It is a very recent definition that, perhaps, can generate some confusion in our heads. But what is phytotherapy? What is it for? We will try to answer those two questions as simply as possible.
The term phytotherapy in Spanish has its origin in two Greek words: the prefix “ Phytos ” which would be translated as vegetable or a plant and the suffix “ Therapia ” which is a therapy or treatment.
There is also another way to find a more technical definition, which would be through a dictionary, the DRAE dictionary of the Royal Academy, which defines the word phytotherapy as: “Treatment of diseases using plants or vegetable substances .”
If we continue to expand its definition based on the RAE that is made with the use of natural products or rather: in nature, for various pathologies, conditions and physical or mental illnesses, it is something that was already used thousands of years ago but that Today it continues to be the subject of research in more advanced laboratories.
Phytotherapy makes use of all types of substances that come from nature such as herbs , flowers , fruits, bark, branches, tree sap... Various organic and inorganic materials that improve and have the effect of lengthening our life, one more proof that Nature is richer than we imagine.
WHAT IS PHYTOTHERAPY FOR?
It is used to prevent or cure diseases, in addition to being used to mitigate and relieve symptoms. Even today, in some cultures, they use it as their only way to treat pathologies.
Many medicines today are produced thanks to plants, we can name some frequently used ones such as aspirin, which comes from the willow leaf, morphine which comes from the plant called opium poppy, digoxin – comes from Digitalis Lanata among others.
The only phytopharmaceuticals, today, are known as Traditional Herbal Medicines, but just as they can heal, they can also cause harm, like the classic example of Hemlock – the poison used to assassinate Socrates . Even some food plants, if not consumed properly, can be lethal to our health.
With the information we now know about phytotherapy, you can already imagine that the range of possibilities is enormous, not only because of the variety of plant species but also because each part of each plant can be beneficial, harmless or harmful. Therefore, it would not be easy to classify plants as medicinal, nutritional or toxic.
Today, there are numerous sources of phytotherapy information, but unfortunately only a minority have true scientific validity. This is why it is important to know very well what source the information comes from, so much so that international organizations such as: WHO and ESCOOP (World Health Organization and the European World Cooperative) are dedicated to organizing this information.
Phytotherapy does not require strict medical control because its medications are safe, they have a wide margin between therapeutic doses and toxic doses, that is, the probability of poisoning occurring is minimal.
It is important to note that, for patients with chronic diseases, it is best to consult with a professional to evaluate the possible interactions that all medications may have with plants.
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