What is Botanical Medicine?
Botanical Medicine is herbs that we put in a form for therapeutic use. For example, it could be a tea, a raw herb, a botanical tincture (where they take some part of the plant an put it in alcohol), capsules. Botanical tinctures don't typically taste good. About 35% of most drugs come from plants, for instance aspirin comes from white willow.
Who prescribes Botanical Medicine?
Naturopathic Doctors, Herbalists, Doctors of Chinese Medicine, but the method of prescribing is different from Western prescription of botanical medicine. Some medical doctors may also prescribe botanical medicine.
Are there particular ailments that Botanical Medicine is good for?
It can be used for many applications. In many cases where is there is a drug for a particular ailment, there is often a botanical medicine for the ailment. For example there are botanical medicines for sore throats, blood pressure, arthritis, headaches, pain. HOWEVER YOU MUST BE VERY CAREFUL, as some botanical medicines can interact with other medications. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL like a naturopathic doctor before taking any botanical medicines. One example is St. John's Wort- it commonly throws off drug levels.
How do you know what Botanical Medicines to take?
Echinacea is one example of a common Botanical Medicine
It has an "o.k." safety profile, so usually there isn't a lot of concern taking it. Also, people tend to take it for a short period of time, maybe a week.
Generally with Botanicals you should consult with a healthcare professional before taking them- you have to be very careful. You should view botanicals the same way that you view drugs- you don't usually take botanicals for prevention, it's usually to treat something specific.
Where do you get Botanical Medicines?
You can get them at most health food stores, herbalist stores, they are also available online, however, Dr. JJ doesn't recommend buying them online, unless you know specifically the brand and form of the herb you are looking for, that your doctor has recommended.