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History of Herbs

From prehistoric days, plants are used for shelter, food and medicine. The use of plants for medicinal purposes is as old as our civilization. The first known written record of curative plants was of Sumerian herbal of 2200 BC. In the 5th century BC, The Greek doctor Hippocrates list out some 400 herbs in common use. Dioscorides, in the Ist century AD, wrote a herbal by using 600 plants which ultimately became the base for many later works. Herbs have been used for uncounted time for various purposes like healing the sick and infirm. Most of the people still continue to use herbs to benefit their bodies. People thought that herbs keep the body in tune with nature as nature intended and maintain proper balance. Many scientific studies are still continued with modern research following the lead of old folklore and herbal uses to help finding new western medicine. Man has also been aware of the effects of Herbs on the body, mind and emotion. For example - Flowers were utilized to attract love, food and protection. Fragrant plants were worn to heal the body and give a sense of well being. The most costly flowers are offered to gods and goddesses and the use of aromatic incense is recorded from the earliest of times.

Present Status
Herbalists today, believe to help people build their good health with the help of natural sources.Herbs are considered to be food rather than medicine because they're complete, all-natural and pure, as nature intended. When herbs are taken, the body starts to get cleansed, It gets purifying itself. Unlike chemically synthesized, highly concentrated drugs that may produce many side effects, herbs can effectively realign the body's defenses. Herbs do not produce instant cures, but rather offer a way to put the body in proper tune with nature.

For thousands of years, humans have used herbs. Herbs have been used in the following ways - In cooking for flavouring foods, as perfumes, as disinfectants, to protect us against germs, as medicines to heal when we are sick.

Herbalism Today
Herbs are generally defined as non-woody plants, which die after blooming. This definition has been expanded to any of the plants of which part or whole can be used in medicinal treatments, culinary preparations (as seasonings), nutritional supplementation, or used as a coloring or cosmetic agent. Fresh herbals and medicinal plants can be acquired by gathering them in wild conditions, growing them in your own personal garden, or buying them from other gardeners and health food stores

From the germ theory of disease and the advent of antibiotics to combat various infections, it appeared as if infectious diseases were a thing of the past. With the realization that chemical medicines are not always "magic bullets" and may carry serious side effects, herbalism and ancient medicines are making a comeback. Our challenge now is to ensure that valued botanicals should remain abundant for future generations.

There are several ways to prepare herbs for consumption and use in medicinal remedies. When herbs are prepared by steeping in boiling water to be drunk as a tea, they are known as an infusion. If these dried herbs get simmered in hot water, they are called as decoction. If gets incorporated in with other ingredients and made into cream, they are viewed as a herbal ointment. Sometimes used a Herbal compress where piece of cloth is soaked in an infusion or decoction and is wrapped and applied externally. If herbs are used to cleanse and heal externally, they are called herbal wash. Herbal infusions and decoctions can also be used as herbal bath for relaxation and healing. Always follow the recommended dosages on your preparations and recipes because over-use of herbs can defeat the purpose for which you are using them. Some of the most beneficial herbs can prove to be toxic if over used.

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