The plant taken in its raw form has all of the chemical constituents in a balance as nature intended. So for example, if one compound from the plant lowers cholesterol, but if isolated causes a myriad of other side-effects, it is likely that this is because you are taking too much of the isolated compound without the balanced array of compounds from the natural plant to offset this side-effect.
There are other medications that are much safer than using the plant of origin, so please speak with your Naturopathic Doctor before attempting the use of herbal medicine on your own. Every medicine has dangers and side-effects and it is imperative that you use the advice of an experienced doctor.
Herbal Medicine is the use of medicinal herbs to prevent and treat a multitude of ailments. Herbalists are trained to create herbal formulas such as teas, tinctures, capsules and salves. Often an herbalist will follow the therapeutic order and use the safest, gentlest and most effective combination of botanicals to promote health and healing in a patient. Dr. Christine educates many of her patients on how to correctly formulate teas, tinctures and salves for common and complex ailments. She believes that people can learn to heal naturally by having a deep knowledge and connection with plant medicines. In different cultures this is the case, but it has widely been lost in the West. The Native Americans were all experts from a very young age at identifying wild medicinal plants and treating their own ailments without the aid of a healer or shaman.
Most of our pharmaceutical drugs on the market started out from a plant in nature. Scientists would pick the chemical from the plant that caused the most pronounced effect in the cells, isolated it and created a standard dosage in pill or liquid form. Although this is clever and allows for clear standard dosing (we know how many grams or milligrams you are taking), it starts to cause many side-effects and problems within the body.