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Herbology as an ancient science has been tried and proven throughout time. In most industrial and rural districts many people have great faith in the efficacy of herbal remedies. These are native or imported vegetable drugs as distinct from remedial agents derived from the mineral kingdom. The distinction is not strictly observed, as herbal or vegetable pills containing trace minerals derived from the mineral kingdom are often met with.
Herbs were always the natural medicines for the human being. Writing about herbs we mention the types of herbal medicine systems that are used today; European, Native American, Chinese,  Aztec, Ayurvedic, Japanese, Egyptian, and Western herbalist are most prevalent systems. All of these herbal systems treat the body as a "whole", and they each utilize the energy of herbs to work in synergy with the natural energy in each individual. The use herbs implies they have natural, vital energy, have the ability to maintain your body's natural immune system to protect you from diseases.
During the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.) herbalist-scholars recorded in written texts many of the basic ideas and principles of traditional Chinese herbal science. Ayurveda encompasses the traditional health care practices of India, including the use of herbs internally and externally, dietary guidelines tailored to individual constitutions and conditions, breathing exercises, and yoga. One cannot discuss traditional Chinese medicine without mentioning Ayurveda, because of their development in geographical proximity to each other, and their similarities in philosophy and technique. Like traditional Chinese health care, Ayurveda is also very ancient, originating several thousand years ago.
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The Bible tells us, "I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." Man has used herbs to treat his illnesses for thousands of years. Herbs are safe and extremely reliable, with no side effects.
Herbs as plants take up substances from the earth and convert them into vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that our bodies use for nourishment and healing. By using the whole plants or herbs, we take in all the vital ingredients they carry. Most herbs contain several active substances called glycosides, one of which usually dominates and determines its choice as a remedy. Some herbs benefit the heart, others benefit the liver, and others the kidneys. Other healing aspects of the herbs should not be overlooked, for example green tea with its antioxidants, chamomile tea to help sleep, and peppermint to help the body to assimilate its benefits and buffer any side effects.
There are several "systems" of botanic medicine or herbal practice that are legion of recent times past, those of Culpeper and Coffin being well known in England, the Native American and Thomsonian in the United States, and that of Father Kneipp in Germany. These preparations have not been subjected to the scientific experimental tests until recently, to which the more active drugs included in the B.P. of the United Kingdom have been submitted. Their use is empirical and their influence largely determined by tradition. Potter's "Cyclopaedia of Botanic Drugs" was a modern account of eclectic herbal remedies of the early 1900’s.
The missionaries of early America were learning aggressively many forms of Indian medicine, especially their herbal knowledge. Many traditional Native Indian medicines were entered into the "white man's" pharmacopeia. The active agents of many important drugs in use today, such as cascara sagrada - presently the most widely used cathartic in the world - is still widely used in the U.S. Pharmacopeia since so synthetic substite has ever been found to replace it. Cascara sagrada is derived from the bark of the buckthorn tree. This tree was given the name of the 'sacred bark' by Europeans who were impressed by it's mild laxative properties and efficacy. It is well known that eclectic medicine of America, as well as homeopathy, gained much of their herbal materia medica from knowledge gained from American Native Medicine men, women, and folklore. Such herbs as indian coccle (Cocculus), indian tobacco (Lobelia), indian nettle (Acalypha), Vitex trifolia.--Indian Arnica, and indian hemp (Apocynum), are well known:
• Horsetail family - The whole plant was used to make a tea to cure dropsy. The tender buds were boiled for food, the stems used for cleaning.
• Dandelion - Used as a bitter and mild laxative. The root was used by Indians in a tea for heartburn.
• Burdock - The Otos used the roots for pleursy, the Flambeaus for stomach pain, and the Potawatomis made a burdock tea of the roots and took it as a general tonic and blook purifier.
• Black Spruce - The bark was used as a medicinal salt.
• Blue Flax - The root was used as a hot compress for sores, burns, and inflammation. As a quick physic, a half inch of root was boiled in water.
It is only in comparatively modern times that some of the most astonishing Indian early medical knowlege has been uncovered by scientific investigators. For example, Dr. Frederick Banting, discoverer of insulin, credited Indian healers with the 'pharmaceutical' spade work which lead to his discovery. With regard to patient-comfort, the aboriginal surgeon knew a great deal about pain-allaying medicines to put him patient "under". Their knowledge of anesthetics were far in advance of the European 'conquerors'.
In the treatment of wounds, one of the most remarkable aspects of Indian practice was the use of aseptic technique. It was not until the late 19th centure before European doctors learned the necessity of keeping wounds clean. One historical report indicates that when an Indian of the Illinois tribe was wounded by shot or arrow, a quantity of warm water with diluted drugs was poured into the lesion. As a bone setter, the North American Indian dexterously set fractures with care. Splints of cedar were applied, padded with leaves or herbs and then bound with soft, pliable branches of the young birch.
America's rediscovery of the healing-assisting power of plants marks a return to an ancient form of medicine that was medicine since the beginning of mankind--and that remains so for 80% of the world's people. For thousands of years people around the world have enjoyed the benefits of natural remedies. But just like many other health conscious people, you may have avoided these "alternative" products because their medicinal benefits were scientifically fully proven. Now, the myth vs. fact barrier has been bridged as scientific studies continue to confirm the reputations of hundreds of herbs worldwide.
In their unadulterated form, common herbs, known as simples, used as a tea are perfectly safe and impart many health benefits. They have been in use for thousands of years.