Herbal medicine is the oldest therapy in world history. Archaeological explorations
have shown that herbs have been used from the most ancient civilizations of Asia. Until the middle of the twentieth
century herbalism had already great tradition in Europe, as well as in America. Then herbal treatments and remedies
were almost completely eclipsed by the development of synthetic "wonder drugs". Scientists learned how to isolate
the active ingredients in herbs and began to patent them as different medications.
Pharmaceutical companies made huge profits from the sales of their products and used
the money in part to fund medical schools that shunned teaching herbalism. Soon herbs, the very source of many of
their pharmaceuticals, were declared ineffective. It's not hard to understand why this has happened. Pharmaceutical
companies can't put a patent on a natural remedy like herbs, and therefore they can't control profits in the same
way they can with synthetic drugs. But it's deeper than mere greed. The Western medicine views the body as a machine
with parts to be either fixed or replaced. The symptoms of the diseases are treated with drugs or procedures, while
the cause, which is often improper living goes ignored.
In the United States, health is too often considered the absence of any obvious disease.
Get rid of the symptoms, you have gotten rid of the illness. Right? Not really! Many herbs in Nature's pharmacy
treat the cause of the disease - an essential part of preventing its recurrence. With herbs, we not
only cure periodic illness, but also prevent fresh onslaughts from weakening our constitutions and unnecessarily
shortening our lives.
Today 80 percent of the world's population relies on herbs as a primary form
of medicine. Many cultures use herbal therapies as a first line of treatment for illness. For example, hospitals in
India and China train doctors to specialize in herbal medicine for all the different categories of disease.
Most medical doctors in Germany utilize herbal therapies in their practices. As herbal therapy enters mainstream
medicine, more doctors in North America are becoming educated and willing to recommend these herbal treatments
to their patients.