Plants have been used for medicinal purposes long before recorded history.
In the early 19th century when chemical analysis first became available, Scientists began to extract and modify the active ingredients from plants. Later, chemists began making their own version of plant compounds and over time the use of herbal medicines declined in favour of drugs. Almost one quarter of pharmaceutical drugs are derived from botanicals.
How do herbs work?
In many cases scientists aren’t sure what specific ingredients in a particular herb works to treat a condition or illness.
Whole herbs contain many ingredients and they may work together to produce a beneficial effect.
Commonly used herbal supplements include:
- Echinacea (can help improve the immune system)
- Garlic (respiratory conditions)
- Valerian (anxiety)
- Milk thistle (liver complaints)
- Slippery elm (digestive upsets)
Herbal supplements are a safe and gentle alternative therapy or can be used alongside conventional treatment.