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Niagara College, Canada

Title:- Medicinal Herbs

Prepaid by:- Priyank Dhonde

Medicinal Herbs
There are many plants and trees around us. Some of them have medicinal properties and useful to many people in different countries. Medicinal herbs are plant or different part of the plant which is having medicinal property. Some plants has medicinal constituent in flower (e.g. - foxglove), some having it in tree bark (e.g. - cinchona), so depending on plant different part of plants or whole plant is important. Medicinal herbs are used from many centuries. In todays world allopathic medicine are mostly used. But there are some side effects with these drugs. This essay, will discuss about herbal medicine, its history, its constituents, its uses and side effect, and its current and future status to show that herbal medicine will soon be more preferred then synthetic medicine. Sumerian clay tablet was found and it is 4000 years old. In several region many scholar found medicinal plant in early centuries. The Chinese discovered medicine in 1st century. The medicinal important plants are noted for the future use. In India ayurveda medicine are listed in Rig-Veda many centuries back. C. K. Kokate (2007) writes that Rig Veda has many medicine used for pharmaceutical preparation. In western culture Hippocratic from Greek discovered the elemental healing system. In Rome dioscorides discovered 600 species of plants and listed in De Material Medica. Medicinal herbs are known from the early centuries. Medicinal herbs are the plants or part of plants which has medicinal active constituent. Some common constituents are glycoside and phenolic compounds. Plants produce its primary constituents to maintain and regulate itself. Secondary constituent are produce by plant to prevent from environmental condition and other external condition. This Secondary plant product is useful as medicine. Secondary plant product has capability to change pharmacological effect on the body. It may have poisonous effect too. Medicinally important part of plant is taken out, pharmacological active agent or medicinally useful agent is extracted from the plant and it is known as extraction of active constituent from plant. Extraction can be carried out by distillation with solvent in which active constituent is dissolved and then solvent is evaporated. This active constituent is converted into proper formulation by adding different ingredient and use for treatment. (Extract, Wikipedia, 2009) Some of plants have poisonous effect on body. Effect produce by the plant which adversely affect the body is called poisonous. C. K. Kokate (2007) writes that medicinal herbs are poisonous if they are taken in overdose. In Asian countries many people take herbal medicine with doctor prescribe medicine, which while leads to drug interaction and cause harm to the body. Herbal medicine taken by patient is not known by the doctor leads to such situation. For preventing such situation either patient tell doctor which herbal medicine is taken by him or stop herbal medicine while taking doctor prescribed medicine. In some plants low dose is effective while higher dose is poisonous for example digitalis taken in minor quantities it is use in treatment of heart failure. But if dose is more leads to poisoning. Knowledge about poisonous plant is useful in preventing from it.

Recent days herbal medicines are more preferred then the allopathic medicine, because allopathic medicine has side effect or long term effect on body. While herbal medicine are natural product has no or less side effect if it is taken in appropriate quantities. Synthetic drugs may produce other defect or body condition in future, if the person takes synthetic drug daily. So in future it may cause disability or diseases. In herbal medicine there is no chance or very few chance of getting adverse effect. As people and doctor known about disadvantage of synthetic drug recent days, they move toward herbal medicine and it becomes first preference. So recently demand for herbal medicine increased. In the USA, expenditure on complementary or alternative medicine stands at US$2.7 billion per year. About 25% of modern medicines are descended from plants first used traditionally. (World Health Organisation (WHO) - facts about traditional healing, Retrieved from So the market value of herbal medicine increased and it will increase more in future. In future herbal medicine will be more preferred then synthetic drug.

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