For centuries nature has provided holistic forms of medicine and for centuries cultures around the world have used them. Prior to the 16th century the only medical system known more or less was with the use of natural herbs.
Four prominent areas that hold traditional teachings and use of medicinal herbs are China, both Indian, and Native American cultures, and the Japanese. Two countries, Japan and China have herbal remedies included in the national health system and it is even officially promoted by a government ministry.
Herbalism is part of an ancient system called Ayurvedic medicine in India and today is still widely used. The Native Americans applied the use of herbs to their spiritual beliefs by placing emphasis on the properties of purifying and cleansing the body both on a mental and physical level.
It is believed by most herbalists that every part of the plant is essential in obtaining the full effect of the medicinal value of the herb and that each component of the elements within plays a specific role to the targeted area of the body to be healed or relieved.
Most herbs can be prepared by boiling for ten to fifteen minutes, but some require up to thirty minutes. Research the herbs your using and learn as much as you can about them before preparing or using them. Two excellent site to visit are http://mindbodyandsoleonline.com , http://mountainroseblog.com, you'll find loads of helpful information here. It's a great place to start.
As with any new regimen of treatment you should always consult your physician or herbalist before taking any natural herbs or new medications. In order to be sure there are no allergic reactions or interference with other medications you may be taking. If you are taking blood thinners or diuretics it is imperative that you consult a licensed herbalist or doctor before using any home remedies.