A Brief History of Herbs
Herbs have been on the earth since before the creation of man. Man has used herbs to treat illnesses for thousands of years—in fact that was all he used for a long, long time. In other parts of the world, outside the United States, many people still use herbs as their method of choice for gaining and retaining good health. The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that 80% of the worlds population still use herbs as their primary source of healing. Scripture tells us in Genesis 1:29:
"I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food."
Ancient Egyptians were highly skilled in the use of herbs. An ancient text written in 1500 B.C., The Papyrus Ebers, contains reference to more than 700 herbal remedies.
The Chinese have practiced herbal medicine for over 5,000 years. One Chinese medical text written circa 2700 B.C. lists thirteen herbal prescriptions.
Hippocrates, the "Father of Medicine" also known as the "Father of Medical Literature" is probably the first person to practice medicine as an art. He believed and taught that nature was strong enough to heal disease. Hippocrates often used diet and herbs as the basis of treatment.
The people of Greece inherited the medical way of Egypt and then passed it on to Rome. The Roman Empire used herbal remedies quite extensively.
And finally today, as herbalists, we believe and seek to help people build good health with natural sources. Herbs are food—not medicine—because they are complete (as long as they are not standardized, which many companies do today). They are natural and pure, just as nature intended. Herbs are wonderful to begin the cleansing process in the body, allowing the body to purify itself. This slowly gives the body the nutrients God intended for it to have and allows the body to begin to function the way it was intended. Unlike chemically synthesized, highly concentrated, pharmaceutical drugs that produce countless side effects, herbs can realign the body's natural defenses, balance the body and help the body to heal itself with few, if any, side effects. Herbs are not a "get well quick" overnight miracle cure, rather they offer a way to build the body once again and to do it in harmony with nature.