What is Phytotherapy?

Phytotherapy is derived from the word 'phyto', which means 'plant' in Greek. By combining scientific research and the highest professional standards with the practice of herbal medicine and effective and safe use of medicinal plants; Phytotherapy translates into modern herbal medicine at its best.

In Phytotherapy, plant medicines are selected mainly to stimulate or strengthen the normal functions of the body, thereby supporting the body in its healing process. Since plant medicines are often used in conjunction with modern, orthodox drugs, Phytotherapists are aware of potential drug herb interactions and will treat their patients accordingly. Depending on the patients' specific needs, herbal medicines are offered in the form of tinctures, tablets, herbal teas, creams or oils.

What is the best way to use plants to benefit from their medicinal value?

It is important to know and understand plants. Some of the active constituents are water soluble and others are soluble in alcohol or oil. Some plants can be used fresh in salads or as a tea. In other instances the fresh or dried plant can be steeped in alcohol to make a tincture. It can also be distilled to make a hydrosol or essential oil. Calendula officinalis or more commonly known as Marigolds is a good example. The fresh petals can safely be used in food to enhance colour and taste e.g. in egg dishes or salads. The dried petals can be used as a tea which may help to enhance the immune system. As a tincture, Calendula is used therapeutically for swollen lymph glands and to relieve congestion.

Why do some plants have medicinal properties and other plants not?

Plants contain an abundance of different active constituents called phyto chemicals. These constituents depend on the type of plant and plant family it belongs to. Some constituents are needed for the plant to survive, to protect it against predators and to proliferate and it is these constituents which have medicinal properties.
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