The Natural Alternative Center
308 West 72nd Street
New York, NY 10023
Tel: (212) 580-3333
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       At The Natural Alternative Center we treat patients Naturally, with our exclusive array of Holistically Oriented Treatments. We incorporate detoxification programs, Rejuvenating Implants, and Regenerating Supplements along with Treatment Programs custom tailored to suit your specific Health needs with our assortment of Supplements and Homeopathic Remedies.

      Herbal Medicine is the most ancient form of health care known to humankind. Herbs have been used in all cultures throughout history. Herbs have always been integral to the practice of medicine. Today approximately 25 percent of all prescription drugs are still derived from trees, shrubs, or herbs. Some are made from plant extracts; others are synthesized to mimic a natural plant compound.

         An herb is the word used in herbal medicine that means a plant or plant part that is used to make medicine, food flavors (spices), or aromatic oils for soaps and fragrances. An herb can be leaf a flower, a stem, a seed, a root, a fruit, bark, or any other plant part used for its medicinal, food flavoring, or fragrant property.

          In general herbal medicines work in much the same way as do conventional pharmaceutical drugs, i.e., via their chemical makeup. Herbs contain a large number of naturally occurring chemicals that have biological activity. Herbal medicine has most to offer when used to facilitate healing in chronic ongoing problems. By skillful selection of herbs for the patient, a profound transformation in health can be effected with less danger of the side effects inherent in drug-based medicine. However, the common assumption that herbs act slowly and mildly is not necessarily true. Adverse effects can occur if an inadequate dose, a low-quality herb, or the wrong herb is prescribed for the patient.

The qualities of herbs which make them beneficial in treating the human body, include:

  • Adaptogenic: Adaptogenic herbs increase resistance and resilience to stress, enabling the body to adapt around the problem and avoid reaching collapse. Adaptogens work by supporting the adrenal glands
  • Alternative: Herbs that gradually restore proper function of the body, in creasing health and vitality.
  • Anthelminitic: Herbs that destroy or expel intestinal worms.
  • Anti-inflammatory: Herbs that soothe inflammations or reduce the inflammatory response of the tissue directly. They work in a number of different ways, but rarely inhibit the natural inflammatory reaction as such.
  • Antimicrobial: Antimicrobials help the body destroy or resist pathogenic (disease-causing) microorganisms. Herbs help the body strengthen its own resistance to infective organisms and throw off illness. While some contain chemicals that are antiseptic or poisonous to certain organisms, in general they aid the body's natural immunity.
  • Antispasmodic: Antispasmodic ease cramps in smooth and skeletal muscles. They alleviate muscular tension and can ease psychological tension as well.
  • Astringent: Astringents have a binding action on mucous membranes, skin and other tissue. They have the effect of reducing irritation and inflammation, and creating a barrier against infection that is helpful to wounds and burns.
  • Bitter: Herbs with a bitter tasted have a special role in preventative medicine. The taste triggers a sensory response in the central nervous system leading to a range of responses, including: stimulation appetite and the flow of digestive juices; aiding the liver's detoxification work; increasing bile flow, and motivating gut self-repair mechanisms.
  • Carminative: Plants that are rich in aromatic volatile oils stimulate the digestive system to work properly and with ease. They soothe the gut wall; reduce any inflammation that might be present; and ease griping pains and help with removal of gas from the digestive tract.
  • Demulcent: Demulcent herbs are rich in mucilage and soothe and protect irritated or inflamed tissue. They reduce irritation down the whole length of the bowel reduce sensitivity to potentially corrosive gastric acids, help prevent diarrhea, and reduce the muscle spasms that cause colic.
  • Diuretic: Diuretics increase the production and elimination of urine. They help the body eliminate waste and support the whole process of inner cleansing.
  • Emmenagogue: Emmenagogues stimulate menstrual flow and activity. With most herbs, however, the term is used in the wider sense for a remedy that affects the female reproductive system.
  • Expectorant: Herbs that stimulate removal of mucous from the lungs. Stimulating expectorants "irritate" the bronchioles (a subdivision of the bronchial tubes) causing expulsion of material. Relaxing expectorants soothe bronchial spasm and loosen mucous secretions, helping dry, irritating coughs.
  • Hepatic: Hepatics aid the liver. They tone and strengthen the liver and in some cases increase the flow of bile. In a broad holistic approach to health they are of great importance because of the fundamental role of the liver in maintaining health by not only facilitating digestion but by removing toxins from the body.
  • Hypotensive: Hypotensives are plant remedies that lower abnormally elevated blood pressure.
  • Laxative: These are plants that promote bowel movements. They are divided into those that work by providing bulk, those that stimulate the production of bile in the liver and its release from the gallbladder, and those that directly trigger peristalsis (wavelike contractions of the smooth muscles of the digestive tract).
  • Nervine: Nervines help the nervous system and can be subdivided into three groups. Nervine tonics strengthen and restore the nervous system. Nervine relaxants ease anxiety and tension by soothing both body and mind. Nervine stimulants directly stimulate nerve activity.
  • Stimulating: Stimulants quicken and invigorate the physiological and metabolic activity of the body.
  • Tonic: Tonics nurture and enliven. They are used frequently in Tradition Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine, often as a preventative measure. Tonic herbs like ginseng build vital energy, or qi.



Herbology / Herbal Medicine


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