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What is Herbalism?

What is Herbalism?
Herbalism is Botany applied to medicine, through the traditional use of healing herbs and plants.

Similar Herbal Terms

It is also known as Herbal Medicine, Ancestral Medicine, Ethnobotany, Shamanic Medicine, Phytotherapy, Homeopathy, or as Alternative Medicine.

But what is herbalism and what is it for?

Herbalism is based on a philosophy different from modern medicine. In modern medicine, health and illness are analyzed under the idea that the body is the sum of its organs, and therefore, treatments try to focus on an isolated problem or malfunction. In Herbalism, health and illness are understood as a physical, spiritual or energetic imbalance, and therefore, healing involves comprehensive treatment to reestablish balance.
Currently it is common to combine the philosophy of modern medicine with the botanical knowledge of Herbalism; The scientific field conducts research to verify the specific properties of plants, and it has become quite common to prescribe "natural" pills or herbs to relieve discomfort such as a headache or an infection. Although this may work in the short term (the prescribed plant may eliminate the pain or infection on that occasion), it is not an accurate use of herbalism if it does not address the imbalance that caused the pain or infection. According to herbal tradition, if the imbalance is still there, it will again result in pain or illness.
Surely we all remember that, when we were sick, our mother or grandmother “prescribed” us some tea so that we could get relief. Herbal or herbal remedies are used all over the world to combat various diseases, and Mexico is no exception. Learn more about Mexican Herbalism and see how often it is used.

Herbalism in Mexico

In Mexico, the use of Herbalism is widespread among the population: according to the Mexican Ministry of Health, it is estimated that about 90 percent of people have at some point resorted to some herbal remedy to take care of their health.
Likewise, Dr. Erick Estrada Lugo, from the Autonomous University of Chapingo, in Mexico, estimates that about 45 percent of the population exclusively uses 'herbs' to treat their health problems, while the other 45 percent complement the use. of allopathic medicine with Herbalism. Some of the problems most commonly treated with the help of Herbalism include respiratory infections, hypertension, colitis, gastritis, diabetes and headache.
For Dr. Genaro Armando Taddei-Bringas, from the Family Medicine Unit of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), the popularity of the use of herbal remedies is largely due to family influence: "It is through transmission grandparents-parents-children, that many of these remedies have remained in society," he points out.
Another factor that may influence the popularity of these remedies is the great diversity found in Mexico: according to the Latin American Society of Natural and Traditional Medicine, Mexico is, worldwide, the second country with the greatest diversity of medicinal plants, since it has about 4,500 plant species with healing properties. The first place is occupied by China, which has around 5,000 species.
However, despite the great diversity of medicinal plants that exists in Mexico, it seems that cultural tradition has chosen only a few as its favorites. According to Dr. Taddei-Bringas, the plants most commonly used as remedies are Mullein (Gnaphalium sp.), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), Peppermint (Mentha sp.), Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), Peppermint (Mentha Piperita), Gentian, Parsley (Petroselinum Crispum), Fenugreek (Trigonella Foenum Graecum), Lettuce and Nopal (Opuntia sp.).
What do the specialists think?
Although they may have their reservations, Herbal Medicine is viewed favorably by Mexican specialists: according to a study carried out by IMSS researchers, about 75 percent of doctors know the use of medicinal plants and accept the use of medicinal plants. Herbalism as a useful practice for health care; Likewise, about 35 percent consider that herbal remedies are an effective treatment for various conditions.

Prehispanic Herbalism

In the following video you will be able to learn a little more about Pre-Hispanic Herbalism and the importance that its use has always had since ancient times.

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