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However, since a single plant contains widely diverse phytochemicals, the effects of using a whole plant as medicine are uncertain. Medicinal plants are widely used in non-industrialized societies, mainly because they are readily available and cheaper than modern medicines. 1334 copy in Arabic, describes some 1000 drug recipes based on over 600 plants. Plant samples from prehistoric burial sites are among the lines of evidence that Paleolithic peoples had knowledge of herbal medicine.
Iraq has yielded large amounts of pollen from 8 plant species, 7 of which are used now as herbal remedies. 1500 years, into the seventeenth century. Old World and the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries. As chemistry progressed, additional classes of pharmacologically active substances were discovered in medicinal plants. 2002 that over 50,000 medicinal plants are used across the world.
2016 that 17,810 plant species have a medicinal use, out of some 30,000 plants for which a use of any kind is documented. In other systems of medicine, medicinal plants may constitute the majority of what are often informal attempted treatments, not tested scientifically. The use of plant-based materials including herbal or natural health products with supposed health benefits, is increasing in developed countries. This brings attendant risks of toxicity and other effects on human health, despite the safe image of herbal remedies. The World Health Organization formulated a policy on traditional medicine in 1991, and since then has published guidelines for them, with a series of monographs on widely used herbal medicines. These phytochemicals have potential for use as drugs, and the content and known pharmacological activity of these substances in medicinal plants is the scientific basis for their use in modern medicine, if scientifically confirmed.
There are several classes with different modes of action as drugs, both recreational and pharmaceutical. The plant was used on heart conditions long before the glycoside was identified. They are strongly aromatic and serve to repel herbivores. Medicinal plants demand intensive management. Different species each require their own distinct conditions of cultivation. In many medicinal and aromatic plants, plant characteristics vary widely with soil type and cropping strategy, so care is required to obtain satisfactory yields. Medicinal plants are often tough and fibrous, requiring some form of preparation to make them convenient to administer.