Herbal Medicines

People turn to herbal medicines when they haven't found relief from more traditional medications, if they come from a culture where herbal medicine is more accepted than in the United States, or if they are drawn to using ‘natural’ rather than manufactured products.

Herbal medicines accounted for 18.9 percent of all CAM in 2001, making it the most common alternative therapy. 1997, herbal products accounted for $5 billion in out-of-spending, and that number appears to be growing at a rapid Just to put things in perspective: nearly one in four middle-women in the United States use herbs such as black cohosh, clover, chasteberry, and ginseng to treat PMS or menopause to aid in breastfeeding, or even to ward off the risk of cancer.

But popularity doesn't guarantee effectiveness or even The truth is herbal medicines have a lot of hype, but there is evidence to support their often extensive claims. It's only in years, as recently as 2004, that clinical trials testing herbal have been funded. Herbal medicines are also poorly regulated. They're sold as dietary supplements, without oversight by the and Drug Administration, which means that purchasers can't that they're actually getting what they're paying for; the capsules given bottle may or may not contain the stated and effective of the active ingredient.


Herbal medicine is also known as herbalism or physiotherapy. Herbal medicines are used in homeopathy and naturopathy.

Herbal medicine can be found in various forms: teas, tinctures (a liquid form made by steeping a medicinal plant in alcohol), fluid extracts (stronger than tinctures and made with alcohol or glycerin), solid extracts, herbal poultices (solids mixed with vegetable fats), powdered herbs and tablets, herbal creams and ointments, essential oils, and herbal supplements, which may or not be standardized to contain levels of active ingredients.

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