Herbal Medicine? Active Ingredients? Famous Herbal Medicine in the world?
What is Herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine is a type of medicine that uses roots, stem, leaves, fruit, seeds, flowers, or any part of the planet used to treat disease or maintain a healthy well being for the body. Well, the format of herbal medicine is not new. Its origins are from ancient cultures and have a history of thousands of years.
Herb is used as a fresh and extract form for herbal remedies. More than a quarter of all medicines we are using today are derived from ancient plants. Every herb has an active ingredient that is used in today's medicine.
Herbal medicine is not food or medicine. It is somewhere between because it is marked as food by Fssai, FDA and used as medicine for human wellness. Well, using plant-based medicine or herbal medicine is a natural way to get treatment of any disease.
Here we are giving you some of the herbs that you might have heard of from your grandparents for better health. Below are popular herbal remedies used in homes.
- Turmeric- It is used to improve inflammation, cold, cough, skin treatment.
- Tea Tree Oil- It is known for fungal infection and applied directly to the affected area.
- Ginger- Good for the morning sickness, nausea and cold, cough.
- Garlic- Indigestion, reduce cholesterol, and many more.
- Aloe Vera- Good for skin irritation and hair problems.
What are the active ingredients of herbs and herbal medicine?
All Herbal medicine contains active ingredients. The active ingredient is a biologically active ingredient in the herb/ plant. Plants/Herb create a variety of biologically active compounds that are found in both themselves and other creatures or plants. Active ingredients like alkaloids, butter, flavonoids, minerals, phimosis and many more. Each active ingredient is a response to a particular type of result and treatment.
Well, there are still many herbal preparations that have been used but its active ingredient is yet unknown. A single active component obtained from a plant source is used in several pharmaceutical drugs. Herbalists think that if an active element is taken in isolation from the rest of the plant, it loses its effectiveness or becomes less safe.
Like Flavonoids found in the orange, blueberries, buckwheat etc and rich in anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. Flavonoids, an active ingredient, have been used for strengthening capillaries and preventing tissues from harmful rays and attacks. It is said that Flavonoids, an active ingredient, is good for the skin.
According to the expert, it is difficult to give a perfect dose for the active ingredient.
Traditional Herbal System in World
From the old-time, almost every country researched and brought a traditional herbal system for their well-being. Some of them are popular in the overall world and compete with western and drug systems. Like Chinese and India- Ayurveda is a highly famous traditional medicine system in the world.
- Africa- African Traditional Herbal System is very popular in Africa. Almost 80% of people use traditional African medicine for treatments in their country. African herbal medicine has solutions to all kinds of diseases and problems. It is also said that it can be helpful even in HIV.
- America- North America is native to many famous herbs that have been used for herbal medicine in many countries. Echinopsis pachanoi is one of the herbs that is used as a vital component for many herbal medicines.
- China- China has a long history of medicine. This ancient china medicine is also trained and grown in Western countries. It has developed in Japan and is highly used by Japan for treatment.
- India- In India, Ayurveda is a traditional herbal system. It has been used for physical and mental health. India is native to herbs that have been used in many other herbal medicines. Dhanvantari is the one who found Ayurveda. Ayurveda medicine has quite a complex formula with 30 or more ingredients. The origin of Indian Traditional Herbal medicine dates back to the Vedic era.
- Indonesia- Jamu is the Indonesian herbal medicine and origin in the Mataram Kingdom era, some 1300 years ago. It was used to maintain good health and treat so many diseases. Well, the modern medical system is getting popular in Indonesia, But in rural areas, jamu medication is still used for natural treatments. Jamu is based on plants, herbs, and animals.
Relationship In FSSAI and Herbal Medicine
Considering the long history of the Indian Herbal System(Ayurveda), Herbal medicine and supplements are approved In India. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and AYUSH consider herbal medicine as food. It is not a drug that assures you about the particular treatment and solution.
You might see herbal medicine labels, they never refer to the treatment of specific medical conditions. Instead, say that it may improve your condition. Yes, it is used to improve and reduce the disease effect. Because there are no clinical trials done on herbal medicine till now. It has been used for years and positively works in many conditions.
No company in India is selling herbal medicine or supplements by claiming to treat the specific condition. Yes, there is a possibility that you might get a claim for a fresh supplement or extract of the herb. Standardization of herbal medicine is not required to ensure batch-to-batch consistency.
What is the Process of Making Herbal Medicine?
Herbal Medicine dosage forms are many like decoctions, powders and pills. Speaking of herbal medicine from the ancient image, the decoction is common, but nowadays, manufacturers have used many extract preparations.
You might question if the dosage form makes a difference in the effect, but in most circumstances, there isn't much of a difference, and superiority or inferiority is determined by the quality of the crude medicine in the raw material rather than the dosage form.
Now know about the dosage form of preparation of herb medicine.
- Decoction - Boil the active ingredients containing herbs and parts of a plant in boiling water is called "decocting". The active ingredient gets mixed in the water and prepared boiled soup-like juice becomes a decoction to intake.
- Powder - It is a crushed form of herb into the powder after drying it.
- Pills - Pills are prepared by the powder form or mixed with water or honey to make it round and granular.
- Granules - After concentrating the decoction, the water is evaporated, taken out, and processed into granules.
- Tablet - Extracted herb compressed into a standard shape.
World Famous Herbal Medicine
Echinacea is an indigo plant and is also known as Coneflower. This daisy family plant has been used in herbal remedies since ancient times. It originates from North America and is beneficial for the immunity system, fights infection, improves burn, and is good for an upset stomach. The active ingredient of Echinacea extract is alkamides, chicoric acid and polysaccharides. It’s all parts like roots, leaves and flower petals used for herbal medicine. Well, from among all, roots are noted to be the strongest effect.
For a healthy effect, Echinacea is intake as a supplement or tea. It is easily available in the market to find Echinacea extract supplements.
Ginseng has been famous in Chinese herbal medicine for thousands of years. It is a highly effective drug for fatigue, vitality, performance, confidence, and stamina. Ginseng contains a lot of saponin components "ginsenoside", which is good for physical as well as mental health. It is a member of the Araliaceae family. There are different types of Ginseng grown in different countries. All ginseng support better health and a better reproductive system. Like American ginseng is known for relaxation and Asian ginseng is more stimulating. Ginseng is not only used in herbal medicine, its active ingredient is also used in modern medicines.
3. Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba was present for more than 200 million years also. It was a prosperous plant on earth at least at that time. Ginkgo biloba is also known as Ginkgo and is derived from the maidenhair tree. The native place of Ginkgo Biloba is china. At first, Chinese traditional medicine was used for home remedies. But now it is the top-selling herbal medicine in the world. It is full of antioxidants that help in inflammation, heart health, dementia, mental conditions and a better reproductive system. For consumption, many people opt to eat raw fruits and some toasted their seeds. Having a tea and supplement of Ginkgo biloba is also a good idea. It is easily available in extract form in the market.
Curcumin is the active element of turmeric, which belongs to the ginger family. India and Indonesia are native to Turmeric and it has been used for years in India for cooking and medicine. It is one of the major spices for India for better taste. Its active ingredient is good for chronic inflammation, cold, joint pain, immunity boost and skin irritation. Many people use it for mental stress and anxiety as well. Turmeric can be consumed fresh or dried in the food. As an extract, the supplement, power, and juice are available on the market. Nowadays, it is used in some modern medicine like arthritis medicine.
Sea Buckthorn belongs to the Elaeagnaceae family and is native to the Eurasian continent. It is known as a superfood that contains more than 200 kinds of nutrients, and it is a fruit with a very high nutritional value and a good nutritional balance compared to general foods. Many cosmetic products also take advantage of active ingredients of sea buckthorn saturated fatty acids and antioxidant compounds. It is a herbal remedy and supports heart health, diabetes, immune system, liver and good skin. It is not possible to consume raw sea buckthorn berry due to its sour taste. Having an extract or supplement or dilute with something is the easy way.
Other herbs -
Valerian, St. John’s wort, Elderberry, Chamomile, Feverfew, Goldenseal, etc are other famous herbs for herbal medicine in the world.
Precaution while using Herbal Medicine
The herbal supplement is safe to use until it is under consultation with a professional doctor. Parallelly, having herbal medicine and other medicine may increase the effect and show side effects. It is a must to consider the presence of a Healthcare professional view on your dose alone or with some other medicines.
- The importance of self-education cannot be overstated. Do Self-education. Get knowledge about the herb that you are thinking of consuming. Read it carefully as much as possible even after consultation by the healthcare professional or doctor.
- Having extract in supplement of any herb, only choose the professional and licensed company. Do not go with untrained companies who are selling it without any information.
- Keep an eye on your allergic reaction to the body. If you are having any herb for the first time, be alert. If you experience any kind of side effect like difficulty in breathing, headache, fatigue, nausea, etc, then visit nearby doctors.
- Carefully, check the instruction label. Check its ingredients, dose and how to use them. Never try to exceed the recommended dosage as per the instruction label. It may cause problems for you.
- All herbal medicine and supplements are the same. It is made by different manufacturers. Think twice before switching to the new manufacturer or brand.
- Never avoid the prescribed medicine with herbal medicine or supplements.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on Herbal Medicine
What does Herbal medicine taste like?
Every herb tastes differently. Some are tasteless, some are sour, some are bitter and vary individually.
What is the efficacy of herbal medicine?
However, herbal medicine is considered to be safe and effective. The effectiveness varies with the individual.
Is herbal medicine or supplements safe?
Yes, herbal supplements are plant-based. It is a natural medicine formula that is considered to be safe. Herbal medicine/supplement is not new. It dates back to ancient times.
Which herbs are used for hair conditions?
Aloe vera has been used from ancient times for hair treatment. Its gel-like substance adds moisture and conditioning effect to the hair for better and shiny hair quality.
When was the first time herbal medicine was used?
According to archaeological evidence, the use of herbs for treatment dates back to the Paleolithic era, some 60,000 years ago.
Can I drink something other than water with herbal medicine?
As a general rule for herbal medicine, take it with a glass of water or lukewarm water. It is recommended to have strong tea, juice, milk, alkaline ionized water, etc.
Is it okay to use it in combination with other medicines?
Yes, if it is under professional. As we know some of the active ingredients from other herbs are also used in other medicines. The consumption doubles if you intake both kinds of medicine at the same time.
Is herbal medicine safe while pregnant or breastfeeding?
The pregnant body is very delicate. It's a time of great impact on your baby, so be sure to consult your doctor before taking any medications. When taking while breastfeeding, it is necessary to comprehensively judge the condition of the mother and baby, depending on the type of medicine.
When is the right time to take herbal medicine?
No, there is no right time to take herbal medicine. However, it should take place at a specific time. Well, herb medicines are often taken before and after meals to easily absorb the medicinal ingredients.
What if I forget to take herbal medicine?
If you miss a dose on an empty stomach, you don't have to skip after meals and wait until next. Take it when you notice it even after eating, and give priority to observing the indicated number of times during the day.