Herbal Medicine, also called botanical medicine or phytomedicine, is the therapeutic use of plants to treat disease and enhance general health and wellbeing. Western herbal medicine practice is based on European herbal medicine traditions.
Herbal medicine aims to return the body to a state of natural balance, so that it can start healing itself. Different herbs act on different systems or organs of the body. Using plants as medicine provides significant advantages for treating many conditions. The therapeutic activity of a plant is due to its complex chemical nature with different parts of the plant providing certain therapeutic effects.
Many modern pharmaceutical drugs have been modelled or derived from chemicals found in plants. An example is the diabetes medication metformin derived from Goat’s rue (Galega officinalis).
Herbal preparations prescribed may include liquid herbal extracts, herbal tablets or herbal teas.