Modern vs Herbal Medicine

Topics: Pharmacology, Medicine, Alternative medicine Pages: 8 (2995 words) Published: July 14, 2013
Modern or Herbal Medicine, which is better?

The United States is a country which revolves around innovation, inventions, and furthering our society to make a profit. Many people come to America to work, and make money. One very profitable, and very popular industry is drugs. From illegal to legal, completely natural to completely synthetic, the list of drugs is endless. Large drug companies produce many drugs daily. Some of these drugs make it to the consumer market, and others are rejected. Drugs can be very costly, and at the same time very dangerous. Every time an advertisement for a new drug arises, the list of side effects are endless. I will center my paper on the history of medicine, and compare natural medicines versus modern medicines. Is one truly better than the other? Any problem somebody might have, the doctor will have a pill to fix it. How bad are these pills? And could natural state forms of medicine be better?

Medicine, and other forms of medicine, came about many centuries ago. Even before the Romans and the Greeks, each society of people had their own forms of healing. Although these forms differ drastically from our modern medical practices, they did have benefits. Back in the time of the Romans, there was no germ theory, and they simply believed that illness occurred from not keeping a healthy body and mind. They did not make any connections between diseases and germs, but they did try to stay physically fit. A well known Roman named Celsus once said “A person should put aside some part of the day for the care of his body. He should always make sure that he gets enough exercise especially before a meal” (Medicine in Ancient Rome 7). The Greeks and Romans shared some of the same concepts on health, and even traded slaves that were known as the doctors of the day to be used in each household. Although they did not use much in the way of medicine, their persuasion on public health was beginning to start a medical revolution. The Romans large focus on public sanitation and staying healthy would later give a boost to medical advancements once each society of people has become more advanced.

Advancements in medicine and technology seem to be divided by country. For the Americas, physicians and other medical enthusiasts began finding and discovering cures for diseases which would later turn into our modern medicine with pills and injections for almost anything. China was another big player in the medical field, and their focus seemed to be more on natural medicines. As time goes on, whether each culture had a stronger focus on natural medicines or modern medicines, both topics seemed to have blended into each society. Modern medicines are more widely used today than most herbal remedies, and this may be from the convenience, the benefits, the wide availability, or just because it is what we are used to. Most people today if asked what herbology is, they would be clueless. People may look at the study of natural remedies as “primitive” or “ineffective”, but in reality it is the center stage for what our modern medicines have become. According to Dr. John R. Christopher, a 30 year veteran herbalist, “in 1965, over 130 million prescription drugs were written which came from plants... that over 75% of the hormones used in medicine today are derived completely from plants” (Herbs vs. Modern Medicine 3). According to, herbology is the study or use of the medicinal properties of plants. Herbology predates any other forms of medicine, even before humans written history. This has been proven with the discovery of a neanderthal found in Shanidar Cave, Iraq. A neanderthal, which is just before humans in our evolutionary line, was buried approximately 60,000 years ago surrounded by great quantities of pollen of multiple plants. The astonishing part about this discovery, is 88% of the substances found in the burial are still used in modern herbal remedies (Solecki 880). Natural remedies have...

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7. Solecki, Ralph S. "Shanidar IV, a Neanderthal Flower Burial in Northern Iraq." Science 190.4217 (1975): 880-81. Print.
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