Alternative Treatments

Medical Herbalism & Nutrition

Medical Herbalism, Naural Substances, and Nutrition is constantly in the news for their value in treating medical problems and illnesses. From treating sleeplessness, to pain and discomfort, these substances, although natural, should be used with care and caution.

Herbalism is a traditional medicinal or folk medicine practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts. (Herbalism is also known as botanical medicine, medical herbalism, herbal medicine, herbology, herblore, and phytotherapy.) The scope of herbal medicine includes fungal, bee products, minerals, shells, and certain animal parts. Pharmacognosy is the study of medicines derived from natural sources. Natural products include a substance's natural benefits, vitamins, minerals, and oils.

Plants have the ability to synthesize chemical compounds that help them defend against attack from a wide variety of predators such as insects, fungi and herbivorous mammals. Some of these compounds, while being toxic to plant predators, have beneficial effects when used to treat human diseases. Such secondary metabolites are highly varied in structure, many are aromatic substances, most of which are phenols or their oxygen-substituted derivatives. At least 12,000 have been isolated so far. Chemical compounds in plants mediate their effects on the human body by binding to receptor molecules present in the body. These processes are identical to those already well understood for conventional drugs, and as such, herbal medicines do not differ greatly from conventional drugs in terms of how they work. This enables herbal medicines to be in principle just as effective as conventional medicines. (WikipediA)

Along with the use of natural substances comes the same potential to cause harmful side effects as prescription drugs. Their use by patients and in treatments should be done by knowledgable medical professionals - who have training, and knowledge, as well as a current and accurate medical history of the patient. Always discuss your use of herbs, teas, and natural substances with your medical professional.