Herbs

Our licensed practitioner order "Functional" blood tests to match your vitamins and herbs to your blood test results. These are special blood tests with higher standards for "normal" than other tests.

Herb Definition

Main Entry: herb
Pronunciation: (urb or, especially Brit., hurb)
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: Middle English herbe, from Anglo-French, from Latin herba
Date: 14th century
Origin: 1250–1300; Middle English herbe < Old French erbe, herbe < Latin herba

  1. a flowering plant whose stem above ground does not become woody.
  2. a seed-producing annual, biennial, or perennial that does not develop persistent woody tissue but dies down at the end of a growing season
  3. a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, savory, or aromatic qualities

Earliest Uses:

Although the earliest cultures had thousands of years to expience with herbs there is really no way of knowing precisely how the earliest cultures used herbs. Using herbs, early cultures probably recognized that certain herbs had curative powers, and likely these curative powers were attributed to supernatural causes. In Iraq, a 60,000-year-old burial site contained evidence of eight different medicinal plants. These plants ware probably intended to be taken along in the afterlife. For a millennia, medicinal herbs naturally remained steeped in magic and superstition.

Herbs in Ancient Civilizations

By 3500 B.C., the Ancient Egyptians began to disassociate magic with the treatment of diseases. By 2700 B.C., the Chinese started using herbs in a more scientific sense. Greek physician Hippocrates (460 - 377 B.C.), founder of the Hippocratic oath, borrowed from the Egyptians and Mesopotamians use of hebs, and developed a system of diagnosis and prognosis. Hippocrates considered illness to be a natural phenomenon, not supernatural, and maintained that medicine should be given without magic. Gaius Plinius Secundus (23 AD – August 25, 79), better known as Pliny the Elder, a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, in 77 A.D., wrote 37 volumes on natural history, and devoted seven of them to the medicinal uses of plants. Unfortunately, Pliny the Elder verified little of his writings and much of his work value is of question today.

Ancient physician Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus (September AD 129 – 199/217, better known as Galen of Pergamum (modern-day Bergama, Turkey), developed the principle of humors, linking body type with health and personality. For the next 1,400 years, physicians would trust in Galen's principles for better or worse, often using them as the basis for purgatives and bloodletting. However, in the 16th century, physician Paracelsus (1491–1541) broke ranks with the Galenic school to propose his own somewhat strange idea known as the Doctrine of Signatures. Paracelsus would reject humors and instead argue that botanicals bear an uncanny resemblance to the body parts, or causes of the ailments, they could cure.

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