Modern Herbal Remedies
Modern Herbal Remedies history and facts
Herbal Remedies a brief summary - for more detail see
Modern Herbal Medicine
The practise of curing illnesses with herbs dates back to the origin of mankind itself. Archaeologists have discovered evidence of herbs being used for medicinal purposes in almost every significant discovery as far back as the remains of the first cave men.
There is very little knowledge of the actual Herbal Remedies practiced at the time but it is not difficult to surmise that it was mostly a trial and error process that was steeped in superstition, often seen as magic. Those with a little knowledge of Herbal Remedies were regarded as sages, magicians or witch doctors and they were probably not motivated to remove the mystique woven around Herbal Remedies as it not only gave them a standing in the community and a sense of power but also they could bury their mistakes and blame it on the gods, forefathers or some other dark form of fate.
Refinement of Herbal Remedies came slowly and before the advent of some form of record keeping most Herbal Remedies were passed down from the too old to the younger Herbal Remedies practitioners, often when they were too old to do it effectively, losing as much of the ancient Herbal Remedies knowledge during the transfer as was being gained by trying new things. Our Herbal Remedies records only date back some four or five thousand years in a few very well established modalities like ancient Chinese (TCM), Egyptian and Indian (Ayurveda) cultures while many modalities of Herbal Remedies like most of Africa, America and Australia could only be recorded as little as 500 years ago.
Modern Herbal Remedies have only developed in the Western world over the last 2000 years. Even then Herbal Remedies was much of a hit and miss affair where it was in vogue for some periods but frequently discounted as witchcraft and in more recent times as just old-fashioned Herbal Remedies.
Modern Herbal Remedies is a far cry from its shaky origins. Modern practitioners of Herbal Remedies are involved in the identification of the constituents and their effects, relying on biochemistry and other sophisticated modern technologies to identify individual substances found in Herbal Remedies, study their effects and documenting the findings. Microbiologists, pharmaceutical companies and research laboratories have turned their attention to the identification of the various effects of Herbal Remedies and plants in the quest for the next wonder drug. Over the years these discoveries aided by Herbal Remedies have not only helped mankind but have also been exceptionally lucrative like aspirin and warfarin to mention only two.
The science of modern Herbal Remedies is as much an understanding of the effect of the different constituents and mix of constituents in Herbal Remedies and plants as it is an understanding of the human body and how it functions. Although there is no substitute for knowledge in this very complex world of Herbal Remedies and side effects, modern Herbal Remedies is almost an art form of matching the choice and application of the herb to each individual patient. In this respect it is a holistic approach as the entire herb with all of its constituents is matched to all of the patient.
A qualified and experienced practitioner of Herbal Remedies will consider and understand the effect of every one of the known properties or constituents of the Herbal Remedies and carefully match this to the patient. He/she will also monitor the outcome carefully to ensure that the application of the Herbal Remedies are effective and, if not, modify the dose, application or even the herbs as needed. As the knowledgebase in Herbal Remedies is rapidly expanding, it is also necessary for the Herbal Remedies practitioner to stay informed on the most recent developments.
Not all herbs are safe. Aconite, a constituent of Wolf's Bane, is a deadly poison that was used but the ancient Chinese warriors and hunters on arrow tips, Digitalis, a constituent of Foxglove may be widely used to treat congestive heart failure but the difference between a therapeutic and fatal dose is so close that it has to be administered by experts, Warfarin used extensively to thin the blood of people to avoid cardiac infarctions is also used as a very effective rat poison - again the dosage is critical.
In our Herbal Pages (which can be reached from virtually anywhere on our site by clicking on our Herbal Directory in the left navigation bar or the green portion of the horizontal navigation bar above) we offer a description of many of the herbs. In each case we also document the constituents and, if known by us a description of each individual constituent as well as its effect, if known. We deliberately do not give much indication of how much of each constituent is present in the herb. This is not because of our ignorance but because so much of the mix of constituents is determined by the area the herb was grown in, the sub specie or strain of the herb or even just the climatic conditions over the period the herb was cultivated. These factors can and do affect the potency of the herb and the balance of constituents.