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Herbalists are trained in the use of herbal medicines.
Herbal medicine is the oldest and still the most widely used system of medicine in the world today. It is medicine made exclusively from plants. It is used in all societies and is common to all cultures (1).
There are many different "types" of herbal medicine that spring from different cultures around the world. All these have the use of medicinal plants in common, but they vary in the plants they use, the way they prepare and use medicines from these plants, and the philosophy of their treatment approaches. Different cultures may also use the same plants but differ in how it is used, or the part they use (1).
In Australia the most commonly found cultural types of herbal medicine are Western (based on European herbal medicine traditions), Aboriginal, Chinese and Ayurvedic (Indian) (1).
Western herbal medicine involves using plants and plant material to create medicines to help prevent or treat various illnesses. These materials may use some or all parts of a plant, such as flowers, roots, fruits, leaves, and bark. This modality emphasises the use of European and Native American herbs; however, herbs from other parts of the world are sometimes used as well (2).
Herbal medicine is increasingly being validated by scientific investigation which seeks to understand the active chemistry of the plant. Using plants as medicine provides significant advantages for treating many conditions. The therapeutic activity of a plant is due to its complex chemical nature with different parts of the plant providing certain therapeutic effects (1).
|1||Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia. What is Herbal Medicine? [Internet]. NHAA. n.d. [cited 2021 Apr 14]. Available from: https://nhaa.org.au/public/information-resources/what-is-herbal-medicine|
|2||Australian Natural Therapists Association. Western Herbal Medicine [Internet]. ANTA. 2018 [cited 2021 Apr 14]. Available from: https://www.australiannaturaltherapistsassociation.com.au/Public/ANTA_Therapies/WesternHerbalMedicine.aspx|