Herbal Medications

Herbal Medications

Ever since man first became aware of his surroundings, herbal medications have been around. Humans have always had a interdependent relationship with nature and this relationship is best represented through his continual communion with herbs to cure the tiniest discomfort.

What is an herb?

Sometimes referred to as botanicals, herbs are plants or plant parts valued for its medicinal or therapeutic properties, flavor, or scent. Modern science has made significant advances in the identification of botanicals with properties making them ideal as herbal medications. These herbal medications are used to maintain or improve health or treat various disorders. Products that are sold as herbal medications may be called herbal products, botanical products, or phytomedicines.

Herbal Medications – Can Botanicals be Dietary Supplements?

Majority of the herbal medications available in the market today are classified as dietary supplements. This means that they are mere supplements, not drugs and their effects are not necessarily scientifically proven.

Herbal medications can be considered as dietary supplements if they are intended to supplement the diet. They must also contain one or more dietary ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other botanicals, amino acids, and other substances, or their constituents. In addition, they are intended to be taken by mouth as a pill, capsule, or tablet, or liquid, and must be labeled at the front as being a “dietary supplement.”

How are they prepared or sold?

Herbal medications are sold in many forms. They may be available as fresh or dried products like fresh ginger or dried valerian root. Some stores also sell herbal solutions in liquid or solid extracts. The most common forms of herbal medications today are tablets, capsules, powders, and tea bags.

Herbal medications as tea may also be known as infusion. They are made by adding boiling water to fresh or dried herbs and steeping them. Extracts, or decoctions, are created by treating roots, bark, and berries of some herbs in order to extract their desired ingredients. These herbal medications are similar to teas since they involve boiling but for much longer periods.

Tinctures made by soaking an herb in a solution of alcohol and water are also sold as herbal medications. These forms of herbal medications are often sold as liquids and are sued for concentration and preserving the therapeutic value of an herb. Tinctures are made in different strengths, expressed as botanical-to-extract ratios.

Another liquid form of herbal solutions is an extract. This is done by soaking the herb in a liquid that removes specific types of chemicals. Liquid extracts may be evaporated in order to make a dry extract for use in capsules and tablets.

KEYWORDS “Herbal Medications” – 14 (density = 3.2%)