Did You Know That Herbal Medicine Is As Old As Time?In the ancient world there were no medical doctors and when people became unwell they would go to the village elder with the knowledge of the healing effects of various plant leaves, stem, flower and root that grew wild in the local natural environment.Medicine from herbs is one of oldest forms of healthcare. It has a long and respected history of plants and parts of the plant being used for medicinal purposes based on the observation and testing of indigenous people.Use of leaves, flowers, stems, berries, and roots of plants to prevent, relieve, treat and cure various medical conditions is known as herbal medicine.Many modern medications have been derived from the knowledge of herbs and their healing properties. The medicinal component of the plant, herb, root or berry is analyzed and isolated. This component is then artificially stabilized and manufactured in large laboratories for use in pharmaceutical preparations.Before the discovery and synthesis of antibiotics, Echinacea was most widely administered medicine to fight infection. It was even part of the medical kit for the men going to war. Echinacea is a herb that comes from a plant, commonly known as, purple coneflower. The scientists’ research today have found that it has immune boosting properties by encouraging the body to produce disease fighting white blood cells.In the 1900’s as the Western medicine developed, through scientific research from an art to a science, modern medicine produced in pharmaceutical laboratories based on synthetic counterparts of medicine made from herbs became more popular pushing the practice of ancient traditional herbal medicine into relative obscurity.But the big problem is WHY do they have side effects?The World Health Organization has researched that out of 119 plant derived synthetic medicine, 74% are being prescribed for the same healing properties as has been used by indigenous people as herbal medicine, for centuries.Pharmacologists identify, isolate and extract the active component and then synthesize it in the laboratories. The resultant powerful medicinal quality of the active component becomes toxic, creating side effects. It becomes toxic because it has been removed from its natural environment. The other supportive important components of the plant like vitamins, bioflavonoid, volatile oils, glycosides, minerals, alkaloids etc that enhance the properties of the active component have been eliminated. So the herbal medicine that was originally safe has a synthetic counterpart, which has side effects.Herbal medicines in there natural forms are safe and do not usually suffer from the problem of side effects and are apt at addressing targeted problems.WHO, World Health Organization has found that estimated 4 billion people, i.e. 80% of the World’s population, uses herbal medicine as their primary form of medication. Herbal medicine is a major part of indigenous peoples’ traditional medicine around the World, be it ayurveda, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, naturopathy or native American Indian medicine.Herbs and prepared herbal medicine are available in many different forms with unique properties for healing various medical conditions. They are available in the form of raw herbs, tinctures, extracts, capsules, tablets, lozenges and ointments.
Oriental Medicine (OM) is one of the major forms of alternative medicine that is primarily based on the concept of balanced flow of energy through human bodies. It is one of the major traditional Chinese medical practices that primarily include some of the traditional therapies and oriental diagnosis. Practiced for almost 2000 years now, this is one of its own kinds of medicinal system that generally classifies body patterns into the different types of diagnoses with corresponding treatment plans.The most commonly known treatment method of Oriental Medicine is acupuncture. In this form of treatment, very fine needles are inserted into the body at specific locations just to balance the flow of energy. However, this practice not just includes acupuncture, but also herbal medicine, nutrition, Tui Na (a major type of therapeutic massage), and Qi Gong (popular as breathing exercises). The most interesting part is each of them shares the long history, practice, and effectiveness in dealing with different sort of illnesses and maintenance of good health.Moreover, the fundamentals of this system of medicine even make use of images and descriptions from nature to explain the relation of health and disease. Just for an example – Yin and Yang is generally referred to the shady and sunny side of a mountain. Adding to this, the five major elements mainly Earth, Metal, Fire, Water, and Wood are yet another vital paradigm of health and disease. This is yet another system in Oriental medicine system that allows for a more inclusive explanation of the cycles of nature and the interaction of different forces.Today this form of alternative medicine system has gained worldwide recognition and many people are looking to make their career in this field. In fact, almost millions of people have turned towards it, and many students are even looking forward to making a career as an oriental medicine doctor. So if you are planning to make a career in this field then you need to enroll yourself in an oriental, naturopathy or holistic medicine program. Enrolling in this medicine course is very helpful and useful as it gives one training in addition to vast practical exposure. Apart from this, the major benefit of this oriental medicine program is once you complete the program, you gain the knowledge on anatomy, physiology and other traditional Chinese medicine theory and practices.
Once you complete the course you would also be able to perform collaboratively in a wide range of healthcare settings, including multidisciplinary clinics and hospitals. In fact, you would be able to exhibit elementary knowledge of the past and philosophical foundations of oriental medicine, as well as its diverse medical theories and clinical approaches.