HISTORY OF HERBAL MEDICINE

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Herbal medicine is a system of medical treatment in which various parts of different plants, shrubs, natural mineral resources are used in order to treat symptoms and to promote health.

Herbal medicine was the most common medicine treatment in most culture for many centuries. A look at the past indicates that we owe a great debt to Hippocrates. Before his famous speech on natural remedies about 400BC, people believed that the gods were responsible for illness.

It was the Hippocrates who taught that diseases have natural causes and that the body has the power to repair itself. In the language of Dr. John McKenna renowned herbalist in South Africa herbal medicine is the mother of all medicine but record show that ancient Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Greeks and England in the days of Queen Elizabeth, the first, used herbs to record impressive results in treatments of diseases, today, the use of herbal medicine has reached advanced stages in Asian countries. India, China, Pakistan and Indonesia have all attained high level of technology is still at the use of hers has been in practice with agriculture and live a typical illiterate life. This is the basis upon which herbal practitioner are seen as fetish, uneducated and local.

However, the last two decades had witnessed the emergency of well talented, educated and versatile herbal doctors. This coupled with the support of federal government through policy formulation, the establishment of Nigeria Natural Medicine development agency, to identify and promote the research activities of herbal doctors and NAFDAC to confirm the non-toxicity and safety of herbal formulation, herbal medicine has become the thing in our medical environment. Herbal homes such as YEM-KEM International (Nig.) Ltd can rub shoulder with any western fashioned hospital be it in terms of administration, research, facilities, and responsiveness to health care delivery campaign of the government. I am of the view that this millennium belongs to the herbal medicine and this is no exaggeration.

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