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Traditional chinese herbal medicine

Herbal medicine is the use of herbs, plants of medicinal values, for therapeutic and pathological cases.

Herbal Medicine is undisputedly the oldest form of medication that is applied by mankind since prehistoric times. Every culture and civilization has an intimate connection with its flora and fauna, and in this interaction led them to discovery of medicinal values of many plants. They compiled this knowledge and build a repository that eventually came to be shared by entire world.

According to WHO, even today herbal medication is the foremost form of therapeutic practice with more than 80 % of world's population making its use in various cases.

There are over 80,000 species of plants and herbs that are used as herbal medicine in direct forms, as extracts or as ingredients of drugs.

Herbal medicine Principles

Herbal medicines have direct scientific and biological correlation and their validity or applicability has never been challenged by the scientific community.

All plants produce various chemical compounds as part of their normal metabolic activities. These can be divided into primary metabolites, such as sugars and fats, found n all plants, and secondary metabolites found in a smaller range of plants, some only in a particular genus or species.

The functions of secondary metabolites are varied. For example, a toxins serves both the function to deter predation, or to attract insects for pollination. It is these secondary metabolites which can have therapeutic actions in humans and which can be refined to produce drugs. Some examples are insulin from the roots of dahlias, quinine from the cinchona, morphine and codeine from the poppy, and digoxin from the foxglove.

Herbal Types

Herbal Medicine can be broadly classified into various basic systems:

Chinese and Ayurvedic Herbal medicines have developed into highly sophisticated systems of diagnosis and treatment over the centuries. Western Herbal system is today primarily a system of folk medicine.

Herbal Medicine Use

Herbs releases volatile oils, antibiotics, aromatics, and other healing chemicals contained within them. Herbs can be prepared in a variety of forms depending on their purpose. Such techniques include: