Healing with Herbs & Herbal Supplements
Because natural products cannot be patented, drug companies prefer to develop synthetic substances as medicines. About 25 percent of all prescription drugs in the United States have contained active ingredients obtained from plants. It has also been demonstrated with many plants that the whole plant or crude extract is much more effective than its isolated constituents or their synthetic counterparts.
During the last ten to twenty years there has been an explosion of scientific information concerning plants, crude plant extracts, and nutritional substances from plants as medicinal agents. It is a fact, that Americans visit complimentary and alternative medicine practitioners more often than physicians at a cost of more than $14 billion per year. In addition, Americans spend an additional $4 billion annually on alternative products such as vitamins and herbs.
This same trend is occurring in veterinary health care. In the past 5 years veterinarians have come to realize their clients' growing demand for herbal treatments that offer a more effective and safer alternative to the growing side effects of veterinary prescription drugs. Herbs will certainly play a major role in veterinary medicine in the future, as there is an increasing amount of scientific evidence documenting their effectiveness. There is also a growing appreciation of the harmonious healing properties herbs possess.