Health from Plants: Phytotherapy
As a new Phytotherapist, many people have in mind: What is Phytotherapy? How is it applied? To whom does it apply? Who implements? What is the need when there is modern medicine and chemical drugs? I aimed to shed light on the questions in the form of…
What is Phytotherapy?
"Phytotherapy" is a treatment provided with plants that have scientifically proven medical and healing effects, whose chemical structure and content are determined, and which method is determined to be effective when applied.
Phytotherapy, which does not ignore modern medicine, is not an "ALTERNATIVE" to modern medicine... It complements or supports modern medicine, and can sometimes be used as a stand-alone therapeutic...
The World Health Organization (WHO) has accepted the integrative use of phytotherapy with modern medicine. In recent years, it has an increasing use in Western medicine, especially in Germany, France and the Netherlands.
The last point reached today, instead of traditional medicine, which traditionally applies a treatment when the disease and symptoms begin; preventive medicine. In preventive medicine, diseases are prevented before they begin and new onset chronic diseases are slowed down, and progressive diseases are tried to be kept in the early phase. Phytotherapy is very effective in achieving this goal.
How is Phytotherapy Applied?
Boiling and drinking each plant for different purposes is definitely not Phytotherapy! Or it is not at all to mix different numbers of herbs that are thought to be medicinal and make a paste and so on!
Just like every mint is not a medicinal mint; not every chamomile is a medicinal chamomile. Fruits, flowers, leaves, branches, stems and roots of plants can be used in different ways and for different purposes. For example; The flower, leaf and stem of a Tribulus Terrestris contain substances suitable for medical use (libido-enhancing, sexual performance-enhancing and chronic low-energy relief), while the root contains toxins. While there are dozens of types of chamomile and they all look the same, some are medicinal plants, while others are toxic (insecticidal). If it is not prepared by qualified specialists, a plant that can be considered as a medicinal plant can have a completely poisonous effect.
That's why Phytopharmaceuticals were created. Active substances obtained and intended by the expert; It can be produced and used in tablet, syrup or cream forms.
Some of the medicinal plants can be used with the brewing method, and the essential oils contained in some plants also find use in aromatherapy.
Is Phytotherapy Safe?
The effort required to obtain an 'Herbal Medicine' from a plant is often greater than to create a medicine containing pure chemicals. In order to produce herbal medicine, all conditions in which the plant is grown must be kept under optimal conditions at all times. All factors such as soil mineral and water ratios, weather and temperature conditions, ultraviolet dose, etc. should be kept the same at each harvest, which is really difficult and requires technology. However, there is a dose adjustment for the drugs contained in the plants produced in this way. Phytopharmaceuticals are extremely safe if they are produced in tablet and capsule forms, in accordance with the required quality standards. Thus, the side effects are very low and the desired result can be achieved easily.
For example, tomato is an important food to protect prostate health, reduce collagen destruction, benefit from its anticarcinogenic effect or have smooth skin. Tomatoes are a rich source of 'lycopene'. While it is necessary to eat a few kilograms of tomato daily in order to receive lycopene in the treatment dose, this need can be met with a single capsule produced by a manufacturer that meets international standards. In addition, the tomato, from which this tablet is produced, is produced by providing natural and healthy pesticides and optimum conditions.
How to Access Herbal Treatment?
Herbal medicines, should be used like other medicines we use. It should be started after a detailed examination of the indication, the patient's complaint, other diseases and other treatments he is taking. In addition, the treatment should be done by a specialist phytotherapist. It is important to share information with the patient's physician, and its execution with the support of a pharmacist increases the success of phytotherapy.
For example, although the anti-carcinogenic property of turmeric is known, it cannot replace cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy and is not recommended while oncological treatment is ongoing. However, it is recommended to be used at least 2 months after the oncological treatment is completed and in consultation with the patient's oncologist.
Every substance taken into the body has a chemical process, whether it is good, bad or neutral. For this reason, suggestions such as knowing the current effects of some plants, eating, boiling and smelling this plant, etc. may not be enough when we evaluate the metabolism as a whole. For example, Harpagozid (obtained from Devil's Claw) is a very potent anti-inflammatory, but this substance makes no sense unless it is protected from stomach acid and sent to the intestine in the form of an enteric-coated tablet.
Long story short, it is wise to use the benefits of plants as a support for modern medicine, and more promising results can be obtained with the power of plants. However, the most important point to be emphasized here is the fact that phytotherapy must be applied in the light of science, by using appropriate laboratories and by a specialist.
I wish everyone a healthy day…