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Along with massage, it is the oldest form of medicine known to man.
Originally plants were found by trial and error and their effectiveness established over the millennia.
Today, this wealth of knowledge is enhanced by scientific verification of a plant's chemical constituents, enabling practitioners to mix and prescribe plants with a high degree of accuracy and understanding.
Over 80% of the worlds population rely on herbs for health and as such it is still the most widely used form of medicine in the world even though we think of it as an alternative therapy.
Herbal medicines, are extracts from whole parts of a plant (e.g. berries, leaves, roots etc.), they contain hundreds, sometimes thousands of plant constituents. It is the Herbalists contention that these other constituents balance the 'active' ingredients, making them more or less powerful. In orthodox medicine, for example, an alkaloid from the herb Ephedra sinica is used to treat asthma, it has the side effect, however, of raising the blood pressure. Within the whole plant are six other alkaloids, one of which prevents a rise in blood pressure. Similarly, synthetic diuretics (drugs which increase the flow of urine) also have the effect of seriously reducing potassium. Herbalists prefer Dandelion leaves which are a powerful diuretic but also contain potassium to naturally restore the potassium which is lost. Herbs help to stimulate the body to do what it is supposed to, thereby helping the body to help itself.
Different cultures have their own philosophies with regards to the use of herbs; here at Cure by Nature, our resident herbalist uses Western Herbal Medicine.
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