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Herbal medicine

What is a medicinal herb?

Many ask me what is a medicinal herb? A few have even said they have none in their home or garden and wonder why I smile at them and walk off shaking my head.

If you flavour your food the chances are you have a herbal medicine in your kitchen

A medicinal plant is a plant that is either cultivated or wild crafted (collected from the wild) for its medicinal value. Plants have been used in treating human ailments for thousands of years and are the source of a large proportion of medicines.

There are about 100 000 species plants globally that have medicinal purposes that are known to us, however there are many others that are yet to be discovered or the knowledge of their uses has been lost to us.

I wish I could say, that with my knowledge of plant lore obtained during my druid training that I knew all 100,000 or so plants. Alas my knowledge is limited to around 5000 I know well, with a basic knowledge of around 15 000 more.

Drug companies know of the medicinal values of plants, but if they can’t synthesis it’s active ingredient and patent it they go out of their way to suppress it or have it outlawed, hemp is one such plant.

George Washington was known to have said, “Hemp is such a remarkable and life giving plant it should be grown everywhere for the benefit of the people”.

Today sadly his words go unheeded as the money of the drug companies spoke and it became a outlawed plant and a criminal offense to use it. I wonder sometimes, how many of today’s herbs we use will go the same path as hemp.

The greatest market for medicinal plants, both in terms of manufacturing and consumption, are in Europe and Asia, as the only countries in the world with prescription sales of herbal medicines are in U.K. Germany, Japan, China, and India, which in some cases are even covered by medical insurance plans.

Legal disclaimer I must put under the laws of many countries
“The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease.
Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and can interact with other supplements or medications.
For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care, please consult a health care practitioner it you are taking prescribed drugs or under current medical treatments.”