Botanical medicine, also known as phytotherapy, was a cornerstone of traditional medicine long before the development of synthetic pharmaceuticals. In fact, most of today's drugs were derived from medicinal plants. Except for the last century in industrialized society, both humans and animals have almost exclusively relied on plants for their medicine. When appropriately selected, botanical medicines offer a powerful, safe and effective approach to healing, with few side effects. Botanical Medicine is prescribed via alcohol-based tinctures, glycerin-based liquids, encapsulated herbs, herbal salves and herbal teas. There are certain herbs that would not work well for certain people. It is one thing to consult a licensed naturopath, with years of classroom and clinical training in medicinal herbs. It is quite another to read an article about a herb, decide that it is for you, and run down to buy it at the nearest health food store. Your naturopathic physician will consider your complete case history before choosing a herb or combination of herbs to help, because some will be much more appropriately suited to you than others. Fortunately, there are hundreds of herbs at the disposal of the naturopath to help an individual patient with his or her individual case presentation. The naturopathic principle "Treat the whole person" applies in every one of our modalities. Thus when using herbs, as well as any other natural therapy, the naturopath considers all of the patient's symptoms and conditions.