Phytotherapy (phyto is Greek for
plant) is a form of herbal medicine
and describes the use of whole
plants - fresh or dried.
Remedies are prepared in liquid form
as teas, lotions, oils, potions and
compresses or ground-up and
prescribed in the form of powders,
capsules, or tablets.
- Drinking a
soothing cup of linden tea is a form
of phytotherapy; so are compresses
of chamomile for a burning eye, or
gargles of a sage infusion for a
sore throat and for gum problems.
Phytotherapy is the oldest and most
proven form of natural medicine. The
medicine traditions of many of the
indigenous peoples are speaking for
In Europe phytotherapy,
or botanical or biological medicine
as it is also called, has been
popular since before the times of
Many plant-based modalities found
their roots in the European
tradition; among them are
homeopathy, homotoxicology, and many
other lesser known healing forms
using herbal remedies.
lesser known botanical therapy forms is Spagyrik.
It uses a very pure form of highly
filtered plant mother tinctures and
only minute amounts of alcohol.
Modern pharmacology also started
from botanical medicine. For
example, aconite and digitalis are
toxic plants; yet, they were used in
the production of some of the first
effective prescription drugs for
Even today, in its
search for new breakthroughs in
medicine, the pharmaceutical
industry is keen on getting its
hands on previously unknown herbs
and plants that have a longstanding
tradition in indigenous cultures.
This interest of the pharmaceutical
industry helps in decoding the
active constituents of these plants.
Unfortunately, this also bears the
danger of isolated ingredients being
synthetically manufactured or being
used out of context.
We know a similar problem with
isolated herbal substances from
traditional Chinese medicine where
it has long been acknowledged that
the action of one and the same plant
part can be modified according to
its pairing with other complementary
or counteracting substances.
This very basic knowledge is rarely
incorporated in western pharmacology
and, unfortunately, is frequently
also neglected in the production of
many natural supplements and vitamin
compounds. Such indiscriminate
combinations and extrusions may
explain unexpected side-effects or a
lack of efficacy of many products.
At the Natural Medicine Centre
we promote safe and gentle
approaches from the wide field of
botanical medicine, many of which
overlap with the field of
biochemical nutritional balancing.