Have you ever used herbs? Not marijuana, the other ones…?
I have, and I love them.
What is an herb?
(1) a seed-producing annual, biennial, or perennial that does not develop persistent woody tissue but dies down at the end of a growing season; (2) a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, savory, or aromatic qualities. (1)
Herbs come in many different forms. Plant parts (the leaf, seed, flower, root,etc.) can be herbs. A single-celled algae can be an herb. The bark of a tree can also be an herb.
How can you use herbs?
Among other things, you can use them for the following:
- Health purposes (medicinal);
- Seasoning food (savory);
- Their aroma (aromatic);
- Preserving food;
- Dying cloths;
- Pest control; and
One of my favorite ways to use herbs is for health purposes. They can be used to prevent and treat diseases. They can be used to eliminate toxins from the body. Also, herbs offer an effective, natural, inexpensive alternative to harmful drugs.
“Herbs have been used by humans as food and as medicine for hundreds of thousands of years… Plants were our first and greatest medicine.” -Rosemary Gladstar (2)
What’s the difference between a drug and an herb?
Simply stated, herbs are natural and drugs are synthetic. An herb is a plant or plant part used in its entirety. A drug is a synthesized version of a chemical component, such as a component found in an herb. Also, drugs alleviate symptoms and herbs address root causes.
Herbs consist of many different naturally-occurring chemicals. The exact role of each chemical is unknown. Some of the chemicals may play a major role in the effects of an herb. Some may have synergistic effects. They may increase the activity of other chemicals. And some may have modifying effects. They may reduce undesirable side effects of other chemicals.
Herbs have a natural balance of naturally-occurring chemicals. Drugs don’t, since pharmaceutical companies are known to isolate and make synthetic versions of the chemicals naturally found in herbs. And this may be why drugs tend to have undesirable side effects. You know – the harmful ones that are stated really fast in the drug commercials.
Herbalism/Herbal Medicine: the art or practice of using herbs and herbal preparations to maintain health and to prevent, alleviate, or cure disease. (3)
Conventional medicine or alternative medicine?
People commonly speak of herbalism as “alternative medicine”, but is it? Herbs have been around for way longer than conventional (modern) medicine. But that’s neither here nor there. Both are useful and have their place in the world.
Which should you choose? The choice is yours. Conventional medicine and drugs can be very useful for life-threatening issues. They can also be useful for crisis situations. For other issues and situations, alternative medicine and herbs may be a better option.
I’m not a doctor and I do not have a medical license. None of this information should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition. The information is provided to motivate you to make your own health and nutrition decisions based upon your own research and after consulting with your health care provider.
I’ve learned that conventional (modern) medicine isn’t the only option. Also, it isn’t always the best option. I’ve taken responsibility for my own health by educating myself. You can do the same.