancient times and throughout diverse cultures. Some examples can be seen in traditional medical systems such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine in which herbal therapies were used.
Back then, herbal medicines were the only medicines available, but when chemical analysis method unfold, scientists started to extract and modify the active ingredients found in herbs and mix them with chemicals, thus creating the many drugs that we used today. However, the conventional medications are getting more and more expensive, which is why many have reverted back to using cheaper alternative treatment – herbal medicine is one of them.
Herbal medicine may be consumed or applied externally. It comes in extracts, capsules, tinctures, gel or teas. From minor injuries to serious illnesses, herbal medicines can usually do the trick provided that the right herbs and its section are used for the right condition as different part of the plant usually has different beneficial effects.
Herbalists prefer to use the whole plant instead of just extracting a certain active ingredient to fight off illness. The result would be more effective and less risky. For example, according to the University of New Hampshire, aspirin’s active ingredient salicylic acid is a meadowsweet’s derive which can result sensitive stomach. However, wouldn’t you be surprise that meadowsweet is also able to guard the stomach for it also contains tannin and mucilage to counter salicylic acid?
World Health Organisation has reported that about 80 percent people globally uses herbal medicines for their overall general wellbeing. This is mostly because, herbal medicines are easier to obtain and are much more affordable compared to modern medicines. Though herbal medicines are convenient as herbs can be home grown, not all of them are safe for human ingestion. Thus it is important that we educate ourselves on these herbs or get advice from an expert before consumption or application.
Written & Edited by Genopharma's Marketing & Communication Team
Date: 1st March 2018
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