It is not known how medicine developed in its earliest stages, but what it does signify is that there was a struggle for man against unknown attacks on the body and how he had to scramble for remedies that originated from nature. There was no science. There were no laboratories. Just man looking to nature for answers when it is technically nature that caused the illness in the first place. With written records now discovered, we can look back in time to our ancestors and find out the earliest forms of medicine that we can use even today in our discovery for the cure to a longer, healthier life.
HERBAL MEDICINE IN INDIA
Indian form of traditional medicine is known as “Ayurveda” where ayur means life and veda means science or knowledge. So Ayurveda means the “science of life”. This form of medicine is as ancient as Indian history. In fact, even in those pre-historic days, Indians had a scientific mind and used it in medications to cure the sick.
The basis of Ayurveda is a full body, mind and spirit cure. It is said that it is only when all three are not in harmony that sicknesses occur. Ayurveda uses whole plants in their natural state to reap the benefits of nature. The best part about using plants for medicine is that one can reap the full benefits with little to no side effects.
Ayurveda is still one of the most popular forms of herbal medication and is used throughout the world. Since it is about wholeness, taking Ayurvedic medicine along with practicing Yoga and meditation allows for wellbeing of the person as a whole.
HERBAL MEDICINE IN CHINA
Like India, Chinese medicine has been practiced for centuries. It uses plants as the main ingredient for its curing concoction. But over and above using plants, it also makes use of animal products available in nature mostly in the Chinese provinces.
Chinese medicine is usually available in specialised shops where the sellers have been in the trade from generation to generation. You can purchase the dried ingredients that have been preserved for prolonged use and steep in warm water and then drink the “tea” that above all provides relaxation.
Like Indian medicine, again, Chinese herbal formulation is all about balancing the three parts of the human form – body, mind and soul. So it doesn’t look to cure the manifestation of the imbalance, like a cold or fever, but more so about bring harmony from the inside-out. Along with the medication, it is always recommended to practice some form of exercise like tai-chi which centres on the mind using physical movements.
HERBAL MEDICINE IN SOUTH AMERICA
Maybe it has something to do with the general income of the population and the fact that a majority like just on or under the poverty line, but the so-called “developing” countries are actually quite advanced when it comes to traditional herbal medicine and are teaching the developed nations quite a thing or two about holistic healing.
South America is a continent in itself, but each country is specialized in its own form of medicine. The plants and herbs grown in that region are used in the concoctions as medication.
It is important to note that while herbal formulations from around the world do not currently have any International Standardization nor are all medications clinically proven to work, they have been around for centuries now longer than mass-manufactured pills. They have little to no side effect if taken in the right quantity. A simple herb can cure anything from a small sniffle to cancerous cells and just begin to show the beauty and massiveness of nature.