Western herbal medicine is the practice of herbal medicine from Europe and North America. It is also known as Phytotherapy and Medical herbalism. Some of the practices and philosophies date back to ancient Greece, with influences from Hippocrates and Galen. Its refinement happened in America, in the 18th century, with the Eclectics and Physiomedicalists. Dr John Christopher brought the discipline into the 20th century with his teachings at The School of Natural Healing in Springville, Utah, USA.
Western herbal medicines are prescribed according to their category or action. When given in the form of teas, powder, tincture or cream etc., they will support the specific organ, tissue or body system to repair and function properly. Examples herbal actions are: Bitter herbs like dandelion promote digestion by stimulating bile secretions. Circulatory stimulant herbs like cayenne pepper promote blood circulation, which would be helpful with someone who has Raynaud's syndrome (cold hand and feet) for example. Carminative herbs like Peppermint contain volatile oils, which are good in a case of indigestion, by promoting peristalsis and relaxing the stomach.
Herbal medicines have numerous uses and actions. If the issue is acute or chronic, herbal medicines will often have something to offer. Herbs can be taken with prescription drugs; the practitioner is trained on interactions with these.