Why Herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine has its origins in ancient cultures including those of the Egyptians, American Indians and Chinese. Botanical medicine involves the medicinal use of plants to treat disease and enhance general health and well being. Some herbs have potent ingredients and should be treated with the same care and respect as pharmaceutical drugs. In fact, many pharmaceutical drugs are based on the synthesised versions of naturally occurring compounds found in plants. For instance, the heart drug digitalis was derived from the herb foxglove. In recent years, interest in herbal medicine has skyrocketed, leading to a greater scientific interest in the medicinal use of plants. Many international studies have shown that plants are capable of treating disease and improving health, often without any significant side effects.
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A Range of Disorders
Herbs can be used to treat a wide range of disorders, including:
High blood pressure
Hormonal imbalances, such as premenstrual tension
Poor blood circulation
Skin problems, such as eczema.
A pharmaceutical drug typically uses a synthesised version of a plant’s active ingredient. Practitioners of herbal medicine maintain that an active ingredient can lose its impact or become less safe, if used in isolation from the rest of the plant. For instance, salicylic acid is found in the plant meadowsweet and is used to make aspirin. Aspirin can cause the lining of the stomach to bleed, but meadowsweet naturally contains other compounds that counteract the irritant qualities of salicylic acid. According to herbal medicine, the effect of the whole plant is greater than its parts. Critics argue that the nature of herbal medicine makes it difficult to administer a measured dose of an active ingredient.
Herbal medicine aims to return the body to a state of natural balance, so that it can start healing itself. Different herbs act on different systems of the body. Some of the herbs that have been scientifically studied, and found to be effective and safe, include:
Herbal medicine is usually a safer alternative to pharmaceuticals, and usually have less side effects. They can be used for a wide range of diseases. At Cascade Health Clinic we provide individualized botanical remedies. Cascade Health Clinic makes their own tinctures and makes a unique blend for the patient while in office.