Herbalist, herbal medicine, herbs… what are they? Here are Frequently Asked Questions about herbs and herbalism.

What is an herb?

An herb is any plant with seeds, leaves, or flowers used for food, flavoring, medicine or perfume. The botanical meaning is any seed-bearing plant which does not have a woody stem, and then, dies down to the ground just after flowering. Any of the various aromatic plants for example rosemary, rue, parsley which are used in medicine and cookery are also herbs.

Herbs are, officially, plants that have aerial parts used for seasoning foods and a spice also known as seasoning.

An herb is any plant that lacks a permanent woody stem; most are flowering potherbs or garden plants, some have medicinal properties, and some are pests.

What is an herbalist?

Herbalists are also called herbal practitioners or licenses herbalists. They are specifically trained in the field of herbal medicine. They usually use natural substances or plants so as to promote healing, improve health, treat and prevent illness. Herbalists usually use barrier, seeds, roots, leaves, barks as well as flowers of plants called botanicals or herbs for medical purpose. Herbal products, in the United States, are classified as dietary supplements as opposed to medicines or drugs. Herbalists takes a very holistic approach to medicine and this means that they mainly focus on comprehensive health care. They address the mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, social as well as economic needs of the patient.

What is herbal medicine?

Herbal medicine is one of the oldest as well as widely used classification of medicine in the modern world. Herbal medicine is made exclusively from the plants.  There are very many different types of herbal medicine that have come up from the different cultures.   The different cultures use different plants for different medical purpose. They also use different parts of the plant.

For example, In Australia, the most common cultural types of the herbal medicine are Aboriginal, Western and Chinese. There are many other cultures that are represented in Australia that use their own unique as well as traditional herbal treatments. Herbal medicine, also called botanical medicine, herbalism or phytomedicine, has been used for very many years. In most of the civilized countries, like the United States, it is considered a type of complementary and alternative medicine.

How are herbs different from pharmaceuticals?

An herb is a plant or a part of the plant that is used in its entirety. A drug is an amalgamated copy of one chemical component.

Majority of the pharmaceutical drugs used in the modern world are based on plant constituents. Even the scientists seek new cures for diseases by using and researching on the plant world. Herbal medicine are usually extracts from one part of the whole plant. It could either be the roots, flowers, leaves, berries and contain hundreds of plant elements.

People speak of herbalism as the alternative medicine. This is mainly because the conventional corporate medicine is practiced more in the modern society hence anything else is considered an alternative. Conventional medicine is the kind of medicine and treatment that most doctors use also known as orthodox medical treatment. All conventional treatments are tried and tested.