Traditional Herbal Medicine (THM) is a practice of protecting and restoring health that existed before the relatively recent arrival of modern medicine. THM often serves as one component of a comprehensive system of medicine that may involve the use of plant, animal and mineral based medicines, spiritual therapies, regulation of diet and exercise, and manual techniques (like acupuncture or massage) to maintain health but also to prevent and treat illnesses.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 80% of people living in developing countries still rely primarily on Traditional Herbal Medicine for their healthcare. The use of THM in industrialized countries is also spreading rapidly, where THMs are often referred to as Alternative Medicines or Complementary Medicines or even as Herbal Dietary Supplements or Natural Health products. Systems of THM that are widely used in national healthcare systems around the world include: Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine (from India), Traditional Chinese Medicine, Traditional Unani Medicine(from the Islamic world), and Traditional Western Herbal Medicine. Others include Traditional Japanese Kampo Medicine and Traditional Tibetan Buddhist Medicine. While many of these systems of medicine are taught in medical schools with a well-defined written herbal formulary, there are also non-written systems of THM that are passed on through the oral tradition, such as the Traditional Native American Medicine of various tribes throughout North and South America, and other Shamanic healing systems that involve the use of medicinal plants.
A Answers (2)
David Hoffmann, Integrative Medicine, answered
Yogi Cameron Alborzian, Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered
When most of us think of medicine, we think of a pharmaceutical product we might be prescribed by our doctor or purchase at the local CVS. But while we've had access to these types of products for 100+ years, there has been another array of products that have been available to us for a longer period of time.
A much longer period of time.
Dating back more than 5,000 years ago, certain members of society began to discern the medicinal properties of plants. They began to use plant life to help people not only resolve physical complaints but create a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. These early adopters founded what we now know as herbal medicine--the act of taking natural plant life and using it to affect the body's health and wellbeing.
Traditional herbal medicine can be traced back to the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda, ancient Chinese medical practices, and even various traditions beginning in the Western Hemisphere.