Western herbal medicine involves using plants and plant material to create medicines to help prevent or treat various illnesses. These materials may use some or all parts of a plant, such as flowers, roots, fruits, leaves, and bark.

This ancient modality emphasises the use of European and Native American herbs; however, herbs from other parts of the world are sometimes used as well. Traditional Western herbal medicine evolved mostly from the ancient Greeks, who were strongly influenced by Egyptian and Middle Eastern civilizations.

Western herbal medicine also has roots in the indigenous practices of the British Isles and ancient Roman traditions. Well-known historical physicians including Hippocrates and Galen are thought to have used herbal medicine in their practices. The use of various herbal formulas is one of the oldest and possibly the most widespread form of medicine.

Herbal remedies are used for many suggested purposes, such as improvement or general support of digestive, respiratory, circulatory, immune, endocrine, and nervous system processes. Herbs are also used to purportedly remove waste and toxins from bodily cells or topically to promote healing of the skin.

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