Herbalism – What is it?

Herbalism is a practice and study of using the parts of the plant such as the leaves, stems, flowers, roots wood, bark, seed, fruits, etc. as a means of medicine and therapy. Herbalism has been widely used in many countries in the world and proven that these medicines mainly helped the healing function of the human body and has been used for many years as an alternative medicine to maintain a good health, prevention of getting any diseases as well as improvement for the treatment of several illnesses like mental and physical illness.


Different Types of Herbalism

Herbalism has different types from all over the world that you can refer to:

  • Ayurvedic Herbology – Ayurvedic which means the “knowledge of life”. The healing it provides is based on the Indian herbs that said to be a source of a healing energy. It mainly focuses on having a good body, mind and soul.
  • Western Herbology – This form of Herbalism is a tradition that is from Europe and the Native Americans which studies the use of herbs as a prevention of illness. Hippocrates and Galen are the early influences of this tradition.
  • European Herbology – Based from the Greek and Roman practice of traditional healing by using the roots of the plant to heal a certain illness or disease.
  • Chinese Herbal Medicine – This form of Herbalism focuses on restoring the energy, body and spirit to be able to have that healthy body. It was also said that this has been used for over 3000 years.
  • Native American Herbology – This form of Herbalism is used to cleanse, treat and purify the body with the use of natural plants as well as medicinal herbs. It was said that this can regulate the function of the body and stimulate the immune system

Origin of Herbalism

Image: Herbal Products, Courtesy: wikipedia.org

The use of herbal medicine has been used for so many years. The ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Indians and Babylonians are the people who used herbal medicines and were called as Herbalists. According to the researchers, as early as the Palaeolithic era (approximately 60,000 years ago), written evidence of the use of plants as medicines was discovered. Ancient Egyptian are one of the earliest people who have use herbal medicines which was during 1000 BC, they have used herbs such as mint, indigo, garlic and opium. Shennong Bencao Jing, is the first Chinese herbal book that was combined during the Han dynasty (3000 BC), 365 medicinal plants including their uses are listed in this book and up until to the succeeding generation, they still use this book as a reference for other herbal medicine.

Uses of Herbalism

Herbalism is most commonly use for health purposes such as for treatment of various diseases without getting any side effects. It was said that this can be used to prevent colon cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Another use of herbal medicine is to lower your blood sugar, it was discovered that taking herbal medicine in a daily basis would reduce your blood sugar at around 10%. This can also be used if you are experiencing stomach aches or nausea and arthritis. Prevention of cancer is also one of the used of herbal medicine as it can stop tumour formation in the body.

Also used for

Herbalism is also used for relieving stress; it was proven that stress can absorb many negative reactions in your body and factors like depression, frustration and anxiety are always one of the reasons behind of having stress. When you take herbal medicines that are made from flowers, this will make you feel more relaxed and calm.

Precautions Practicing Herbalism

Herbal medicines can provide you with the most benefits that your body could have, but you should remember that there are still precautions that you need to take note. You have to be sure that you are not allergic to any herb, so it would be best to check for any allergic reaction.  It is also not recommended to use herbal combination in therapeutic doses for more than 12 weeks unless it was advised by your doctor. This is mainly because your body can become immune to the health benefit that the herbs offer. If you are pregnant, you are not allowed to take herbal medicines as this can stimulate the uterus muscles.

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