HER­BAL MEDICINE

Essentials (South Africa) - - HEALTH -

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

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