Herbs have been used for thousands of years for many purposes. Medicinally, spiritually, aromatically (aromatherapy), beauty, herbs and plants have deep roots in history.
From the earliest time, medicinal plants have been crucial to sustaining the health and well being of mankind. Linseed (linum usitatissimum), a.k.a. Flaxseed, provided food, fuel, balm for the skin and fiber to make fabric. It was also used to treat bronchitis, congestion, boils, and a number of digestive problems.
It is generally known that our ancestors had a wide range of medicinal herbs at their disposal, and they likewise possessed a great understanding of the plants healing powers. Tried and true local plants were picked for a wide range of common health problems.
In Europe, a 1st century A.D. physician, Dioscorides, wrote the first European herbal, De Materia Medica. The text, listing about 600 herbs was to have an astonishing influence on Western medicine. It was the first to have included pictures of the herbs.
Today, 25% or more of all medicine comes from a plant, or herb that has been chemically adulterated. They rely on plants, rather than the laboratory.
Modern medicine, or biomedicine as it is sometimes called, does sustain life where other types of treatment have little to offer. Plastic or laser surgery, or life support machinery would be an example.
Yet, despite the dramatic advances of conventional medicine, herbal medicine has much to offer. We tend to forget that herbs have been healing and relied upon for years to treat a wide range of illnesses. From minor cuts, scrapes, colds, flu, to life threatening diseases such as tuberculosis, herbs have had a place in treating successfully.
Herbal remedies are once again coming into prominence. Concern over side effects is a common reason for people shifting away from conventional to herbal medicine. They are looking for a natural, gentle form of treatment