Historical perspective of traditional indigenous medical practices: The current renaissance and conservation of herbal resources

Si Yuan Pan*, Gerhard Litscher, Si Hua Gao, Shu Feng Zhou, Zhiling YU, Hou Qi Chen, Shuo Feng Zhang, Min Ke Tang, Jian Ning Sun, Kam Ming Ko

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

142 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In recent years, increasing numbers of people have been choosing herbal medicines or products to improve their health conditions, either alone or in combination with others. Herbs are staging a comeback and herbal "renaissance" occurs all over the world. According to the World Health Organization, 75% of the world's populations are using herbs for basic healthcare needs. Since the dawn of mankind, in fact, the use of herbs/plants has offered an effective medicine for the treatment of illnesses. Moreover, many conventional/pharmaceutical drugs are derived directly from both nature and traditional remedies distributed around the world. Up to now, the practice of herbal medicine entails the use of more than 53,000 species, and a number of these are facing the threat of extinction due to overexploitation. This paper aims to provide a review of the history and status quo of Chinese, Indian, and Arabic herbal medicines in terms of their significant contribution to the health promotion in present-day over-populated and aging societies. Attention will be focused on the depletion of plant resources on earth in meeting the increasing demand for herbs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number525340
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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