The use of medicinal plants
Medicinal plants since ancient times served the purposes of practical medicine. Primitive man was looking around him in the means of plants against many diseases.
The use of medicinal plants for medicinal purposes (herbal medicine) is still relevant in our days. In Russia herbal drugs constitute approximately 40% of the total number used in the practice of medicine drugs. Every third therapeutic drug in the world market of vegetable origin. Even in the U.S., where traditionally use synthetic drugs, 26.2% of drugs that contain medicinal plants. Even more widely used in Germany, France, Japan, Italy, the European socialist countries. In countries such as India, China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Mali, Tanzania, medicines from plants have an even higher value than synthetic drugs.
At the beginning of the 20th century, medicinal plants occupied 80% of the market of medical drugs, but then synthetic drugs predominated.
The use of medicinal plants has increased immeasurably in the last decade. This is due to many reasons, including the fact that the overreliance on synthetic drugs has led to the emergence of a new disease entity which has received the name of drug disease. At the same, according to the who, 2.5 to 5% are patients hospitalized with medical complications.
The advantage of medicinal plants is their low toxicity, complexity of the impact and possibility of prolonged use without significant side effects.
It should be noted that so far a number of valuable therapeutic products derived only from plants, such as strychnine from chilibuhi, platifillin – of Ragwort, morphine from poppies. Only get from plants and cardiac glycosides: strophanthin from the seeds of strophanthus, digitoxin from the leaves of the purple Foxglove, tselanid, digoxin – from the leaves of the woolly Foxglove. Similar examples can be a lot. It should be noted that even if the biologically active substances obtained synthetically, they are not always fully correspond to their natural counterparts, and very often in the pharmacological effect is inferior to them. For example, natural camphor derived from the camphor Laurel, is used for injection, and synthetic can be used for external use only. The difference in pharmacological activity in this case is caused only by different spatial arrangement of groups of atoms, which determines optical activity. In the laboratories by synthesis is not always possible to obtain optically active compounds, unlike their natural counterparts. In this case, the advantage remains a “living lab”, i.e. for plants.
Currently in the register of medicines, there are over 3000 medicinal plants, including about 300 species of medicinal plants. A lot (90%) of herbal drugs used in cardiovascular diseases. In the second place (60-70%) are the drugs of plant origin used as a choleretic, laxative, gastric and expectorants. Among the sedatives also many drugs of plant origin. Photosensitizing funds are 100% vegetable origin.
In connection with the opening of a number of cytotoxic plant origin these drugs are beginning to occupy a certain place in cancer chemotherapy.
What is the advantage of biologically active substances of plants?
First of all they are more easily digested by the human body, unlike synthetic drugs. They are more included in the process of life, hence the much greater bioavailability and relatively rare cases of intolerance, manifestations of drug disease. Therefore, herbal drugs are, as a rule, the wider range of action, and most importantly – active against strains of microorganisms and viruses that already have acquired resistance to antibiotics and synthetic medicines.
Rational combination of medicinal herbal remedies with synthetic drugs therapeutic options much expanded. Particularly effective herbal medicine can be used for the prevention and treatment of chronic recurrent diseases, especially pathology of the gastro-intestinal tract, urinary tract, respiratory, skin, functional disorders of the neuroendocrine system. Herbal medicine can also be used to treat many chronic diseases of older age and number of children’s diseases, as well as in the recovery period after severe debilitating diseases, extensive surgery.
Effective dosage form that can be used at home, are multiple charges. Unfortunately, modern doctors are seldom used medicinal plants, although their value is unquestionable and consists in complex influence on the diseased organism.