Old myths are hard to dispel. And when it comes to herbs and herbal supplements, the misconceptions are endless. Surely herbs offer potential alternatives to other medications and have indeed become popular.
Here are some samplers on the popularity of the usage of herbs and herbal supplements. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost 80% of the world’s population has incorporated medicinal plants into their primary modality of health care.
The remaining 20% of the world’s population also depends on plant products for health care. In Germany, roughly 600 to 700 plant-based medicines are available and are prescribed by approximately 70% of German physicians. About 25% of prescription drugs dispensed in the United States contain plant extracts or active ingredients derived from plants.
Out of a total of 520 new drugs approved for commercial use between 1983 and 1994, 30 were new natural products and 127 were chemically modified natural products. Needless to say, they are also the breeding grounds for much of good as well as bad information.
But then we must remember that herbs have had a longstanding relationship with humans for thousands of years. Fossil records date human use of plants as medicines at least to the Middle Paleolithic age some 60,000 years ago. Long before scientists began investigating nature’s chemicals and the living creatures that synthesize them, human beings were making extracts, tinctures, and other preparations from plants and animals.
Herbs no doubt are going to play an important role in the years to come. Busting all the myths and getting to know their rational use makes them a better and safer choice in fulfilling your health care needs.