FAQ: The Difference Between Herbs and Medicine


“Don’t a lot of medicines come from herbs anyway?” No. Nothing that occurs in nature can be patented. Properties that various herbs might have often provide the initial concept for a medication, but when that property is isolated and/or synthesized you have destroyed the inherent balance of the plant and you are going to have side effects. At that point you have created a drug. The difference is that an herb provides the raw material for proper function, while a drug can do one of two things: override the body’s natural process (i.e. anti-inflammatories or pain-killers), or imitate a natural process (i.e. antibiotics, insulin and estrogen). There is no body function we have the capacity to duplicate. Saying something is safe because it was derived from herbs is like saying arsenic is safe, because it occurs in fairly high levels in potatoes.

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