Herbal medicine used for healing purposes predates human history and is the foundation for modern pharmaceuticals. In ancient times it is believed that community healers discovered the healing effect of many plants by observing the natural habits of sick animals. When animals such as chickens, sheep, butterflies, and chimpanzees as well as many other wild and domesticated animals became ill with a virus or bacteria they would often begin to forage for bitter herbs which scientist have discovered contain chemicals such as tannins and alkaloids which are secondary metabolites. These chemicals often have antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antihelminthic properties. These findings lead researchers to believe that wild and domesticated animals have the innate ability to self-medicate. One such example can be found in the diet of the lowland gorilla who take 90% of their diet from the fruits of the Aframomum melegueta, a relative of the ginger plant, which is a potent antimicrobial and keeps diseases such as shigellosis and similar infections at bay. With these observations made by the community healer and then passed down from generation to generation, the medicine man was able to prescribe with relative ease any number of plants for a plethora of ailments.
As we entered the 20th century herbal medicine declined while the use of pharmaceuticals increased exponentially. As scientist researched the effects of herbs on human ailments they would discover the chemical within the plant with the supposed healing property, then they would artificially manufacture the chemical and prescribe it to an unwitting population who heralded the doctors as saviors.Herbal Medicine or Pharmaceuticals?
As stated previously pharmaceuticals have been chemically reduced to a single ingredient such as aspirin (from willow bark), digoxin (from foxglove), quinine (from cinchona bark), and morphine (from the opium poppy). The problem with these seemingly miraculous drugs is that fact that they have many adverse side effects that come from such a potent and isolated ingredient. If a person where to take herbal medicines which include whole herbs and plants the side effects are drastically reduces and the treatment becomes much more subtle and a person is able to be a whole healthy person.
Herbal medicine is able to treat nearly all ailments and many scientists are starting to do more and more research into the effects of whole plants on the treating everyday ailments. As science begins to see the need to treat the whole person instead of the ailment, overall health will be gained. Our bodies have gone through a thousand thousand generations of change and have become quite addept at curing themselves. What our bodies need from us is the acceptance of the innate ability to self-medicate. The problem is we have forgotten what plants help what ailments.
Herbal Medicine and Floraeceuticals
Here at Floraeceuticals we feel the need to tap into the innate ability of humans to find herbs and plants to help with everyday ailments such as the inabilty to gain weight, urinary tract infections,low energy levels, depression and anxiety.