Biologically Based Therapies
- Treatments that use herbal medications such as tea, extracts, tinctures, ointments, etc. (324)
“Herbalism is one of the oldest treatment methods. Plants are an almost inexhaustible source of various substances, many of which have a significant effect on live beings, both harmful and beneficial. The Austrian herbalist Marie Treben famously stated that there is no plant it the world that does not serve a purpose.” (325)
- It is based on traditional knowledge and many years of experience of the effects of various plants and their parts.
- It is part of many traditional healing systems (including traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda).
- Sometimes referred to as herbalism or herbal therapy, or herbal medicine. However, it should be distinguished from traditional herbal medicine. In Western countries it is often used by doctors and naturopaths.
- Phytotherapy is a herbal medicine based on science and was created by the French physician Henri Leclerc (1870–1955), who also coined this term (in 1913). (326)
- “Phytotherapy is the use of medicinal products from plants to treat and prevent diseases. Phytotherapy is a science-based medical practice and differs from other, more traditional approaches, such as herbalism. Herbalism relies on the empirical evaluation of medicinal herbs and is often associated with traditional knowledge. It has generally not been assessed in controlled clinical trials or strictly biomedical studies. Phytotherapy differs from herbalism as a number of tests and pharmacological studies on specific phytotherapeutic agents have been carried out. The interpretation and acceptance of the phytotheraputic evidence differs between countries. In some countries, phytotherapeutic medications are considered valid, while in other countries phytotherapy is still considered teo be a form of traditional medicine.” (327)
- Certain phytotherapeutic remedies are readily known and used: Ginkgo biloba (for treating minor cognitive disorders etc.), St John's wort, Hypericum perforatum (for treating milder forms of depression etc.), and Echinacea augustifolia (for preventing and treating colds and other respiratory problems). (328)