While allopathic medicine is widely utilized today, integrative medicine, particularly herbal medicine, has been used even before the recorded history. It is considered the oldest means of therapy accepted. The Chinese has been using this method more than 5000 years ago basing it on the philosophical concept of balance. One of the earliest evidences of the use of herbs in treating a person is a Stone Age man found in Iraq. Cautiously tucked around his bones are “marshmallow root, hyacinth and yarrow. ” These therapeutic herbs are still in use today.
The endeavors of our ancient ancestors in the cultivation of herbal medicine not futile for many people, even in the Western world, employ this practice. A number of medications or drugs that are generally prescribed today, in the practice of allopathic medicine, contain ingredients drawn from herbs. Originally, the meadowsweet plant and the white willow bark are where salicylic acid is derived. Periwinkle is the source of Vincristine. Morphine, codeine and paregoric are drawn from opium poppy, which was preferred even during the Victorian ages. The herb Echinacea has been one of the most prescribed remedy in fighting infection.
This herb is drawn from the purple coneflower plant. Today, this herb is substituted by antibiotics. While allopathic drugs are developed in easy-to-take forms, herbal compounds are found in various forms such as tinctures, lozenges, capsules, raw herbs, tablets, extracts and ointments. The practice of herbal medicine declined as the extracting and producing of active ingredients from plants were done scientifically in the nineteenth century. From this time on, allopathic medicine has become the conventional and more accepted mode of healthcare.
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