Since the beginning of time herbs have been used as medicine. Herbs our part of our collective ancestry and are part of the reason that both human and animal species have weathered disease epidemics.
In India and China medicinal classification systems developed hundreds of years ago are still used today. Many of the herbs used a thousand years ago are still used today in both holistic and conventional medicine. Often, with the help of technology, specific components are extracted or synthesized and made into commonly used drugs.
The World Health Organization estimates that at least 80% of the world uses traditional and herbal medicines as part of their healthcare and that these medicines can be effective against various infective and chronic conditions. These forms of medicine have become such important parts of our healthcare that the National Institute of Health now has a branch (National Center for Contemporary and Alternative Medicine) dedicated to researching different forms of herbal medicine.
So are all herbal medicines safe? The simple answer is no. Like pharmaceuticals (drugs), herbs can have side effects. Some herbs can also be very dangerous in their medicinal effects. In most cases though, herbs have less side effects and are milder in their action than their drug counterparts. Like drugs though, all herbal supplements and treatment should be managed and supervised by a physician.
At Oregon Natural Medicine, we have a natural pharmacy in our clinic with many common and not-so-common herbs and botancial treatments that we commonly prescribe.
Interested in finding out more about herbs and your health?
Call our office at 503-946-8700