A medicine from plants, trees or fungi, applied topically or ingested.
THE SCIENCE BIT
‘ The scientific backing behind herbal medicines is substantial and grows annually. Many drugs we rely on are derived from plants and also use similar molecular compounds,’ explains Euan. ‘ We don’t routinely use herbal medicines for healthcare, but in places like Germany, your doctor is as likely to prescribe a herb instead of a pharmaceutical drug.’ A highly-rated plant is turmeric. ‘ It’s been found to improve inflammation-related conditions such as IBS and arthritis,’ says Euan, ‘ while other studies have found horse chestnut seed extract is a useful treatment for leg swelling and pain.’
FIND OUT MORE In SA, plant-based remedies aren’t regulated. Your best bet is to visit a registered phytotherapist; see herbalpractitionerssa.co.za