Herbal medicine is distinct from medicine based on the development of pharmaceutical drugs even though both approaches may exploit the same plant sources for treating maladies. In the development of remedies, different parts of plants such as the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds are used. In addition, herbal medicine not only involves the use of plant material but animal, human, and mineral products may be added and subsequently, adminstered as teas, infusions, syrups, tablets and tinctures.
In most instances, the active ingredient, in pharmaceutical development, is isolated from a naturally-occurring source. Thereafter, the chemistry of the active compound is determined and then manipulated, using laboratory-based techniques, to improve how effectively the drug works.
However, all substances have side effects to a greater or lesser degree. Prescribed drugs might be expected to produce more side effects than herbal medicines as they are often administered after an illness is well-established rather than at the mild stage of disease. Furthermore prescribed drugs tend to be produced at higher working doses than might be used in herbal medicine.
Conditions treated by herbal medicine are far-ranging but may include, chest complaints such as cough, skin conditions, gynaecological problems, etc. etc.....