Botanicals - Modern Herbal Medicine

Modern Herbal Medicine

The use of herbs to treat disease is almost universal among non-industrialized societies.

Many of the pharmaceuticals currently available to physicians have a long history of use as herbal remedies, including opium, aspirin, digitalis, and quinine. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80 percent of the population of some Asian and African countries presently use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care. Pharmaceuticals are prohibitively expensive for most of the world's population, half of which lives on less than $2 U.S. per day. In comparison, herbal medicines can be grown from seed or gathered from nature for little or no cost.

The use of, and search for, drugs and dietary supplements derived from plants have accelerated in recent years. Pharmacologists, microbiologists, botanists, and natural-products chemists are combing the Earth for phytochemicals and leads that could be developed for treatment of various diseases. In fact, according to the World Health Organisation, approximately 25% of modern drugs used in the United States have been derived from plants.

Among the 120 active compounds currently isolated from the higher plants and widely used in modern medicine today, 80 percent show a positive correlation between their modern therapeutic use and the traditional use of the plants from which they are derived. More than two thirds of the world's plant species - at least 35,000 of which are estimated to have medicinal value - come from the developing countries. At least 7,000 medical compounds in the modern pharmacopoeia are derived from plants In many medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) significant variations of plants characteristics have been ascertained with varying soil traits, and the selective recovery and subsequent release in food of certain elements have been demonstrated. Great attention must be paid to choose soil and cropping strategies, to obtain satisfactory yields of high quality and best-priced products, respecting their safety and nutritional value.

Read more about this topic:  Botanicals

Other articles related to "modern herbal medicine, herbal, herbal medicines":

Botanicals - Modern Herbal Medicine - Government Regulations
... to support WHO Member States in establishing quality standards and specifications for herbal materials, within the overall context of quality assurance and control of herbal ... In the European Union (EU), herbal medicines are now regulated under the European Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products ... In the United States, most herbal remedies are regulated as dietary supplements by the Food and Drug Administration ...

Famous quotes containing the words medicine and/or modern:

    I have noticed that doctors who fail in the practice of medicine have a tendency to seek one another’s company and aid in consultation. A doctor who cannot take out your appendix properly will recommend you to a doctor who will be unable to remove your tonsils with success.
    Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961)

    Families have always been in flux and often in crisis; they have never lived up to nostalgic notions about “the way things used to be.” But that doesn’t mean the malaise and anxiety people feel about modern families are delusions, that everything would be fine if we would only realize that the past was not all it’s cracked up to be. . . . Even if things were not always right in families of the past, it seems clear that some things have newly gone wrong.
    Stephanie Coontz (20th century)