Herbalism, which is also known as herbal medicine or herbology, is the concept of using plants to treat medical ailments. Interestingly, the word ‘drug’ comes from the meaning of ‘dried plant’.
Herbalism is not a new concept; people have been using herbs for years to treat everything from an upset stomach to the common cold. In fact, herbalism dates back to more than 6000 decades ago.
Particularly known to have been studied and used at length by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Romans and Chinese, herbal medicine remains a popular choice of treatment for a great many people the world over.
Hippocrates, known throughout the world as the ‘father of medicine’ is one such person responsible for developing the use of herbal medicine. He was a firm believer in making dietary changes in order for a person to obtain medicinal benefits for their food.
During medieval times, a nun by the name of Hildegard was a skilled herbalist and therefore, was regarded to be the first female doctor in Europe.
There are some regions in the world where this method of medical treatment is used as the primary form of medicinal care. This includes multiple countries in Africa and Asia and some places in South America. While many of these places will use modern medicine as well, more than 80 percent of the health treatments offered to patients are herbal in nature.
The Advantages Of Herbalism
The reasons for the preference of herbal medicine in some places of the world comes down to a few factors. For some it si simply part of their tradition. While other locations may be poor and therefore, not have as much access to conventional medicine.
Many people in the West also prefer using herbal medicine for a number of reasons. Some of the most common reasons include;
A Lower Number Of Side Effects
Many pharmaceutical drugs can often bring side effects. While some can be minor, others are severe and in some cases, can significantly impact a person’s quality of life.
Herbal medicine is known to be a natural approach to treatment and also to have a low number of side effects from taking the herbs.
Many people like the idea of visiting a professional herbalist as they will take into consideration one’s condition along with their lifestyle and constitution. From this, they will specifically tailor a prescription that is just right for them.
Assist With Some Medical Drugs
In some cases, medicinal plants can be used in conjunction with prescription drugs in order to help reduce some of the side effects. If you are considering this then always consult your doctor first.
Plants are often far more cost-effective than pharmaceuticals. Those who do not have insurance coverage can spend a great deal of money each month for medications, while those who prefer herbology will be able to get treatment for many times less.
Disadvantages of Herbalism
There are definite benefits, but there are some disadvantages associated with it as well. Here is a look at the downside of herbal medicine.
Ineffective For Trauma
While some medical conditions can be successfully treated with herbs, there are many that cannot. If you have a broken bone or some other serious trauma, you will have to head to a medical facility if you want the best treatment.