Phytotherapy and Herbal Medicine

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Phytotherapy and Herbal Medicine tend to be used interchangeably as terms. Phytotherapy is the term used more in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Belgium and South America whilst Herbal Medicine is the English term and is used more in the UK Northern Europe, Australasia and North America. In North America herbal supplements are usually prescribed by naturopaths, in the UK and Europe they would be prescribed by Medical Herbalists or Phytotherapists.

Herbal medicine is the study of plants and the use of them as medicine. Archaeology has shown that herbal remedies date back to before humans were able to write. Many modern medicines were made by isolating substances from herbal remedies. Today many therapists use a wide range of herbal remedies that include some traditional Chinese, Ayurvedic, South American and native American Indian plants.

Patient QI’s view:

Herbal medicine supplements have an important place in many personalised health strategies but must be overseen by a qualified herbal medicine practitioner as they can interact with conventional or other treatments. Experienced herbal medicine practitioners can make good coordinating therapists

Patient QI best info link:

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/treatment/herbal-medicine

Rules Regulations and Associations

The rules and regulations on therapists, their training and qualifications tend to be on a country by country basis. The herbal medicines are regulated by the FDA in the USA as food supplements but in the EU they fall under a Medicines licensing directive: the European Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products.
ESCOP, The European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy is the global umbrella organisation for herbal medicine and phytotherapy in Europe: http://escop.com/

EUROPE

UK: British Herbal Medicine Association http://bhma.info/
Association of master herbalists: www.associationofmasterherbalists.co.uk
College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy www.phytotherapists.org
International Register of Consultant Herbalists and Homeopaths www.irch.org
National Institute of Medical Herbalists www.nimh.org.uk
Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners www.urhp.com
Austria: Austrian Society for Phytotherapy http://www.phytotherapie.at/
Germany: The Society for Phytotherapy http://www.phytotherapy.org/de/
Ireland: The Irish Register of Herbalists http://irh.ie/
Italy: Italian Society for Phytotherapy http://www.sifit.org/
Netherlands: Dutch Society for Phytotherapy http://www.fyto.nl/
Spain: Spanish Society for Phytotherapy http://www.sefit.es/sefit.php
Switzerland: Swiss Medical Society for Phytotherapy http://www.smgp.ch/

AUSTRALASIA

National Herbalists Association of Australia http://www.nhaa.org.au/

New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists http://nzamh.org.nz/

NORTH AMERICA

USA

American Herbalists Guild http://www.americanherbalistsguild.com/

Canada

Canadian Herbalists Association http://www.chaofbc.ca/

Ontario Herbalists Association http://www.herbalists.on.ca/

SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa Association of Herbal Practitioners  http://herbalpractitionerssa.co.za/

 

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