The medicinal use of herbs and phytomedicines is now a well-established part of the modern Medicine. However, the roots of the herbal remedies are date back thousands of years ago; primitives collect plants not only to feed but for their healing powers too. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates established the basics of Herbal Medicine with his famous work, soon Galen, Dioscorides and Paracelsus followed.
Today, thanks to modern study and research methods is available the Monograph of each Medicinal Herb, ie the scientific essay that provides safety and efficacy data concerning a herbal substance and its preparations intended for therapeutic use.
Typically, phytomedicines are standardized herb preparations and may be leaf, flower, root, fruit or entire herb extracts. Unlike traditional pharmaceutical practice, Phytotherapy does not aim to extract from the herbal material only the primary active components but to receive the totality of the active compounds using different extraction methods. This practice is based on the scientific observation that the entirety of herb components, called also phyto-complex may increase the activity and / or decrease the toxicity of the real potent substances.
Phytotherapeutic preparations are available in all modern officinal formulations such as solutions, syrups, capsules, creams and more. Among them, mother tinctures which are solutions obtained from the processing of fresh plant material are of particular importance in Phytotherapy.
Phytotherapy is another remarkable tool of Medicine; it has the advantage of minimal toxicity even on prolonged use. However we should not forget that the strongest poisons also derive from nature, so we should avoid self-medication.