With the adverse side effects of many top brand medicines revealed by scientific research and experimentations, people all over the world are looking for some viable alternative to traditional medicines. Natural health supplements, especially those based on herbal components, have not only proved to be beneficial for health but also effective replacements for traditional medications. Herbal Treatment Herbal treatment is nothing new. For ages immemorial, people have depended on it for treatment of ailments. Some of the major features of herbal treatment are – • Herbal medicines are also known as botanical medicines and the process of treatment is known as medical herbalism, herbology, as well as phytotherapy. • Herbal medicines not only contain plant based products but also mineral, fugal, bee products, shells, as well as some animal parts. Research on Alternative Medicine Back in 2001, an extensive research on medicines revealed that around 122 compounds that were derived from plants were used in traditional medicines. However, their effects were reduced considerably due to combining with other chemical and synthetic products that were harmful to health. Plant Substances Useful as Medicines Many plant substances are quite useful as medicines and can replace the traditional medicines. Some of them are – • Aromatic substances like phenols. • Tannins that are derivatives of oxygen substituted phenols. • Secondary metabolites elements. • Alkaloids that serve as the preventive against microorganism based infections. • Herbs and spices used in food components. All Herbs Are Not Good Users trying to find alternative medicines using herbs should remember that like traditional medicines, many herbs also have side effects. Moreover, inappropriate formulation can result in adverse effects on the body of the user. Yet plants have been in use as medicines since pre-historic ages. A glaring example is the use of bitter plant parts for treatment of various diseases. Berks of sinkona trees proved to the component that could prevent and cure malaria and was later incorporated as main ingredients in Quinine. Types of Alternative Medicines Various types of alternative medicines can be found in the market. Those in more use are – • Classical herbal medicines based on Greek and Roman methods. • Ayurvedic medicines based on Indian and South Asian systems. • Chinese herbal medicines. • Traditional native medicines of African tribes. • Unani medicines used in Middle East countries. • Shamanic herbal medicines used in Himalayas of India and Tibet as well as South America . • Medicines used by Native Americans. In any case, the concern of the person as well as his or her physician trying to find out alternate medicines would be the well being of the patient. It would be good obtaining the advice of the physician before using any of them.
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