« Cooking With Herbs and Spices
What Is Organic Food… What’s The Difference? »

History of Herbalism

Posted by Merlin on Sep 21, 2008

Herbalism is the use of plants and plant extracts as traditional medicine.  Many plants contain substances that are useful to the health of humans and other animals, including many of the herbs and spices used to season food.

The people of every continent have used plants for the treatment of ailments since prehistoric times.  Healers often claimed to have learned by observing sick animals food prefences.  Such an approach likely found many treatments as well as many sick and dead healers.

Modern herbalism is both much the same, and far removed from its beginnings.  The use of herbs to treat disease is almost universal among non-industrialized societies, and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80% of the world’s population uses herbal medicine for primary care.

In a recent change, the search for drugs derived from plants has accelerated in industrialized nations. According to the WHO, approximately 25% of drugs used in the US are derived from plants.  And three quarter of plants used for prescription drugs came to researcher attention because of their use in traditional medicine.   

The modern herbalism movement is generally grouped under alternative medicine, also called complementary medicine.  This style of medicine centers on general body health as well as natural methods of focused medicine.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.