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Herbal Medicine

What Is It?
How Does It Work?
What Happens During Treatment?
What Is It Used For?
Side Effects/Cautions
Recommended Books


What Is It?
Herbal medicine is a system of healing that uses certain plants to remedy a host of ailments. This ancient and widely used system can be traced back to Neanderthal society, and ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Indian and Chinese medicinal practices were based on herbal healing. Even animals like chimpanzees tend to eat certain plants when they are ill. Many modern drugs like aspirin, morphine, steroids and amphetamines are derived from plants.

Herbalism emphasises a holistic approach to healing, treating people as a whole rather than just their symptoms. It appears to be growing in popularity as we learn more about the dangers and side effects of some prescription drugs.

How Does It Work?
Herbal medicines are extracted from the flowers, leaves, roots and seeds of plants which contain essential oils, vitamins and minerals known to have healing properties. Herbalists draw on their knowledge of these plants to suggest a remedy suitable for the patient’s specific needs. These remedies are designed to boost the body’s ability to heal itself.

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What Happens During Treatment?
Your herbalist will ask about your medical history, diet and lifestyle, as well as your specific problem. Let her/him know about any prescription medicines you are taking, or if you are pregnant or suffer from any serious ailments. Most herbalists will work together with your doctor if you are receiving medical treatment for specific ailments.

Selected herbs will be recommended to treat your problem, as well as boost your immune system and increase vitality needed to prevent further illness. These are given in a variety of forms, including tinctures, infusions, ointments, capsules, or lozenges.

As well as herbal remedies, your herbalist may suggest changes in diet and lifestyle, such as getting more exercise and quitting smoking.

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What Is It Used For?
Herbal Medicine has been used successfully to treat a wide variety of common ailments including colds, coughs, acne, eczema, arthritis, asthma, digestive problems, migraine, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, premenstrual tension, menopausal problems, insomnia, and many more.

Side Effects/Cautions
Some herbal medicines can interfere with certain prescription medicines - consult your doctor before taking any herbal treatments.

Certain herbs should be avoided when pregnant. For example, pennyroyal, black cohosh and goldenseal are known to induce miscarriages.

Some herbs are very powerful, and should be taken with care, preferably under the supervision of a trained herbalist.

If you are taking herbal supplements without the supervision of an herbalist, check the label carefully for contraindications.

References

Find a Herbal Medicine Practitioner

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Recommended Books

Prices are in US Dollars

 

Prescription for Herbal Healing: An Easy-to-Use A-Z Reference to Hundreds of Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies
Phyllis A. Balch

The popularity of herbal medicine has exploded during the past decade, with herbal remedies becoming increasingly available in such conventional outlets as drugstores and even supermarkets. Prescription for Herbal Healing brings to herbal medicine the same in-depth, easy-to-understand information and accessible style that Prescription for Nutritional Healing successfully brought to diet and nutritional supplements.
This book is divided into three parts for easy reference. Part I discusses the basic principles of herbal medicine and outlines the properties and characteristics of some one hundred sixty single herbs and sixty herbal combination formulas. Part II describes more than one hundred fifty common disorders, conveniently arranged in alphabetical order from acne to yeast infection, and names the herbal therapies that can be used in the treatment of those conditions. Part III is a guide to using various kinds of herbal and other alternative therapies. In addition, it includes self-diagnostic tests and boxed insets throughout, which offer detailed information on a wide variety of topics.
Complete coverage of Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs make this volume entirely comprehensive, and thorough scientific references lend it an authority not found in any other herbal book. Prescription for Herbal Healing is the definitive herbal resource and is a necessity for any health-conscious consumer.

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The Green Pharmacy : The Ultimate Compendium Of Natural Remedies From The World's Foremost Authority On Healing Herbs (Green Pharmacy)
James A. Duke

Many diseased and conditions for which we turn to modern medicine can also be treated naturally with healing herbs, medicinal food, other natural remedies--and these treatments can be safer, less expensive and possibly even more effective than traditional methods. Dr. James Duke, the world's leading authority on healing herbs, leads you through the vast world of natural remedies--from Anise for Asthma to Violet for Varicose Veins, and everything in between. With just a few trips to the health-food store, the supermarket, or your own backyard--and with the help of Dr. Duke--you'll have everything you need to create your own Natural Medicine Cabinet.

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Herbal Medicine
R. F. Weiss, Volker Fintelmann

With the new contribution of Dr. Volker Fintelmann, Weiss's classic text on Herbal Medicine has been expanded and refocused to meet the needs of practicing physicians, residents, students, and other clinicians.
Arranged by organ system, the book's clear structure and scientific orientation make the topic of herbal medicine accessible to even the most traditional medical doctor. You will benefit from the newest research, clinical studies, and the pivotal findings of the German Commission E on the efficacy of herbs.
Special features include:
• In-depth coverage of the state-of-the-art of phytotherapy
• Key prescription information highlighted in each chapter
• Superb colour photographs throughout the text
• Two new quick reference sections that maximize your access to the material -- by herbs and the disorder they are used for, and by disorder and the herbs used in its treatment

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More Herbal Medicine Books

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