Botanical Medicine
Ruth Shuster
naturopathic doctor
Botanical Medicine is the use of plants, as an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs, for treating various health concerns. The medicinal properties of plants are so numerous, that essentially every system in the body has botanicals specific to it.

It is well known that the majority of pharmaceutical drugs come from plants.  The active ingredient is removed, it is concentrated, and then a synthetic form is made for mass production.  In contrast, Botanical Medicine uses the raw form of a plant.  The leaf, or stem, or root, is prepared in either a pill/capsule form or in a liquid solution.  Because of this difference in preparation, most of the negative side effects are eliminated with botanical medicine.  It is more gentle on the body than pharmaceutical drugs, and also often allows for other positive health benefits.

However, it is very important to note that botanicals/herbs can interact with other medications or supplements; and, certain health conditions (such as pregnancy, heart disease, diabetes, or cancer) must be treated cautiously. 
Naturopathic Doctors are the only licensed practitioners with extensive knowledge and training on the use of botanicals.  Product quality is also a big factor when using botanical medicine.  Do not simply rely on the information or product lines at your regular health food store - consult a professional first.

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Copyright 2009 Ruth Shuster ND   All Rights reserved    Milton