Herbal medicine uses plants and natural substances for therapy or medicinal purposes. It is the world’s most ancient form of healing. Studies of herbs and their medicinal properties were prominent in the ancient civilizations of China, Egypt, Greece, Tibet, Persia and India. In some cultures, herbal knowledge was said to have been handed down from the gods. Much of this knowledge is still used today and has been proven effective in modern clinical testing.
An estimated three-quarters of the world’s population, especially those in developing countries, rely on herbal medicine. Almost a quarter of all modern prescription drugs, including aspirin, are derived from plant sources. There is also a strong tradition of Western herb use in the United States where patients are seeking more natural sources of medicine.