A herb to a medical herbalist is any plant material that can be used in medicine and health care. This can include botanical herbs, flowers, heart and bark wood, seeds, ferns, mosses, lichen, seaweed and fungi.
The use of herbs as a source of healing is inherent to all cultures throughout history, with the growth of large pharmaceutical companies traditional ways have been ignored or ridiculed, as they have grown so has the decline of our knowledge of natural healing and over time that knowledge has be educated out. At last we are starting to remember and recognise the value of traditional medicine.
What is not realised by many is that herbs are the foundation of much of modern medicine. Scientific research into the active ingredients of natural plant and herb has resulted in the manufacture of a wide range of potent drugs. A few examples are aspirin which was found in willow bark, the heart failure drug came from foxglove and steroids from wild yam.
Nature gave us healing herbs as they are, to use them as is but the pharmaceutical companies take what they consider the active ingredient leaving/ignoring the rest. Yes the active ingredient works but on its own it’s like a bullet doing harm on its way. That’s why so many times another drug has to be prescribed to counteract the side effects of the first drug. Whereas the whole plant as nature intended has all within it to work with the body.