Western Herbal Medicine

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones..

~ Proverbs 17:22
Herbal Medicine Dispensary

Western Herbal Medicine

A holistic form of medicine, Western herbal medicine is derived from Anglo-American and European traditional healing philosophies and practices. It focuses on the whole person and optimises health, rather than focussing on the symptoms and the disease. Recent interest in herbal medicine has increased and the therapeutic use of herbal medicine is now being validated by scientific research.

There are many different “types” of herbal medicine from different cultures around the world. Different cultures may also use the same plants but differ in how it is used, or the part they use. In Australia the most commonly found cultural types of herbal medicine are Western, Aboriginal, Chinese and Ayurvedic (Indian). There are also many other cultures represented in Australia that use their own unique and traditional herbal treatments. The National Herbalists Association of Australia represents the practice of Western herbal medicine, which is based on European herbal medicine traditions. We also have an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) membership category. These members work in their local communities using the traditional Aboriginal bush and Western herbal medicine.

Herbal medicine remains one of the oldest and most utilised forms of medicine in the world today. Modern herbal medicine has the benefit of evidence-based research, pharmaceutical grade manufacturing processes and access to herbal medicines from all over the world.

The recorded use of plants as medicine dates back 5000 years when the Sumerians detailed the well-established medicinal use of laurel, caraway and thyme. Without exception, herbs have historically been used as medicine in every different culture in the world, and are still used widely today.

“More than 75% of the world’s population still uses herbal medicine”  ~ The World Health Organization

These days, herbal medicine comes in many forms, including tinctures, decoctions, teas, tablets and capsules, making it easy to take and allowing precision dosing.

Plants are used as the base for many well known pharmaceutical medicines including opiates and aspirin for pain relief, digoxin for heart disease and quinine, used to treat malaria. In fact, the scientific community spends an extraordinary amount researching the actions of plant constituents in the hope of finding new medicines.

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