Herbalism or herbal medicine has been used since the earliest times and is still practiced worldwide. Although it’s considered an alternative option by Western medicine, up to one quarter of all modern pharmaceutical medications are derived from plant-based compounds.
“Herbalism matters because life matters and there wouldn’t be any of it without the plants. Without botanicals, there would have been nothing to isolate and concentrate, starting the decades long process that has lead us to modern medicine today.” – Gabby Allen, Herbrally
The practice of herbalism in its purest form remains a viable and popular method of treatment for patients who want to focus on natural health products and avoid chemical drugs. Medicinal herbs are known to directly treat medical conditions instead of simply suppressing the symptoms, and often have fewer dangerous side effects.
About Niagara Medicinal Herbs
Our company was founded in January 2017 by Sara Fotheringham, who began making herbal remedies with her grandmother as a child. Over the years, Sara gave remedies away to family and friends, and as word spread she realized a serious need existed in Niagara for the products. She discovered people often turn to pharmaceutical products in desperation, because they are unaware of other natural, effective options available. Sara created Niagara Medicinal Herbs to fill the need for education and access to natural medicines in the region.
Sara is a Chartered Herbalist, currently completing her thesis for the designation of Master Herbalist while she works towards attaining clinical status as a herbal practitioner. She also holds a Certificate in Medical Marijuana Management, Quality and Laboratory from the Academy of Applied Pharmaceutical Science (AAPS). Her passion is to create access for patients to alternative medicines, and to provide education about the natural health products available to them.
The History of Herbalism
Plants have been used for medicinal purposes since humanity’s beginnings. While plants were originally consumed for nourishment, ancient peoples discovered through trial and error that certain types affected bodily functions. This “body of knowledge” was passed down through generations gathering information in the process, and now forms part of the tradition of herbalism.
With records dating back to ancient Mesopotamia, China, India, Egypt, Sumeria, Greece, Rome, Europe, America, Africa, Australia and the South Pacific, it’s clear the practice was widespread and held in high esteem.
Since the dawn of modern pharmaceuticals, scientists have discovered treatments for many illnesses through drugs derived from natural health products such as morphine, aspirin and quinine.
Why Herbalism Matters
Pause for a moment to consider the ailments, diseases and medical conditions addressed by modern medicine. Picture the stark difference in our lives compared with those of our ancestors, and think of how long humanity would survive without these medicines.
Herbalism matters because one day many of the compounds we use in medicines might not be available, and “going back to fundamentals” might well be the only way we manage to weather the storm.
If the knowledge that formed the basis of modern medicine were to be lost to us now, what guarantee do we have that any other treatment options would present themselves in a timely manner. Retaining the intelligence is paramount, if for no other reason than we might one day need it again.
A multitude of conditions can be successfully treated with herbal medicine, including:
- premenstrual syndrome,
- rheumatoid arthritis,
- menopausal symptoms,
- chronic fatigue,
- irritable bowel syndrome, and
Multiple other illnesses and disease are currently being tested for viability. One example is tick-borne Lyme’s Disease, which has infected multiple victims in Canada over the past few decades.
Benefits of Herbal Medicine
Herbs act on the same biological pathways as pharmaceutical medications and should therefore be taken with care. For the same reason, however, they can be remarkably effective if used correctly.
In a world where the cost of Western medicine is often unaffordable and unobtainable without a prescription, natural health products offer an easily accessible, low-cost option for patients.
Typically, these medicines harness the body’s natural healing processes to treat conditions, using ingredients that are regularly produced in the body.