How Do Home Remedies Differ from Herbal Treatments?


Many natural treatments have now become extremely popular. A lot of people prefer not to take prescription or commercial medications for mild medical conditions in order to avoid negative side effects. These natural remedies are also used for additional relief in combination with prescription or over the counter medication. Both home remedies and herbal treatments are considered to be natural. Despite the common misconception, the two terms do not overlap completely. There are some major differences to be noted.

Herbalism, also known as herbal medicine, is, in fact, a form of science. Various herbs or medicinal plants are used on their own or in different combinations to relieve and cure specific illnesses. These medicines were gradually discovered in ancient times. As the people started to have better understanding of herbal plants, the medications became more complex and specific to prepare.

The home remedies are also part of folklore medicine, at least the older ones we know. However, they do not necessarily include herbs. In fact, a large number of home remedies we use are not herbal. For instance baking soda is used for the relief of various skin conditions as well as an antibacterial drug. Salt is a mineral that is also popular with people who rely on home treatment. The consumption of different vegetables, fruits and foods is also considered beneficial. Hence, these are considered home remedies, but they are not herbal treatments.

Another important difference between the two is that home remedies are actually prepared at home. Various ingredients typically found in the kitchen are used for their preparation. These may or may not include herbs. The recipes are well known and easy to execute at home without the use of special utensils or unconventional methods.

The herbal treatments, on the other hand, may require the use of ingredients that are not present in every home. Some herbs are picked only in specific areas while others appear only during a short time of the year. In addition, the preparation process is much stricter and often more complex. Some herbal ingredients may have to be prepared for a very long time while some treatments may require long fermentation. In addition, herbal medicine is much like modern day medicine. It aims to recognize the individual symptoms and treat them with the use of a combinative remedy. In traditional Chinese medicine, for instance, the herbalist combines different plants to create a unique medication. It is made to treat the specific symptoms of the sufferer.

The main differences between home remedies and herbal remedies were formed historically. In most communities, there were people who actually practiced herbalism and traditional medicine. In some cultures these were recognized as healers while in others they were shamans. Even nuns and monks practiced herbalism in Europe. Often the administration of an herbal potion was accompanied by the use of spells and enchantments that were thought to aid the treatment. Only special people could be healers.

Home remedies, on the other hand, were accessible to all. The recipes were passed from one person to another and down through the generations. Most of them were actually known as cooking recipes. In turn, the first written records of home remedies are in cookbooks.

At present, the gap between herbal treatments and home remedies is continually growing. Ever since the invention of modern day medications, based on specific chemical substances, people have more or less disregarded herbalism and its medicines. However, as many modern drugs have side effects or are ineffective to cure medical problems, scientists pay greater attention to the plants and the beneficial extracts that can be obtained from them. In turn, more and more modern drugs and topical medications are based on extracts from herbal plants. These are not home remedies, but fully validated medical treatments.

Overall, home remedies and herbal treatments differ to a great extent. Still, you can use both types whenever the need arises. You can purchase various herbal treatment products from specialized stores or you can use ingredients you have at home to make a remedy. It is also possible for you to purchase different herbs and plants oils and use them to prepare herbal home treatments. The important thing is for them to produce the desired effect.

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