Our Planet, Our Plants, Ourselves…
Often referred to as “the First Medicine”, botanical medicines have been used for millennia in the treatment of any and all health conditions. Our licensed naturopathic doctors draw on the vast wisdom of traditional practices from around the world including Europe, Asia and India.
Approximately 40% of prescription medications are derived from plants, and in 80% of cases, the use of a plant as a botanical medicine is identical to the use of the pharmaceutical derived from that plant. Plants have been confirmed to have over 124 pharmacological actions.
- Morphine – a painkiller alkaloid from the opium poppy (Papaverus somniferum), the first commercial natural product marketed for therapeutic use in 1826
- Atropine – an alkaloid from a deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) and other nightshades that is listed in the WHO’s model list of essential medicines. It is used to dilate pupils, and in many hospital situations to increase heart rate, and to counter the effects of organophosphate poisoning
- Digoxin – a cardiac glycoside from foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) used to treat heart failure
Other plant compounds have been developed into semi-synthetic, patentable versions. Examples of these kinds of compounds include:
- Acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin) – a semi-synthetic anti-inflammatory compound based on extracts from the willow tree, Salix alba
- Paclitaxel – a drug used to treat cancer based on extracts from the Yew tree, Taxus brevifolia
- Artemotil – based on a compound found in Chinese wormwood, Artemisia annua, a new drug used in treatment-resistant malaria
Naturopathic doctors combine indications for botanical medicine’s long historical use with the most recent advances in pharmacognosy (the study of plant medicine), including any potential herb and drug interactions.