What is Phytotherapy? Knowing more About This Concept
Phytotherapy, in other words, the use of plants for therapeutic purposes, is an ancestral practice. In inhalation, in decoction, an infusion … there are several forms to use the plants.
Origin of Phytotherapy
Phytotherapy is one of the building blocks of traditional and ancestral medicines. It has its origins in the Chinese pharmacopeia and the Indian pharmacopeia (Ayurveda). The use of plants to cure diseases is also mentioned in Sumerian texts from the third millennium BC. AD
In the UK or USA, the sale of medicinal plants registered in the UK pharmacopeia is the monopoly of pharmacists and herbalists, except 148 plants (see the list of medicinal plants that can be sold outside pharmacies).
However, these plants (except chamomile, linden, verbena, mint, bitter orange, rose hips and hibiscus) cannot be mixed or with other species.
Phytotherapy is based on the use of medicinal plants for therapeutic purposes. In traditional medicine, pharmaceutical manufacturers extract the active ingredient from plants to make medicines. In Phytotherapy, the plant is used in part or whole, in several forms.
The logic of treatment is also different between classical medicine and Phytotherapy. Modern medicine is a substitute, that is, conventional drugs regulate the functions of the body and relieve it of the need to heal itself. In herbal medicine, plants are also used as drugs to regulate the body’s functions, but they also help the human body to heal itself.
According to the physiotherapist, a disease does not happen by chance. It is the consequence of an internal imbalance in the body, which must constantly adapt to its environment. The ability of the body to maintain its balance and adapt, which is unique to each of us, is the individual’s ground. Phytotherapy focuses on the analysis of the body’s constituent systems: neuroendocrine (regulator), hormonal, immune, and drainage systems, to reinforce them with the help of plants.
Why consult a specialist in Phytotherapy?
Phytotherapy is still often considered symptomatic and drainage medicine. It helps to rebalance the whole body by plants and therefore acts on all types of diseases.
As an example, here are some common indications in Phytotherapy (non-exhaustive list):
– bronchial affections and flu: cold, bronchitis, cough;
– digestive disorders: spasms, colitis;
– mild dermatological disorders: sunburn, superficial burn, erythema, eczema;
– venous and lymphatic insufficiency;
– urinary disorders;
– sleep disorders, stress, state of anxiety, and to help people with stage fright.
How do you practice Phytotherapy?
Plant prescriptions, their concentrates, and forces are used to stir or strengthen the body’s ordinary capacities, essentially helping the body to cure itself. A physiotherapist, professional, or nutritionist handles every patient as a particular individual, making a conclusion and suggestion based on his or her prerequisites. Any number of herb and plants or mixes of those can be endorsed to bring alleviation.
Remember, however, Phytotherapy isn’t generally sheltered, because it is viewed as “regular,” so it ought not to endeavor without the assistance of a learned expert. For example, Poison Ivy can be effectively used to treat the ailment and joint inflammation, however, would you know how to deal with it, what parts to utilize, how to set it up?
Phytotherapy uses the whole plant or a part of the plant (roots, leaves, fruits) through various means of extraction:
–Powders: the plant part of the plant is dried, pulverized (cold grinding under liquid nitrogen), then sieved. The powders are used in particular for the manufacture of capsules, dyes, and tablets;
– Extracts: these are concentrated preparations prepared most often by maceration in a solvent (water, alcohol). With the evaporation of the solvent, an extract with a soft, dry or fluid consistency is obtained. The nebulisate is a dry extract obtained by fine spraying of the liquid extract in a chamber through which a stream of hot air passes:
– plant alcoholate (elixir, drops, spirits, quintessence): alcohol obtained by distillation of dry or fresh plants macerated in alcohol;
– Glycerine macerate of plants: maceration of young shoots, buds and freshly ground roots in a mixture of alcohol, water, and glycerine;
– homeopathic mother tincture: the fresh plant remains to macerate in alcohol at 70 ° for a variable time;
– PDF (Complete suspension of fresh plants): less than 24 hours after their harvest, the plants are frozen in liquid nitrogen, then finely crushed and suspended in alcohol at 30 ° to preserve the entirety of the active ingredients.
NB: Essential oils are not part of Phytotherapy, but aromatherapy.
Phytotherapy and plants are used in different galenic forms:
– Infusion: deposit the plant in the water at the time of boiling and let it rest under a cover for the indicated time (between 10 minutes and one hour according to the plants);
– Decoction: put small pieces of plant to boil for 10 to 30 minutes depending on the plant;
– Maceration: let the plant macerate in a cold liquid such as water, alcohol, oil or vinegar for several hours and drink the filtered mixture;
–Inhalation: pour boiling water on the plants to breathe the vapor several times a day;
– gargle: the plant is used in a warm liquid to rinse the back of the throat and then spit out.
Contraindications to Phytotherapy
It is not because Phytotherapy uses a natural raw material that it is safe and without contraindications. Some plants are toxic, others may interact with drugs and cause side effects. It is essential to learn about the plants, in case of allergy to one of the components, including salicylate derivatives for people allergic to aspirin.
To avoid any drug interactions, always report allopathic or herbal treatment to your doctor, pharmacist, or herbalist. Pregnant, breastfeeding women or people with chronic diseases on long-term treatment should always seek the advice of a specialist before starting herbal treatment.
The EMA (European Medicines Agency) contraindicated the use of certain plants in children under 12, and very often in children under 18 years. Some plants can be used from the age of 3 and 6 years. However, under three years, there are very few plants to treat the ills of the infant. It is therefore essential to check with a doctor to determine the most appropriate treatment for the child.
How is a consultation in Phytotherapy?
In France, there is no standard consultation in Phytotherapy. The discipline is not recognized as a medical specialty and it brings together four different professions: pharmacists, doctors, naturopaths, and herbalists.
– Doctors have postgraduate training in Phytotherapy.
– Pharmacists have been trained in pharmacognosy (a study of drugs of natural origin) and botany during their initial training.
– Herbalists can only be people who graduated before 1941 when there was still a diploma issued by the faculty of pharmacy.
– Naturopaths are great prescribers of plants, but the profession is not yet regulated, drifts exist, so be careful about the choice of his specialist.
Daily ailments (cold, indigestion, mild sleep disorder) can be relieved by taking a Phytotherapy treatment self-medication, on the advice of your pharmacist or your herbalist. Beyond that, it is better to consult a doctor who will be able to make an accurate diagnosis and ask if necessary additional analyzes before starting a phytotherapy treatment.
How to choose a specialist in Phytotherapy?
It is advisable to refer to a professional body of Phytotherapy to obtain the list of certified practitioners. You have at your disposal the directory of the APMH, association promoting homeopathic medicine, with specific research dedicated to herbal therapists. The Phyto 2000 association communicates to all those who contract it, by email or telephone, the address of doctors practicing phytotherapy in their region.
How is Phytotherapy used today?
As of late, the advantages and viability of Phytotherapy have gotten the consideration of current research centers and researchers. A pertinent illustration can be found in St John’s Wort plant. In antiquated Greece, it was utilized to battle fever and “wickedness spirits.” Later societies found its capacity to eliminate microscopic organisms. In the mid-1950s, researchers started to make a connection between are the herb and its achievement in battling sadness through the way it cooperated with chemicals in the cerebrum. Also, today, alongside being offered as a natural supplement, mixes in the herb are utilized as the dynamic fixings in some remedy antidepressants.
However, Phytotherapy can likewise be utilized for different applications in this day and age:
- Treating menopause and menopausal manifestations
- Hormonal irregular characteristics
- Thyroid conditions
Phytotherapy is known as a “synergistic” way to deal with social insurance. It joins the old and the new, old and current, science and nature. The present arrangements keep the procedure institutionalized, which implies that the plants and herbs are developed, gathered, and handled in a way keeps the measurements of dynamic fixings dependable and stable.
Clusters of the pharmaceuticals are always tried to affirm that the dynamic fixings are available and in the fixation anticipated. Also, makers and providers of the plants and herbs gather them in ways that guarantee solid execution. So while hundreds of years old normal prescription may just have been recorded in rocks and stone, the truth of the matter is, plants still have a critical place in current science and drug, on account of Phytotherapy.
What is Essential Oil – Introduction of Base Oil
You can take care of your skin even in the dry winter and fall seasons, just by optimally take advantage of essential oil. However, do you know essential oil? And know its application? Here I will make a brief introduction.
What is base oil?
Most of the essential oil cannot be directly used on skin and only they have been diluted in a base oil, it can be widely applied. The base oil is extracted from flower, nut, or seed, and it good for medical treatment. And the essential oil for aromatherapy is achieved via cold pressing and extraction while the edible oil is acquired by high-temperature processing. Cold pressing procure ensures the preservation of the vitamin, mineral, and fatty acid.
What kind of oils cannot be used as base oil?
Mineral oils distracted from fossil oil is not suitable for use as the base oil, such as lanolin oil. Mineral oils do not own nutrition, and not good for skin absorption.
Common base oils
Sweet Almond Oil
Ingredient: vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, E, protein, fatty acid
Feature: light yellow, soft smell, refreshing and not only
Brief introduction: neutral oil. Achieved via pressing the apricot. As reported, it is effective for treating sensitive and acne skin. It can be matched with any essential oils, meanwhile, it is edible, and beneficial for cell renew. Thus, it is the most widely used base oil.
Apricot kernel oil
Ingredient: Vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, C, GLA
Feature: light yellow, sweet and nutritive
Brief introduction: a suit for relieving yellow facial skin, or decrustation. Benefit for the weak body and patient.
Wheat Germ Oil
Ingredient: protein, vitamin A, D, E, B1, B2, B6, pantothenic acid, nicotinic acid, Calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and magnesium…
Feature: yellow-brown, distracted from wheat seed
Brief introduction: with abundant vitamin E, anti-oxidation and enhance circulation. It is good for preventing high-pressure blood, heart disease, and cancer arteriosclerosis.
Ingredient: mineral, vitamin, protein, mythic acid
Feature: yellow. Non-smell, and very moisture. Jojoba is a desert plant so its oil with high stability and can be stored for a long time
Brief introduction: it molecule construction is similar to human’s fat, and it suits oily skin, rheumatism, arthritis. And it is also good for hair care.
Ingredient: vitamin B1, B3, B5, C, F, chlorophyll Trace minerals, essential fatty acids, fructose, glucose, minerals, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium, and grape polyphenols
Feature: light yellow or light green, non-smell
Brief introduction: it is abundant in linoleic acid and oligo proanthocyanidin. And it is anti-oxidant, collagen-protective, and prevents edema. So it is good for facial massage, especially for oily and acne skin.
Phytotherapy consultation is not reimbursed by Medicare unless it is done by a doctor. You will then be reimbursed based on a standard consultation. Some mutuals also offer year-round packages for reimbursement of all or part of the alternative medicine sessions.