Different Theories on How it Works
The ways in which botanical products effect human physiology are as numerous as there are plants themselves. These effects are created by the presence of active ingredients in the plant. Some plants can contain compounds that mimic or stimulate hormones like estrogen (otherwise known as phytoestrogens). Other plants contain compounds that effect neurotransmitters the brains messengers. As we continue to look at the relationship of medical activity and active ingredients in plants, we are learning that many contain families of active compounds rather than a single ingredient creating an effect. This discovery is by no means completely defined for each herb. As each year passes, more active ingredients are identified and ascribed to each botanical product. Consequently, many feel that in all products (even the standardized products) it is preferable to have some whole plant parts included.
Conditions it Works Best For
Historically herbal medicine has had a tremendously extensive range of uses and is still used as part of primary health care in 80% of the world outside of the United States. Clinical studies confirm its benefits for the treatment of the following medical conditions: Alzheimers disease, anxiety, atherosclerosis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, colds and respiratory tract infections, common cold, dementia, depression, diabetes, genital herpes, gingival bleeding, glaucoma, high cholesterol, irritable bowel syndrome, memory and psychomotor performance, peripheral arterial occlusive disease, pressure ulcers, psoriasis, post-operative nausea and vomiting, seasickness, seasonal affective disorder, sleep quality, tinnitus, upper respiratory infection, urinary tract symptoms in men, and vomiting in pregnancy.
Reviews of clinical research studies have confirmed that herbal medicine can have beneficial effects on Alzheimers Disease, anxiety, benign prostatic hyperplasia, cancer and cardiovascular health, cholesterol levels and triglycerides, common ailments in the elderly, depression, enhancing and supporting the immune system, and mild hypertension.
Federally funded research studies are currently being conducted on the use of herbal medicine for aging, cancer prevention, diabetic neuropathy, hepatitis C, juvenile depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer prevention, kidney stones, vascular disease, liver disease, and womens health.