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Botanical Medicine

Herbs are powerful medicines and an indispensable adjunct to many treatments and therapies.

Many prescription medicine have their origins in plants, but when those compounds are taken in isolation at high levels the door is opened to side effects.  White willow (Salix alba) bark has a traditional use in treating pain due to naturally compounds called salicylates.  Acetyl salicylic acid (ASA or aspirin) is the pharmaceutical compound based on this naturally occurring compound and is also used to relieve pain.  Prolonged or excessive use of ASA can lead to damage of the digestive lining and is a leading cause of gastritis (inflammation of the stomach) which can cause bleeding into the digestive tract.  But nature, in all of its wisdom, provides tannins along with salicylates in willow bark.  Tannins are astringent in nature and cause proteins to tighten together.  When a strong cup of green or black tea, or a dry oaky red wine make your mouth feel dry that is because of tannins.  White willow then, is able to provide pain relief while protecting the digestive lining and in doing so does not open the door to the side effects commonly associated with excess aspirin use.

Herbs may be used in isolation or in combination depending on what the patient needs.  They may be taken in liquid form as a tincture, in capsule, or as a tea.  The processing is important to ensure potency and medicinal effect.