what is the uses of natural medicines

   Plants contain active chemical compounds which are used in herbal medicines since ages. Some herbal medicines have been discovered but many are yet to be explored. Thousands of years ago, our ancestor has studied which plants have medicinal values and which are toxic in nature. Ancient Egyptians also studied plants and recorded their use as perfumes, fine oils, etc. Greeks in the 5th and 4th centuries BC also made a deep study of plants. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, recommended many plants like asparagus, garlic, etc. for their medicinal values.

     As a result of the trade relations with Africa and Asia western world also got the store of many herbal plants like camphor, cinnamon, ginger, ginseng, nutmeg, sandalwood, turmeric and henna. In the ancient period, local plants were used on fanciful beliefs. In the middle ages, herbal medicine consisted of a mixture of magic, superstition and empirical observation. It was only from renaissance the scientific observation on plants started. Now local plants are widely used to make medicines, ointments, etc. in the late 1700s, Carl Wilheim Scheele from Sweden obtained tartaric acid from grapes. Citric acid from lemons and malic acid from apples. He used various techniques and methods to purify compounds from plants that could be used as drugs. In the early 1800s, willow tree generated interest in the scientists if various countries to discover its use in many areas as a medicine. It is this willow tree that has the pain relief effect in its bark, from which aspirin is produced. Aspirin sells the most all over the world.

          From 1930s onwards, improvements in chemistry made it much easier to reproduce the active ingredients in plants through plants continue to have their own medicinal importance. They are still vital for the treatment of disorders like cancer and heart diseases or as a means of combating malaria. 


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