Plant Medicinal

Herb is a plant whose stem does not make woody, persistent tissue and generally dies back at the end of each growing season. We can also define it as any of various often aromatic plants used especially in medicine or as seasoning.An herb is a plant or plant part applied in its entirety, while a drug is a synthesized copy of one chemical component, such as a component found in an herb.Herbalists prefer using the whole herb and believe that one of the reasons why herbs have fewer side-effects is because of a balance of naturally occurring ingredients. Pharmaceutical companies like to isolate chemicals so they can produce a "pure" concentrate, acquire a patent, and reap large profits. Whole herbs can't be patented so there is little profit potential for the drug companies.The use of plants as herbs has been important to all cultures since long before history was recorded. Hundreds of tribal cultures have used wild and cultivated herbs for medicinal and food purposes for thousands of years. Herbs are mentioned in Genesis, the first chapter of the Bible, and throughout its text. As civilizations developed so did the knowledge for the use of herbs.The study of herbs is well-documented. Evidence of early herb gardens dates to Europe in the middle Ages. Egyptian schools of herbalists have existed since 3000 B.C. Scholars were interested in herbs medicine, cosmetics, cooking, history, and folklore. Most herbs are symbolic. For example, borage was given to those who needed courage, while rosemary was given to others for remembrance. In the past, herbs were only available during the warm months of the growing season, and at other times consumers had to purchase dried herbs. Today, the business of producing fresh herbs for consumption has become one of the fastest growing industries in agriculture. The United States produces about 200 billion pounds of herbs per year.