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Everything you need to know about phytotherapy

Everything you need to know about phytotherapy

Phytotherapy is study of the use of extracts of natural origin as medicines or health-promoting agents. Fruits, roots and plants have always been known for their curative properties. The first indication of the use of plants like myrtle, hemp and thyme was in 3000 AD. For thousands of years, phytotherapy was the first source of remedies for many diseases.

Today, it is largely used with success around the world, notably by those to whom western medicine is inaccessible. In developed countries, with the discovery of new medicines considered miraculous (antibiotics), phytotherapy has been likened to "grandmother's remedies" with uncertain benefits. But it didn't last. Advances in the identification of principal ingredients and the absence of side effects in plant based medicines have contributed to phytotherapy medicine becoming a part of the whole.

The effectiveness of phytotherapy is based primarily on the choice and quality of the plants that it consists of. So it is important to make a careful selection of a species, of the active ingredient part of the plant (root, stem, leaf, and fruit) ensuring good growing conditions (sunlight, soil, climate). Then plants must be checked to guarantee they are safe (for bacteria and to establish the absence of pesticides), but also to establish the content level of active ingredients. Then only the best are used, in their natural form, tablet form, infusion or as a powder extract.

Beauty products also have their origins in phytotherapy. The first skincare treatments were largely plant based (called 'simple') homemade recipes. Today these plants are always used in skincare products for the body, hair and face. Even though these are all natural ingredients, be careful when making your own products - mask, lotion, cream. You need to have a good knowledge of how to use these plant based ingredients to prevent skin reactions. If you are in doubt, ask an expert for advice (pharmacist, phytotherapist, or dermatologist).

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