Herbal medicine (or "herbalism") is the study and use of medicinal properties of plants. The use of herbs to treat disease is almost universal among non-industrialized societies, and is often more affordable than purchasing expensive modern pharmaceuticals.
Medicinal herbs can provide natural, safer remedies to dozens of common ailments. While some people may dismiss herbal remedies as quackery, the use of botanicals is well rooted in medical practice.
Ancient doctors methodically collected information about herbs and developed well-defined pharmacopoeias to treat a variety of ailments. More than a quarter of all drugs used today contain active ingredients derived from those same ancient plants. It's estimated that nearly 80 percent of the world's population use herbs for some aspect of primary health care.