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Herbal remedies 

Modern medicine vs herbal remedies

Despite the advances of modern medicine, the vast majority of the world's population still depends on herbal remedies to cure its ills. In some parts of the world, these remedies may be prescribed by a village medicine man (or woman) or by a local shaman. In other places, such as China and India, there are centuries-old, formal traditions of skilled herbal healing to call on. In the West, until the 1930s most medicines dispensed in high-street pharmacies were herbal and in many parts of Europe they are still the norm.

While major illnesses have always been referred to specialist healers, minor self-limiting ailments have traditionally been treated within the family, using remedies passed down through generations, much as favorite recipes for Christmas cake or winter soups are still handed down today. Every housewife had a repertoire of cure-alls to treat the family's ills. As well as a rather potent cough cure, my grandmother's favorites included the heart of an onion for earache and a well-worn left sock tied around the neck for sore throats! Some of these traditional medicines were based on what is now recognized as scientific fact, while others had more in common with faith-healing, but it was only if these household remedies failed that more sophisticated and expensive solutions were sought from the professionals. Illness, especially minor illness, was treated by and large within the family circle.

Why herbal remedies?

Today life is very different. We have come to expect the quick "magic bullet" approach of modern medicine. Even common self-limiting ailments often warrant a trip to the general practitioner to be treated, in many cases, with unnecessarily powerful drugs that bring an assortment of side­effects. Ailments are treated superficially and symptomatically so that when the patient stops taking the medicine, the problem all too often returns. Infections may respond dramatically to antibiotics, but if they are the result of over exhaustion and a weakened constitution, no amount of antibiotics will provide a permanent solution.

What is missing from the modern attitude to health is the sense that we are responsible for our own well-being. Many minor ailments are often of our own making brought about by poor diet, lack of exercise or "burning the candle at both ends". Modern drugs may affect rapid apparent cures, but they cannot solve the problems we persistently bring on ourselves.

The approach of herbal medicine is not just about alleviating symptoms. More importantly, it is concerned with helping the body to cure itself. It is less magic bullet, more part of a balanced approach to living well. There is nothing inherently difficult about making and using herbal remedies, it is just that most of us in the developed world have lost the skills our grand­mothers and great-grandmothers took for granted. We have abandoned the basic folk wisdom of generations in favor of synthetic drugs that may not always stand the test of time.

For the patient, the practicing herbalist or those wishing to learn more about herbal remedies, in this stimulating website, a qualified herbalist will prove a source of helpful guide, correct prescription, information and great wisdom to the principles and application of herbal remedy & supplement guide to a wide range of diseases and ailments.


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