Herbal therapy – Botanotherapy
Since the first years of their existence on earth, human beings have had the instinct for self-preservation, like other wild animals. Through this instinct but also through the observation of the behavior of other animals, humans gradually developed valuable knowledge regarding the prevention and treatment of various diseases. This was made possible via the consumption of specific plants or parts of plants (fruits, roots, leaves).
The use of herbs for prevention and treatment was developed by the majority of ancient civilizations like the Chinese, the Arabs, the Indians of Central and South America and of course the Greeks.
During ancient times, parts of all plants and trees were used for preventive and therapeutic purposes (Hipocrates was the one who discovered the aspirin of the time by using ingredients from the bark of the willow tree). In recent years, the term “herb” has been used for specific plants which are used in various forms (as drink or raw materials) and have therapeutic effects.
Hipocrates’ work was continued by Theophrastos via his book “History of Plants”. A few centuries later, Dioscorides in his work “About Medicine” describes 500 species of plants and their respective usefulness, 40 of them are still used today for drug production.
Traditional Chinese Medicine, holds a record of more than 6,000 medicinal products of plant, animal or inorganic origin with a remarkable effect in the treatment of various diseases. The oldest Chinese herbal medicine book, “Shen Nong Ben CaoJing” (221 BC-220 BC) describes 365 types of herbs, many of which are still used today.
During the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD – 1644 AD) the book “Ben Cao Gang Mu” was written, in which 1892 types of herbs are listed. Today, more than 8,000 species of herbs are grown in China. It has the largest number of medicinal herbs in the world, a great number of which are exported to more than 80 countries.
The following properties and qualities are taken into consideration for the selection of an herb in the treatment of a disease:
- Nature: Herbs are divided into those that evoke a heating or cooling effect (Wen), cold effect (Han) and the neutral ones (Ping)
- Taste: Herbs are classified according to the five flavors: sour (Suan), bitter (Ku), sweet (Gan), spicy (Xin), salty (Xian). Each of them corresponds to one of the five elements of traditional Chinese medicine.
- Correlation: Refers to the relationship of a herb to a specific organ system.
- Primary action: This property refers to the effect of this particular herb.
Botanotherapy & Orasis Acupuncture Center
In our center, as genuine Doctors of holistic therapy, we use herbal medicine to treat eye diseases in combination to personalized acupuncture treatments
The mixture of herbs for the treatment of vascular ocular disorders which we use is based on large scale research of published studies in acknowledged medical journals.
Studies on this particular herbal blend have been conducted at one of China’s largest hospitals, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, in collaboration with Beijing University of Chinese Medicine with the following results:
This particular mixture can reduce choroidal neovascularization (which is the leading cause of newly acquired blindness in the developed world) as well as eye bleeding. It also improves visual acuity in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and pathological myopia.
Additionally, it has been shown that the action of these herbs on choroidal neovascularization is comparable to the intravitreal injection of bevacizumab (Avastin).