An herb could be defined as ‘any useful plant’. “The Dictionary defines an ‘herb’ as a plant of which the leaves, stems or roots are used for food, medicine, scent or flavoring. All together there are thousands of herbs used every day by individuals from different societies and cultures. Many herbs are used to make modern allopathic medications as well as being used widely in Naturopathic, Chinese and Homeopathic medicine. Unique herbs come from places such as Australia, the South American rain forests, the fields of Europe and many other exotic places. They are found in all earthly habitats, the oceans, deserts, plains, forests, lakes, rivers and city gardens.
The history of herbal medicinal usage has been passed down through generations of humans and from a variety of cultures. In the past, our knowledge of the medicinal use of herbs has been passed along to our generation through word of mouth. Traditional family use and use by local community healers has given us much of our richest knowledge. Today we add technological methods to further our knowledge of the medicinal effects of herbs and we study them through the eyes of modern research.
Plants play a crucial role in supporting life on the planet. Through the process of photosynthesis, plants take in sunlight and convert it to chemical energy giving back oxygen as a by-product. This is a life giving beneifit for oxygen breathing animals. Plants also take in carbon dioxide and in doing so help to regulate the air temperature.
Herbs range in use from cooking spices and aromatics to powerful medicines. They are truly a blessing to all of us and have been used for healing since the dawn of man’s time on earth.