WHAT IS PHYTOTHERAPY?
Phytotherapy is modern herbal medicine at its best. It applies scientific research and the highest professional standards to the practice of herbal medicine. It takes its name from the word used in where plants continue to be provided by doctors and pharmacists as ‘phytomedicines’.
Phytotherapy encourages and adapts to a recent worldwide growth in scientific information on plant drugs and their effective and safe use. The methods used to evaluate herbal medicines are similar to those used by orthodox medicine. Yet, a herb contains many active ingredients unlike the single chemical in a drug, and may have several actions to support the body’s health.
THE HISTORY OF PHYTOTHERAPY
Phytotherapy is based on the oldest and most universal system of medicine. Every early civilisation used plants as their main source of medicine, and most of the world’s population still rely on them today. Around a quarter of all pharmaceutical drugs currently prescribed by doctors were originally derived from plants.
HOW DOES PHYTOTHERAPY WORK?
In phytotherapy, plant medicines are selected mainly to stimulate or strengthen the body’s normal functions, and so help the body heal itself. Unlike orthodox drugs that have a single ingredient, plant medicines contain many ingredients and may have several simultaneous therapeutic actions in the body. Any herbal medicine prescribed may be a combination of plants chosen for the therapeutic actions required to treat that individual.
CAN HERBS BE TAKEN ALONGSIDE MY DOCTOR’S PRESCRIPTION?
Practitioners are trained to work with doctors’ prescriptions, so your herbal medicines will be chosen to avoid interaction with any current medication. Follow-up appointments at regular intervals will be made to monitor your progress and adjust either your management plan or herbal prescription.
IS PHYTOTHERAPY SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?
Herbal medicine is appropriate for babies and children as it is a gentle form of medicine that supports their developing body systems.