Why herbal medicines may not be such a joke

This post has stemmed directly from my undergraduate research, where I tested extracts from the plant Espeletia pycnophylla against microbial pathogens to determine if this plant had potential as an antimicrobial.

Herbal medicines are a type of dietary supplement sold as tablets, capsules, teas and extracts that derive from plants but can also extend to honey and fungal products.The use of plants for medicinal purposes is known as herbalism. When people hear the terms traditional, herbal or alternative medicines many people scoff and picture thoughts of a shaman dancing around a fire blowing smoke in your face shaking maraca’s while calling on the gods for healing, however before the advent of modern medicine plants and natural compounds were used as medicines for thousands of years to treat almost every type of infection. In some developing countries plants are still the only source of medicinal compounds with up to 80% of the population depending upon traditional medicines.

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