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Herbal Medicine

Herbal Medicine

Botanical medicines have held a longstanding respect in the tradition and practice in Naturopathic Medicine. Until recently, botanical preparations have been used based on a large body of knowledge in the old tradition or empirical tradition of medicine. In the past decade however, botanical medicine has undergone the challenge of scientific scrutiny and more and more research confirms the efficiency of herbs, plant extracts, i.e. botanical medicine.

Naturopathic physicians may utilize botanical medicine in the treatment of any condition. Herbal formulas and preparations may be used on their own or concurrently with other natural therapies.

Botanical medicines are known for their immune stimulating properties in both infections and chronic diseases. Unlike antibiotics, botanical remedies treat bacterial and viral infections. Not only are botanical remedies effective, they are safe, and without the common side effects of most drugs. In the hands of trained Naturopathic physicians, botanical remedies are prescribed effectively and safely.

Naturopathic physicians prescribe botanical medicines in many different forms: teas, tinctures, solid extracts, salves, tablets and capsules and poultices.

Teas can be single herbs or a combination formula made with several different herbs. The medicinal constituents in the plants have been extracted in alcohol and water and the prescription is specific to your condition.

Solid extracts are a syrupy preparation of a single plant.

Salves are botanical preparations in an oil base and are used topically for numerous skin diseases and injuries of the skin.

Herbs may also be condensed into tablets and capsules for convenience to the patient. In addition, there are may scientifically prepared products using combinations of herbs, or herbs and isolated nutrients. These products are commercially made by licensed pharmacies and monitored by the FDA.

Poultices are externally applied herbs to localized areas of inflammation of injury.

EDUCATION

Naturopathic physicians are the only licensed doctors trained in the use of botanical medicines. Students are educated in the biochemistry, pharmacology, and therapeutic uses of plants in the 4 year medical curriculum.

Home Guide to Common Herbs:

Burdock root: Use as a tea on a regular basis as a liver cleansing agent.

Cayenne: Stimulant, improves circulation, stimulates digestion and appetite.

Chamomile: A calmative to the digestive and nervous system especially in children for colic, teething, insomnia and anxiety.

Comfrey: For digestive disorders including ulcers and irritable bowel, aids digestion and relieves gas. Good topically on wounds. Improves the healing times of fractures.

Echinacea: Stimulates the immune system in colds, flu, throat infections, allergies, chronic viruses and immune deficiency.

Garlic: Lowers blood pressure and stimulates the immune system for infections and candidiasis.

Ginger: Nausea of pregnancy or general nausea of digestive conditions; helps coughs and aids digestion.

Licorice: Promotes estrogen; acts as an expectorant for coughs and respiratory congestion.

Nettles: For relief of allergies; also helps allergic headaches, asthma.

Peppermint: Relieves gas pains, aids digestion, calms nausea and diarrhea as in flu.

Cayenne: Stimulant, improves circulation, stimulates digestion and appetite.

Chamomile: A calmative to the digestive and nervous system especially in children for colic, teething, insomnia and anxiety.

Comfrey: For digestive disorders including ulcers and irritable bowel, aids digestion and relieves gas.

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