Herbal medicine is the use of plants in the treatment of disease. It is the oldest form of medicine with records dating back to about 1500BC. The World Health Organisation claims that around 80% of the world’s population rely on herbal medicine for some of their primary health care.
Herbalism is a holistic treatment which investigates the underlying cause of the disease and its symptoms by looking at the patient’s medical history, diet and lifestyle. From the findings of the consultation a formula of several herbs is blended especially for each individual patient. The patient is given instructions on the correct way to take the medicine and the correct dosage to use. This personalised method of prescribing means that herbal medicine may be safely used by all ages, from babies to the elderly.
Herbal medicine is usually taken internally in the form of fluid extracts, tinctures (extracted using water and a low level of alcohol) or teas. However, they may also be used externally in creams, ointments and liniments for joint and muscle problems.