Herbal Medicine

3 Surprising Herbal Medicine Facts

A photo of a white mortar with herbs inside of it to be ground, as well as herbs around it for decoration.

The Importance, Benefits, and History of Herbal Medicine

Some people think of herbal medicine as something similar to their local traditional customs: nice and familiar, but probably useless, outdated – or even a bit woo-woo.

Other people are aware that medicinal herbs are a healthier alternative to regular prescribed drugs, but they’re still not sure about herbal medicine effectiveness and whether it can really help them.

Most people, however, don’t know about these three surprising herbal medicine facts about its importance, benefits, and history, all of which testify to its enormous power.

Fact #1:

80% of the World Population Uses Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine is extensively used around the world, with 80% of the global population actively using medicinal herbs.

There are many reasons millions of people across the globe continue to use herbs as medicine.

First of all, the elderly in our communities usually know a thing or two about the power of natural medicine and have been passing it on from generation to generation for millennia.

Apart from this, herbal medicine is usually affordable and readily available. No matter where in the world we are – there’s a good chance there are plants around our neighbourhood. Some of us modern busy people may have forgotten these ancient healing helpers, but nature is abundantly nourishing, renewing, and waiting for our return.

Herbal medicine is also sustainable and convenient. Healing medicinal herbs can be found and taken in many forms: fresh or dried, liquid extracts such as powerful liquid extracts and tincturesloose tea, tea bags, capsules, tablets, or powders. Whichever option you choose, you will get to experience strong healing benefits of herbal medicine.

Fact #2:

Herbal Medicine Predates Written Human History

Some of the archeological research indicates the use of medicinal plants as far back as approximately 60,000 years ago, during the Paleolithic.

The fact that prehistoric people were using this type of medicine is supported by some of the burial places discovered, such as a 60,000-year-old Neanderthal burial site in northern Iraq, where quite a few plant samples were found and gathered.

Ever heard of Ötzi the Iceman, the natural mummy of a man who lived between 3400 and 3100 BCE and was frozen in the Ötztal Alps for more than 5,000 years? A few medicinal plants were found in his personal effects. It seems that these herbs were used to treat the parasites in his intestines!

Not only humans used herbs as medicine, though. Some animals such as monarch butterflies and sheep seemed to have ingested medicinal plants when ill.

Fact #3:

7,000 Compounds in Modern Medicine are Derived from Plants

Do medicinal herbs really work? Is herbal medicine effective?

Next time you hear someone wondering about this, just remember:

Not only does herbal medicine predate our human history, but approximately 7,000 compounds in modern medicine are derived from plants.

The billion-dollar pharmaceutical industry is getting richer every day by manufacturing, patenting, and packing these powerful medicinal plants into “hit wonder” drugs.

The processing of medicinal herbs in modern drug laboratories to extract a particular compound tends to strip away its corresponding beneficial components found in the original herb.

The compounds naturally found in the herb balance each other out, preventing side-effects and preserving the herb’s original healing properties. This makes the use of the unprocessed medicinal herb generally safer than the processed chemical drug – another major benefit of herbal medicine!

Herbs are not drugs. They are plants, which are, at root, only one thing: ecological modulators – both of large systems like the Earth and smaller ones, like our bodies. They act to move systems, irrespective of size, back to health, to re-establish homeodynamis – what some people, incorrectly call homeostasis (there are no static states in nature, only dynamic ones). And plants are extremely good at their job which they have refined over several hundred million years or so. Pharmaceuticals, which are a century old or so, are single molecules that force a change in the body of one sort or another. They don’t usually perform multiple actions. Herbs often contain hundreds of compounds that act synergistically.

Stephen Harrod Buhner

For this reason, it is better to use a medicinal plant as a whole, in the form of tea or extract, in order to preserve this natural synergy of the plant’s active compounds.

Is Herbal Medicine Effective?

The facts noted above strongly suggest herbal medicine is here to stay since people have been reaping the benefits of its powerful healing properties for ages.

Thousands of studies confirm the effectiveness of herbal medicine, both for common and more severe health conditions. The research is still ongoing, so new exciting insights on the great importance and benefits of herbal medicine are yet to come.

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