Plants are said to have a considerable number of virtues, in particular curative, thereby favoring the phytotherapy market, which is constantly growing. But what is herbal medicine? Is “hua Laksiam” really effective (ฮั้วลักเซียมดีจริงไหม, which is the term in Thai)? How do we make good use of it?
Which Plants Are Mostly Used For Their Benefits?
A lot of people admit to using plants daily, mainly via essential oils or food supplements. The stress and mood disorders are among the reasons why the they use food supplements containing plants such as lemon balm, valerian, or hawthorn. For example, the latter is used to calm stress and tachycardia, because it is a cardio-regulating plant whose leaf and flower are used to reduce palpitations.
Uses Of Herbal Medicine
Today, phytotherapy is recognized by the Academy of Medicine. Its effectiveness is proven by the active principles of plants, and the lower risks compared to drugs. There are today, three types of raw materials of plant origin under the name phytotherapy:
- Medicinal plants
- Herbal preparations or extractives preparations
- Vegetable substances.
The modes of use of phytotherapy and the principles of extraction are very numerous today. There are among others:
- Essential oils, for local application. They are obtained by distillation of the plant in water and contain a high concentration of selected active ingredients.
- The tincture, a mixture of fresh plants and alcohol that has macerated for three weeks. It is a hydro-alcoholic solution to be diluted in water.
- Capsules and powders in food supplements, allowing a high concentration of active principles and today very widespread.
Precautions Concerning Phytotherapy?
It is important to understand that due to the presence of the active ingredients in plants, a risk of a cocktail effect is possible, involving certain side effects.
Why? Quite simply because the principles of plants can interact with certain drugs. For example, St. John’s Wort is known for its action against mild depression or sleep disorders but potentially interacts with oral contraceptives, HIV treatments, or anti-rejection.
If you read on the web that a plant can be recommended for its benefits, know that all parts of the plant are not equal, like the elderberry whose flower has a diuretic effect while the fruit helps fight against colds.