Our in-store herbalist offers expert and friendly advice
Our in-store herbalist offers expert and friendly advice.
Herbalism is a well established medicinal practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts. No plant could survive in the wild without the ability to synthesize chemical compounds as a defence against predators including fungi, animals, insects and bacteria.
It was long ago discovered that some of these compounds have beneficial effects in the battle to treat human diseases and disorders, and progress continues to be made.
Over 12,000 plants are currently recognised as having benefits to human health, and it is judged that this could be as little as 10 per cent of the total.
Many herbs and spices long used by humans to flavour food have been found to have health benefits. Such plants include kitchen favourites cinnamon, chilli peppers, turmeric, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary.
As with pharmaceutical drugs, chemical compounds found in plants can bind to receptor molecules in the human body in a process that is well understood. Both conventional and herbal medication can be highly effective, and both have potential to cause harmful side effects. Therefore it is essential that both pharmaceutical and herbal medicines are used with care.