Taking a cup of tea to improve the sore throat, the colic, the stomach ache has always been a good recipe and it is nothing new, as they say, it is from Grandma’s time. And they really know everything, even maybe without even knowing about the existence of phytotherapy.
There are numerous plants and herbs that are recommended to treat various ailments, many of which are considered natural antibiotics and even cure many diseases. As there are not many clinical studies that prove the effectiveness of the medicinal use of plants, phytotherapy is considered an alternative medicine .
A good alternative, by the way. After all, it is based on the use of natural elements that minimize side effects and can still be grown at home. Wonderful, isn’t it?
What is Phytotherapy
The origin of the word Phytotherapy comes from the ancient Greek term ” phyton ” which means vegetable, and ” therapeia” which is treatment, defining its meaning: Treatment with vegetables. It is applied for the medicinal use of plants against various diseases and health ailments.
Despite being considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a traditional medicine, herbal medicine is still a more common practice in developing countries. It is defined as an alternative treatment , since there are no clinical reports that effectively attest to its effectiveness.
Since 2006, the Ministry of Health has recognized phytotherapy as a medicinal therapy and defines it, according to Ordinance 971 as “a therapy characterized by the use of medicinal plants in their different pharmaceutical forms, without the use of isolated active substances, even if of vegetable origin ”.
Herbal medicine can be separated into two types. One based on the use of plants and herbs for medicinal purposes, already traditional and ancient, and the other based on scientific experiments that explore and research the active extracts of plants , which can act together with other chemical substances or alone in a therapeutic treatment. Standardized they become the active ingredient of medicines that are regulated by Organs competent organs of the health area, known as herbal medicines.
Even if regulated, the manufacture and distribution of these finished medicines undergo a rigorous evaluation by Organs regulatory agencies, which authorize or not their distribution, even so only through the pharmaceutical chains.
Growing Herbs in Brazil
Our country has a good advantage in the production of many of these plants, as it is a tropical country, with a rich diversified and robust flora. This means that we have at our disposal, offered by Mother Nature, a huge range of natural medicines , which can help us in the treatment of many diseases.
But it is important to know a little about what these plants are and what they are indicated for. Just as they are efficient, we know that many of them can also give us some unwanted effect. So there is no point in going around picking plants and herbs thinking that we know everything. It is worth checking all the benefits and risks.
Risks and benefits
There is a huge variety of plants around the world that can be used in therapeutic treatments, when used in natura, in a more homemade way even through teas, or even with its industrialized extract, requires attention to all its properties, because in addition to the active ingredient already known, all plants have other elements that can be toxic.
One of these chemical elements can cause an allergic reaction, for example, or it can also generate contamination by metals or pesticides , which today are unfortunately used in excess in plantations. In addition, some common properties in plants can be toxic and cause the most diverse reactions, from mild to severe.
Amount of Consumption
Another important point is to evaluate the amount that you will ingest from a certain plant . The therapeutic range of each vegetable is variable and can be narrow, even if it is beneficial, depending on the amount consumed it can become harmful to health.
When making a tea it is worth to be cautious, since it is very difficult to calculate the amount of the active principle there in that dose. The same goes for industrialized extracts. When the medicine becomes a phytotherapic, these risks decrease since it has already been through a refinement process , where toxic agents are eliminated and only therapeutic doses are preserved.
Contrary to what many people think, plants, despite being natural elements, can provide us with some risk if consumed in the wrong way or in inadequate quantities. It is a great alternative for treatments of many diseases, but do not take any chances, know exactly how to benefit from each of the medicinal plants without taking any risk.
Main Medicinal Plants
If we look at all the plant species in the world, it is estimated that there are more than 35 thousand types of medicinal plants . Each of them has a specific purpose in the treatment of diseases.
Get to know some of the medicinal plants that are the most used in Brazil and know what they are indicated for. But remember that the amount consumed and the way they are preserved have a great influence on their effectiveness and risks!
- Aloe or Aloe Vera – Indicated for the treatment of burns and psoriasis.
- Mint – Indicated for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.
- Guaco – For the treatment of bronchitis and coughing in general.
- Willow or white willow – Indicated for the treatment of low back pain.
- Artichoke – For the treatment of functional dyspepsia and hypercholesterolemia.
- Espinheira-santa – Treatment of gastritis and duodenal ulcer.
- Aroeira – Indicated for gynecological use. Sacred mask – For intestinal constipation.
- Devil’s claw – For the treatment of acute low back pain and osteoarthritis.
- Soy isoflavone ousoja – Indicated to treat climacteric symptoms.
- Cat’s Nail – Treatment of Arthritis and Osteoarthritis.
- Plantago or psyllium – Indicated for the treatment of intestinal obstruction and irritable bowel syndrome.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.