Herbal medicine is an integral component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It is also one of the oldest (and most popular) forms of health care. Studies have shown that as much as 40% of all Canadian adults use herbal products, with the amount of money spent on herbal remedies in this country each year in the billions. The use of herbal medicine is even higher overseas, with some countries reporting a usage rate of 75% or greater.
The term “herbal medicine” refers to the use of a plant’s seed, berries, roots, leaves, bark or flowers for medicinal purposes. While the scientific study of herbs in the Canada began just over two centuries ago, herbs and botanicals have been used to treat a wide range of health problems in Asia for thousands of years.
When used to facilitate healing in chronic, ongoing problems, herbal medicine has a great deal to offer. Studies have shown that herbal products can treat a variety of conditions, including colds, digestive disorders, insomnia, headaches, arthritis, skin disorders, asthma, and a host of other problems usually treated with pharmaceuticals and prescription medications.