Botanical (or herbal) medicine is the use of plants for healing and is considered to be the oldest form of medicine known to man. Many modern pharmaceutical drugs have their origin in botanical medicine (a classic example is Aspirin which was originally synthesized from white willow bark).
The World Health Organization estimates that 75% of the world still uses herbs as their primary medicine. It has also been estimated that the average Medical Doctor (MD) prescribes up to eight plant-based medications each day.
Naturopathic Medicine uses plant substances for their healing properties and nutritional value. Knowledge from Western and Eastern healing traditions combined with recent advances in pharmacognosy (the study of the therapeutic benefits of plants) and drug-herb interactions gives the Naturopathic Doctor the expertise needed to prescribe botanical medicines safely. Herbal medicines are prescribed in capsule, tablet, tea or tincture form.
Botanical medicine is a gentler and more holistic approach to health than many pharmaceuticals, however botanical medicines are powerful medicines and may not be safe for all individuals. Consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor can ensure you are taking the right botanical for your health.