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Herbal medicine, or botanical medicine, is the therapeutic use of plants and plant substances. Medicinal plants are the oldest mode for healing in the world. From this practical history of use, the indications of when a herbal extract is indicated are well established. Today the traditional uses of plants is being backed up by a ever growing body of scientific research.
The vast majority of pharmaceutical drugs on the market are based off of compounds found in plants. The main difference between the two are the pharmaceuticals are highly purified singular chemical substances while botanical extracts have multiple compounds with active effects on the body which allows for a minimization of side effects. Medicinal plants can decrease pain & inflammation, mimic the effects of certain hormones, help the body adapt to stress, modulate immune function and more.
Because pharmaceuticals can be closely related to botanical compounds there is a very real chance for herb-drug interactions, interactions between other herbs, or interactions with other forms of supplements. Naturopathic doctors receive specific training to be able to identify these interactions and are the best trained professionals to consult if you want to use herbs safely while on medication.
Gemmotherapy is a branch of herbal medicine that uses a water, alcohol, and glycerine mixture to extract compounds from plant buds and rootlets. These extracts contain antioxidants, oligo-elements, plant hormones, and nucleic acids which help stimulate organ function and repair.