The use of botanical medicine is the most ancient form of medical treatment as well as a widely studied branch in clinical research. Botanical treatments are the basis for the majority of modern pharmaceutical agents, and have a similar action in the body often with fewer and less severe side effects. Upwards of 80% of all pharmaceutical drugs are synthetic derivatives of plants, with as much as 25% of current medications being derived directly from plants.
The medicinal properties of plants, though used for millennia, have recently become a major focus for medical research. Not only are traditional uses being evaluated and often confirmed, but modern uses are also being found. Many exciting new papers have been published in recent years not only praising the high efficacy of herbs for the treatment of symptoms, but also for their wide safety margins, few side effects and most importantly, their ability to reverse, limit or eliminate the causes of many disease.
While most herbs have few side effects or adverse reactions, some can have negative interactions with medications, or, if taken incorrectly, can have harmful consequences. Naturopathic doctors are highly trained and skilled in understanding these potential adverse events, and are currently the only health care providers in Canada regulated to use botanical medicine. With proper supervision and support, botanical medicine is a very safe and effective method of treating and preventing disease.
Using a variety of plants or plant extracts, botanical medicine can be used to treat most health conditions. It is widely recognized to treat the causes of conditions as wide ranged as infertility, insomnia, digestive issues, diabetes, pain and cancer. Botanical medicine is frequently used alone or in combination with other treatment options to create a unique and individualized treatment protocol to ensure optimal health and wellness.