A great number of our medicines, even those used on an almost daily basis, are derived in some way from plants. For example, aspirin, the active compounds (salicylates) of which were originally sourced from the herb willow bark. Interestingly, it’s estimated that up to 10 per cent of all plant species (some 25,000 to 75,000) have now been used in traditional medicine, with about 1 per cent (250-750 species) being scientifically verified as therapeutically beneficial. Even today, about 25 per cent of prescription medicines source their compounds either directly or indirectly from plants.
So, while the West seems content to move health in the direction of pharmaceutical preparations, a large proportion of the world’s population still relies primarily on plant medicines.
It’s believed that the use of whole herbs over isolated compounds provides health benefits that our bodies can better use, and with fewer side effects. Herbal medicine is one of the most ancient forms of medicine; scientifically there is an increasing amount of well-documented evidence supporting its use. The World Health Organisation (WHO) supports the use of traditional medicines and has published directives to encourage the use of ‘folk’ and ‘traditional’ medicine and help mandate its safety2. This makes sense from both an economical and health perspective.
Mother Nature stands supreme as a provider. So let’s take a closer look at how herbs in our gardens and homes may nourish and nurture us.
Herbs from your garden (grown without pesticides) or cupboard are well suited to childrens’ as well as family complaints and can help in the gentle effect of restoring temporary imbalances in health and wellness.
To aid their palatability