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What is Botanical Medicine?

Plant-based treatment for patient-centered cure

Botanical medicine, is the application of the therapeutic properties of plants. Plants have a wide range of documented healing properties, including the ability to decrease blood pressure, optimize digestive function, balance hormones, stimulate the immune system and regulate the nervous system.

Plants have been used for millennia for their healing properties. Combining the best of historical knowledge with modern herbal research, Dr Jason lee prescribes plant medicines that greatly enhance your natural healing abilities from the highest quality organic plant products. Due to extensive clinical studies naturopathic doctors now have a solid and growing body of scientific knowledge to support centuries of practice and can provide a combination of botanicals that is just right for you.

Botanical Tinctures

The most common form of botanical medicine used by naturopathic doctors are in the form of tinctures. These are prepared by taking a concentrated form of the plant and mixing it with alcohol to help extract the medicinal compounds. The herb is soaked for hours or days depending on the plant. The solution is then pressed out, yielding the tincture. Tinctures are in liquid form and are taken as drops.

Standardized Phytotherapy Extracts

Many of today’s medicines are actually the isolated active constituents of botanical medicines. These medicine are “standardized” into powder (ex. Taraxicum officinalis – 115mg) and packaged into capsules or tablets for easy dosing. Example of this is Digitalis, a heart medication derived from the foxglove plant. Dr. William Withering discovered its use for treating angina, in 1775, while using an old family recipe. So why take botanical medicine over drugs?

There are two main reasons:

  1. Fewer side effects and the medicinal effects tend to normalize physiological function. When used most effectively, the mechanism of action of an herb will often correct the underlying cause of a disorder. Drugs usually only deal with symptoms and not the cause because they have actively isolated one particular compound within the plant itself. There is also research which has shown that the whole plant is more effective than the isolated constituent.
  1. Many of the botanical medicines you find on the shelves of pharmacies and health food stores do not contain an adequate amount, if any, of the active constituent. To find a quality product and to avoid serious health consequence of self diagnosis and treatment you should seek out the advice of someone trained in the use of botanicals such as a naturopathic doctor.

Botanicals and Detoxification

We live in a fast paced lifestyle where food preparation and quality of our food choices are sometimes not ideal for our bodies. The widespread use of food additives, chemicals, sugars and unhealthy fats in our diets contribute to many of the degenerative diseases of our day such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis and osteoporosis, obesity and even modern chronic ailments such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.  Botanical medicines can work on specific organs such as the liver, kidney, skin and bowel to help eliminate toxins that are stored in the body. For example – bitter botanicals like Dandelion have an effect on the liver. Botanical tinctures and phytotherapy extracts  can be prescribed as single herbs or as a combination of herbs working synergistically together to produce a powerful effect on body function. This cleansing effect helps to stimulate proper organ function and help the body move back towards a state of health.

Botanicals and Nutrition

Botanicals contain phytonutrients which have a nutritive effect on many organs and tissues within the body. For this reason botanicals not only affect organ functioning through their stimulatory or regulatory effects but can also restore organ functioning by providing the necessary nutrition.