WHAT IS HERBAL MEDICINE
Herbal medicines are simply plants with known pharmaceutical properties.
Plant parts used by herbalists include leaves, flowers, seeds, roots, barks and resins. Herbal extracts used for medicine contain many active principals, such as volatile oils, tannins, saponins, flavonoids, coumarins, alkaloids, glycosides, acids, phenols, mucopolysaccharides, anthraquinones, lignins, isoflavones and nutrients. Although they contain drug-like chemicals the difference between a herbal medicine and a drug is in the dose and range of these chemicals. A drug is an isolated constituent in a single high dose. A herb has a many active chemicals working together but its main active principle isn’t at as high a level as in drugs.
People often think that herbs don’t work as fast which is why we use drugs in emergencies. This may be true but before drugs there were herbs that were used in emergencies too. These days we leave this kind of treatment to the doctors. Herbal medicine is now used to correct underlying pathology’s such as immune dysregulation, stress, hormonal imbalance and digestion. Herbs can be used to gently nudge the pathways in the body without causing side effects or over-correction when coming off them.
WHY HERBAL MEDICINE?
At The Apothecary we see herbal medicine as a first choice. Herbs have been used by humans throughout our existence. Many herbal extracts were first isolated in Apothecary’s around the world leading to the current drug compounds we know as medicine now.
Many herbal indications have been rediscovered and herbalists and scientists are rediscovering ‘new’ and ‘old’ uses for herbs and what they can do.
Herbs can treat all organs of the body and all manner of ailments including the brain, cardiovascular system, musculoskeletal system, lungs, kidneys, skin, bones, digestion, reproductive system, liver, as well as protect us from radiation and increase cellular metabolism and waste removal. Herbs may be ancient but their properties are as modern as we are.
Most herbs have antioxidant properties, many have antimicrobial properties, there are also many herbs with specific antidepressant, relaxing and stimulating properties as well as the useful nutritional and restorative properties. Herbs can be both foods and medicines. We believe people should use herbs every day to maintain best health, and also to help reduce the need for emergency medicine and high drug dosages.
We advise people to see a professional medical herbalist before using herbal medicines: At The Apothecary we are all fully qualified medical herbalists and members of the New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists.
WHERE DO OUR HERBS COME FROM?
Herbal medicines are grown throughout the world. In New Zealand we grow some of the world’s finest herbs, including but not limited to our native herbal plants. We use locally grown herbs where possible, grown in Banks Peninsula otherwise we source herbs from the overseas market. Most herbs are found in their country of origin.
Plant medicines are dispensed in the form of teas, powdered herbs, pressed tablets, capsules, tinctures, syrups, vinegars and wines. We only stock suppliers of the highest quality herbal material, processed in GMP certified production facilities to ensure that only the best ingredients are used in our products. If it is found in our shop is has our tick of approval.
Or of course, if you know what you’re doing, you can grow and use your own herbs in your garden, or use what’s growing around you.