What is Phytotherapy & What are its Benefits? | Types & Side Effects of Phytotherapy

What is Phytotherapy?

Phytotherapy is the plant-based medicinal approach to treat and prevent diseases.

Phytotherapy is a science-based medical practice and differs from other ancient approaches such as medical herbalism that depends on an empirical appreciation of medicative herbs.

In a few countries, phytotherapy is viewed as a form of traditional medicine while in few, it is considered sufficient to license phototherapeutic products as medicines.

What is Phytotherapy?

There Are Numerous Phytotherapeutic Preparations Such As:

  • Ginkgo Biloba, derived from leaves of Ginkgo. It is used in the treatment of minor cognitive disorders and other disorders of the central nervous system.
  • Hypericum perforatum, derived from serial parts of St.John’s wart. It is used to treat mild to moderate forms of depression.
  • Echinacea derived from the aerial part and roots of Echinacea Angustifolia, which is used in the treatment and prevention of common cold and other respiratory conditions.
  • Harpagophytum procumbens which is made from the parts of the African devil’s claw is used to treat chronic back pain.

Types of Phytotherapy:

Phytomedicines Are Of Two Types:

  1. Western herbal medicine
  2. Chinese herbal medicine

Western Herbal Medicines

Western herbal medicines focus on the whole person rather than the illness. The professional with expertise in the same looks for personal health history, family history, diet, and lifestyle.

The medicines are made from European and North American herbs. Also, the herbs from China and India are used.

The remedies are made from whole plants or the plant parts. These medicines are thought to help the body heal itself and also reduce the side effects of other medical treatments.

Chinese Herbal Medicines

Chinese herbal medicine is a part of the whole system of medicine and is called traditional Chinese medicine.

It is believed by the traditional Chinese medicine practitioners that the Qi is the flow of energy in the body, which is essential for good health. The medicine helps restore the Qi.

Yin and yang are the different qualities of Qi. When all the yin and yang aspects of Qi are in harmony, there is health, well being and peace.

Illness occurs due to disturbance between the yin and yang.

The plants are used by the Chinese herbalist accordingly, as to how they would affect the part of the body or the energy channel.

Traditional Chinese Medicines Include:

Mostly plants are used to make medicines in traditional Chinese medicine but sometimes there are animal and mineral products also.

Benefits of Phytotherapy

There are numerous benefits that the phytotherapy serves the human with:

  • It is more affordable than conventional medicine
  • It is easier to obtain than prescription medicine
  • Phytotherapy medicine prove natural healing
  • It stabilizes the hormones and metabolism
  • It has fewer side effects
  • The medicine is cost-effective

Side Effects of Phytotherapy

  • Herbal medications and supplements may interact with over-the-counter prescription medicines.
  • These medicines may also decrease the effectiveness of other drugs and might also increase the side effects.
  • Though rare, some might experience allergic reactions

Also, it is advisable to consult a doctor if you are pregnant or planning pregnancy.

Other side effects such as headache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which might range from mild to severe, might be experienced by some.

Although these medicines are derived from natural sources it is always suggested to get their prescription from a qualified health professional. This might reduce the chances of side effects.

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