Herbal medicine can be defined as medicinal products made from plants and botanicals used to maintain health or in the treatment of disease. Herbal medicine also referred to as herbal supplements, botanicals, or phytomedicines can come in dried, chopped, powdered, capsule, or liquid form and be taken as a pill, powder or tincture, added to bathwater, brewed as tea, are applied to the skin as a gel, lotion, or cream (Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2020). The practice of using herbal medicine dates back to hundreds of years and many people still believe in its use.

Health Benefits

Research suggests that herbal medicine offers many health and wellness benefits. Herbal supplements such as CBD Oil are known to offer relief from ailments such as depression and anxiety with its antidepressant properties. Whereas echinacea has been shown to help improve patient’s immunity, and lemon balm or sage has been shown to help lessen the severity of Alzheimer’s.

Meanwhile, aspects of Western and Chinese herbalism are commonly used to treat a host of health conditions including IBS, high cholesterols, eczema, sleep disorders, and diabetes with good clinical outcomes (Townsley, 2015). The many beneficial properties of various herbs make them a suitable choice for a host of ailments and conditions.

Accessibility

Herbal medicine is often more easily accessible to people than traditional medicine. One reason for this is because herbs, which are plants, can often be grown. This means they are something that can be cultivated and maintained by people themselves. Herbal medicine can also be more accessible because of costs. Typically, herbal medicine tends to be less expensive than traditional medicinal approaches making it more affordable and therefore a more viable option for many people (Townsley, 2015).

Cost-Effective

Herbal medicine from a cost standpoint tends to be more cost-effective than traditional medicine. Herbal supplements, tinctures, creams, teas, and other formulas tend to cost less than more expensive therapies, surgeries, or prescriptions (Townsley, 2015). This makes them a more reasonable option for many people trying to manage various ailments.

Safety

Generally speaking, herbal medicine is seen as safer than synthetic pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceuticals are often filled with compounds that have several side effects and risk factors. While herbs, on the other hand, have protective benefits and compounds within them that buffer their action meaning that these compounds exert a number of positive side effects that work to improve other health problems that one is not expecting to be addressed (Townsley, 2015).

Trust

Simply put, many people trust the history of herbal medicine far more than they trust the history of traditional medicine. Herbal medicine has been in practice for thousands of years by millions of people worldwide. The history of herbal medicine extends beyond that of any medical trial or study and for many people, that gives herbal medicine more credibility.

The knowledge of herbal medicine passed down within families and among generations holds a credibility that helps people feel comfortable and more empowered using an herbal medicine option in their daily life.

Herbal medicine is a treatment option that many people turn to and rely on. Because of its health benefits, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, relative safety, and the level of trust people have in herbal medicine, it is a treatment option that many more people are turning to. Thus, herbal medicine should be thoughtfully considered as a viable option for treatment when dealing with an ailment as it may provide an effective, less invasive, and affordable means of coping with various health ailments.

 

References:

Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2020). Herbal medicine. Johns Hopkins Medicine, based in Baltimore, Maryland. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/herbal-medicine

Townsley, M. (2015, December 11). Sublime | Why use herbal medicine? www.sublimemagazine.com. https://sublimemagazine.com/health-beauty/why-use-herbal-medicine

 

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