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What is phytotherapy?

It is the oldest and most experienced medicine in the world, a practice that grew and evolved together with human kind. Since the first appearance of human societies, there was an important interaction with the nature that surrounded them, extracting from it all the necessary resources for their survival in daily life. This influenced the way in which different communities experienced with nature, acquiring the knowledge of those plants that could improve their quality of life as well as those that were able to cure specific conditions, this being the way in which many communities around the world found the cure for various diseases from medicinal plants.

Phytotherapy is the use of plants or substances of plant origin with medicinal properties to prevent or cure various conditions and diseases. Due to the knowledge transmitted and shared by different communities and advances in the field of botany and medicine, it is known in which part of the plant (the root, the bark, the leaves or flowers and fruits) the so-called active principles can be found, which correspond to the substances responsible for the medicinal or therapeutic effects and which are used for a large number of conditions, for example, stress, anxiety, insomnia; even to help control blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, among many other diseases.

Medicinal plants are the basis of chemical pharmacology or so-called modern medicine, since from the isolation of these natural active principles, various substances are created or copied through chemical methods of what nature had already created.

Phytotherapy uses products or substances with mild to moderate therapeutic activity, for the treatment of conditions of medium and low severity, or to mitigate and prevent symptoms of chronic conditions or help slow their progress.

Unlike drugs that can bring undesirable side effects, herbal medicine has great advantages, since being medicinal substances of plant origin where their potency is their toxicity is minimal and therefore their side effects are almost null.


Written by:

Diana Londoño - Pharmaceutical Chemist