For many people, healing with plants is an alternative or a good complement to synthetically produced medicines. Medicinal herbalism has a long tradition and goes back to the prehistory of mankind. According to Britain's renowned centre for botanical research at Kew Gardens, there are currently more than 28,000 plant species with medicinal benefits worldwide. In European herbal medicine, about 500 plants are currently used in the production of medicines. Depending on the plant in question, the flowers, leaves, fruits, seeds and even roots and barks are made into teas and other medicines. However, it should not be forgotten that herbal medicines can also have side effects and may lead to complications when taken along with other medicines.
There are two types of phytotherapy: traditional and rational. Traditional phytotherapy is a folk medicine practice and is mainly based on traditional knowledge. This type of knowledge remains important in traditional Chinese medicine as well as in Ayurvedic and folk medicine. Rational phytotherapy uses the knowledge passed down from traditional phytotherapy plus scientific methods to process the plants.
Herbal medicines are not the same as homeopathic medicines. Homeopathic remedies are extremely dilute and only contain traces of the active ingredients. In rational herbal medicine, on the other hand, active concentrates are extracted from the plant materials.
Medicinal herbs are processed in a variety of ways and can therefore be taken or applied in the form of:
Herbal medicines can be used to complement or support conventional treatments, as an alternative to artificially produced medicines, or as the best medicines in given cases. Even though herbal medicines contain plant-based ingredients, they can still produce unwanted side effects. It is advisable to consult a doctor in the event of adverse symptoms.
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Sleep disorders are one of the most troublesome common complaints. Without sleep we lack energy, and it becomes more difficult to get through the day. Herbal remedies are often preferred to synthetically produced medicines. They can help you get to sleep and stay asleep, enabling you to wake up refreshed and ready for the day. However, medical and psychological reasons for your sleep disorder should be ruled out before you embark on treatment.
The herbal medicines mentioned here do not develop their full effect until they have been taken regularly for a few days.
Plants can also trigger allergic symptoms. A doctor should be consulted if the symptoms persist for a significant period of time or get worse or if new symptoms appear.
*Using herbal medicines:
SWICA believes in combining conventional medicine and complementary medicine. Anything that benefits your health is positive. That's why SWICA supports alternative therapy methods and puts them on an equal footing with conventional medicine. You can find out more here.
SWICA supports its customers by providing a generous contribution towards medicinal plant courses for home use under the COMPLETA PRAEVENTA and OPTIMA supplementary insurance plans. Discover even more offers relating to health literacy.
The santé24 telemedicine service offers personal phytotherapy advice free of charge to all SWICA customers. The pharmacists at santé24 will give you expert advice on the effects and applications of medicinal plants and will answer any other questions you may have about medicines and dietary supplements. Find out more.
By the way, supplementary insurance always provides valuable benefits in addition to those of your basic cover. You can purchase a plan from SWICA at any time, regardless of which insurer currently provides your basic cover.
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