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Herbal Medicine

Herbal Medicine, sometimes referred to as Herbalism or Botanical Medicine, is the use of herbs, a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, aromatic or savory qualities, for their therapeutic or medicinal value. Herb information is methodically collected and often formed into well-defined herbal pharmacopoeias, with herbal lore of native people forming a large part of the modern pharmacopoeia. Thousands of plants and herb associated with the treatment of ailments have been discovered by the Chinese, and comprises a very large system of herbal medicine. The nature and properties of these plants are analyzed as 'cold and hot' or 'yin and yang' and utilize a variety of raw materials to create medical mixtures. The medicines thus produced therefore bear very different properties to western medicine.
Today, Herbal Medicine can be divided into roughly 10 categories. Various roots are used in herbal medicine, and the roots of specific plants such as ginseng, Chinese gromwell, and Taiwan Angelica root have specific properties. Taiwan Angelica root, for example, with its warm nature is helpful for alleviation of pain, including headaches and toothaches. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4 billion people, 80 percent of the world population, presently use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care. Substances derived from the plants remain the basis for a large proportion of the commercial medications used today for the treatment of heart disease, high blood pressure, pain, asthma, and other problems.

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