Over 80% of the world's population rely
on herbs for health, and many different cultures use herbal remedies
to treat disease and promote well-being. Herbal Medicine
dates back to 3000 BC when the Egyptians used many herbs medicinally,
which are still in use today. Central to the practice of Herbal
Medicine, as a holistic healing system, is that it aims to restore
the body's self-healing mechanism or "vital force", and
remedies are prescribed for the patient rather than the symptoms.
Herbal "synergy" is a key concept in Herbal Medicine
- this maintains that whole plants are far more effective in treatment
than the isolated constituents that are used in many synthetic drugs.
In use today are many plant species
from North America, Africa and Australia which form part of the
extensive repertoire of Western herbalism.
Herbal Medicine is enjoying a
resurgence in popularity and many people self-treat for minor ailments
eg. using echinacea to boost immune function and ward off colds.