Evolution of Western Herbalism

Western herbalism is a form of the healing arts that draws from herbal traditions of Europe and the Americas, and that emphasizes the study and use of European and Native American herbs in the treatment and prevention of illness. Western herbalism is based on physicians’ and herbalists’ clinical experience and traditional knowledge of medicinal plant remedies preserved by oral tradition and in written records over thousands of years. Western herbalism, like the much older system of traditional Chinese medicine , relies on the synergistic and curative properties of the plant to treat symptoms and disease and maintain health.

Western herbalism is based upon pharmocognosy, the study of natural products. Pharmocognosy includes the identification, extraction methods, and applications of specific plant constituents responsible for specific therapeutic actions, such as the use of digoxin from digitalis leaf for heart failure. These constituents are extracted, purified and studied in clinical research. They may be concentrated to deliver standardized, set doses. Sometimes, the natural constituent can be synthesized in the laboratory, or changed and patented. Practitioners may choose to use fresh medicinal plants, simple extracts, or standardized extracts.

In standardized extracts, a specific quantity of a constituent is called a marker compound, and it may or may not be the active constituent(s) in the plant medicine. The products should be produced under good manufacturing processes and according to the traditional National Formulary, the U. S. Dispensatory, or the U. S. Pharmacopeia.

This article has 1 comments

  1. Turinawe Mwi Tiragana Reply

    mukaama nakukunda?nyine taata nasasa omutsigo .nikusaba otugambire omubazi gwokumutambira.webare proficient muteguya ninye turinawe okuruga mitooma rwanja

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