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Food, Health & Fitness

HERBS & MEDICINE: THE MAGIC OF PLANTS

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need…” — Mahatma Gandhi

One of the greatest things about being alive is having the opportunity to experience nature. Lying down on the grass, under a shade, and listening to running water could be the most relaxing experience. Being one with nature is grounding in itself that it has health benefits as is. Apart from grounding, nature can provide us with all the materials we need for shelter, clothing, and even medicine.

Photo by S Migaj on Unsplash

Read More: Rooted: Healing through the Earth

Out of 435,000 unique land plant species on Earth, around 350,000 are said to have medicinal properties. Plants have been utilized for medicinal purposes since the dawn of humanity, with the earliest proof of practice coming from archeological evidence found in Iraq that dates back to 60,000 years ago. Modern medicine are also made of properties that can be derived from plant sources though many of which have been replaced by synthetic substitutes.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

What are medicinal plants

Plants create a wide range of bioactive compounds. Some of these properties are used for self defense, and some to aid in the development of the plant due to their usual circumstances. Some of these properties cause different reactions when ingested or applied as paste when crushed. This could be anti-inflammatory effects, symptom relief of colds or fever, among others.

A plant can be considered a medicinal plant when it has chemicals that can be utilized therapeutically or that serve as ingredients of valuable medicine in one or more of its organs. The form, color, and texture of the leaves are the most important characteristics for determining the medicinal nature of a plant.

Risks of using herbal medicine

There are no regulations on the safety, consistency, or contamination of herbs, unlike the FDA-approved medicine. Due to the presence of hazardous compounds or heavy metals, herbal remedies may induce renal failure or liver damage. This is why it’s important to still consult with your doctor before using any type of medicine, especially if you have existing medication.

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