Herbal (botanical) medicine uses plants for the treatment of disease. NDs are professionally trained herbalists with knowledge in both the historical uses of plants as well as their modern pharmacological mechanisms.
Every indigenous culture has used herbal medicine for healing illnesses. Thousands of years of empirical use in many different cultures has been a springboard for the study of many of these botanical medicines in conventional research today. As well, many pharmaceutical drugs are derived from the plant world, leading to a greater scientific understanding of the pharmacological mechanisms of these herbs.
Herbs are used to treat a wide variety of ailments depending upon their properties. The flower, roots, leaves, bark, or oils of a plant may be used in each specific medicine prescribed, and can be administered in one of many forms, including teas, tinctures, ointments, essential oils, supplements, foods and spices.
Herbs can have potential side effects or interactions with conventional medications, or might not be safe to take during pregnancy. It is helpful to speak to a trained healthcare professional when navigating the intake of any botanical medicine, especially if you are on many pharmaceutical drugs or have a serious illness.
In practice, I use a wide variety of botanicals to facilitate health. I use ones that I have experientially seen the most clinical efficacy with, along with understanding the available but limited data regarding their efficacy in clinical human trials. Much of the prescribing of herbal medicine is eclectic and based on ancient herbal knowledge.