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What is Herbology?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 17, 2024
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Herbology is commonly described as the medicinal use of herbs. This can be misleading, however, because remedies are not always restricted solely to herbs. It is better to describe herbology as knowledge of the use of natural items for medicinal purposes. In addition to plants, natural remedies can also include other natural materials such as shells, tree bark, or minerals.

When many people get sick, they typically go to either a doctor or a pharmacy. Their search for relief or cures is limited to manufactured products that are marketed for their problems. Herbology, however, is based on the belief of using natural items to cure human ills.

Skills that are encompassed by herbology are reemerging to become mainstream. The mixing of herbs, the use of natural extracts, and other alternative remedies are not new. Many of the remedies that people are learning about today are based on old traditions that were commonly known. These have been taken from various cultures in various parts of the world.

Herbology is not only limited to products that a person consumes. Treatment can include salves and body soaks. It can also include aromatherapy.

In many cultures, people prefer herbology to modern medicine. This has often presented challenges when attempts are made to help prevent and treat the spread of certain illnesses. Many times the conflict occurs because international entities, such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs,) display disregard for natural treatments among cultures that highly value them.

Whether or not a person chooses alternative measures is a personal one. When a person makes a choice in favor of such types of treatment, she generally should be cautious and seek assistance as she would with conventional medicines or treatment techniques. Many people believe that because something is natural it cannot also be dangerous, which is an inaccurate assumption.

One of the biggest concerns with alternative remedies is that they generally are not thoroughly tested. This means that there is no concrete evidence of whether they work. Concerns also include what the side effects are, and what reactions are caused when the remedies are mixed together.

Vast amounts of money are spent researching manufactured drugs. This has led many to conclude that the lack of information about herbology is intentional. These people tend to believe special interest groups, such as doctors and pharmaceutical companies, deny and ignore the potential of alternative remedies because it threatens businesses. Supporters of herbology also often point to the longevity of some alternative remedies.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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