Herbal Medicine

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How can Herbal Medicine help you?

Some people use Herbal Medicines to maintain overall health, increase energy, reduce stress, and alleviate many issues including:

  • Cold and flu
  • Arthritis and inflammation
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • High blood pressure
  • Stress and depression

Herbal supplements come in all forms: dried, chopped, powdered, capsule, or liquid and can be used in various ways, including:

  • Swallowed as pills, powders, or tinctures
  • Brewed as tea
  • Applied to the skin as gel, lotions, or creams
  • Added to bath water
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Herbal Medicine has its origins in ancient cultures and it involves the medicinal use of plants to treat disease and enhance general health and wellbeing.

Herbal Medicine aims to return the body to a state of natural balance so that it can heal itself.

Different herbs act on different systems of the body. Some herbs have potent ingredients and should be taken with the same level of caution as pharmaceutical medications. In fact, many pharmaceutical medications are based on man-made versions of naturally occurring compounds found in plants. For instance, the heart medicine digitalis was derived from the foxglove plant. (BetterHealth.vic.gov.au)

Contemporary Herbal Medicine in Canada reflects the diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds of our population, emphasizing the use of traditional and modern European herbal medicine, Indigenous First Nations plant medicine, Eclectic 19th century American herbal medicine, Traditional Chinese, and Ayurvedic herbal medicines.

Herbal Medicine encompasses the use of herbs from all corners of the world, blending global traditional wisdom passed down through generations and more recent modern scientific understanding of herbs and health. 

Natural health products (including Herbal Medicine) are naturally-occurring substances that can be used to maintain or restore health. They can be vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other plants, amino acids (the individual building blocks of protein), or parts of these substances. These substances can come in many forms including pills, capsules, tablets, liquids, or powders. They supplement or add to the diet and should not be considered a substitute for food. 

People have used the active ingredients in natural health products for thousands of years to support health and to treat illness. Sometimes those natural products are the basis for some of today’s common medicines. For example, people have used willow bark tea for centuries to relieve fever. Pharmaceutical companies eventually identified the chemical in willow bark that relieved fever and used that knowledge to produce aspirin. 

The Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD), within the Health Products and Food Branch of Health Canada, regulates natural health products in Canada. Natural health products must be reviewed and approved by the NNHPD before they can be sold legally in Canada.

Explore the Research

We believe you should have access to high-quality research to help you make informed health decisions. Below are four trusted databases you can use as tools to expand your healthcare knowledge.