Origins of Phytotherapy
Phytotherapy is the study of medicinal plants and how these can be used in the process of curing certain pathologies. The origin of the word derives from the Greek (phyto = plants; therapia = therapy) but its medicinal origin comes from the Traditional Chinese Medicine, being studied and used since the year 3.000 b.C.
How Phytotherapy Works
Although the principles of phytotherapy are used in traditional non-Western medicines, the method of investigation and use are similar to those of pharmacology: the active principle is isolated in order to test the therapeutic effects of the same and used to apply them in the cure of diseases or amelioration of some symptoms associated with these same diseases.
In general, phytotherapy is used in a homemade way, usually in teas and infusions, but can also be used through tablets or liquid formulas (drops), common in homeopathic pharmacies.
Phytotherapy, as well as other traditional therapies, has holistic principles, meaning that it aims at the well-being and the balance of the whole organism and not only the symptoms or an isolated pathology.
Against to what is commonly perceived, there are some risks in using phytotherapy if, as in conventional western medicine, doses are changed, or if you don’t know how phytotherapeutic medicines act on our body.
Still, the use of natural elements, although slower acting, is healthier for the body, which reacts better to absorbed elements, not having to create resistance to foreign elements not naturally generated by the body.
Phytotherapy and other holistic therapies
Being Phytotherapy itself, a holistic therapy, it can and should be combined with other therapies. The most common is aromatherapy, which uses the aromas of plants, and the beneficial effects of them, usually through infusions, incenses or lotions.
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