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History of the use of herbal remedies

The ancient Greeks and Romans also carried out herbal medicine, and as they invaded new lands their doctors encountered new herbs and introduced herbs such as rosemary or lavender into new areas.

Other cultures with a history of herbal medicine are the Chinese and the Indians. In Britain , the use of herbs developed along with the establishment of monasteries around the country, each of which had its own herb garden for use in treating both the monks and the local people.

In some areas, particularly Wales and Scotland , Druids and other Celtic healers are thought to have had an oral tradition of herbalism, where medicine was mixed with religion and ritual.

Over time, these healers and their knowledge led to the writing of the first 'herbals', which rapidly rose in importance and distribution upon the advent of the printing press in the 15th century. John Parkinson of London wrote a herbal around 1630, listing useful plants. Many herbalists set up their own apothecary shops, including the famous

Nicholas Culpepper (1616-1654) whose most famous work is The Complete Herbal and English Physician, Enlarged, published in 1649. Then in 1812, Henry Potter started a business supplying herbs and dealing in leeches.
By this time a huge amount of traditional knowledge and folklore on medicinal herbs was available from Britain , Europe , the Middle East , Asia and the Americas . This promoted

Potter to write Potter's Encyclopedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations, which is still published today.

It was in this period that scientifically inspired conventional medicine rose in popularity, sending herbal medicine into a decline. In rural areas, herbal medicine continued to thrive in local folklore, traditions and practices.

In 1864 the National Association (later Institute) of Medical Herbalists was established, to organize training of herbal medicine practitioners and to maintain standards of practice. From 1864 until the early part of this century, the Institute fought attempts to ban herbal medicine and over time public interest in herbal medicine has increased, particularly over the last 20 years.

This move away from synthetic drugs is partly due to possible side effects, bad publicity, and, in some instances, a mistrust of the medical and pharmacological industries. The more natural appearance of herbal remedies has led to its growing support and popularity.

Herbs from America have been incorporated with common remedies and scientific research into herbs and their active ingredients has confirmed their healing power and enlarged the range of medicinal herbs used today.

Herbal medicine can be viewed as the precursor of modern pharmacology, but today it continues as an effective and more natural method of treating and preventing illness.

Herbal Medicines
Herbal Remedies History
Herbal Preparations
Common Herbs
Anemone wood
Anemone pulsatilla
Evening Primrose
Golden rod

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