Herbal medicine is the most widely used and oldest medicine in the world today. This natural medicine is made almost exclusively from plants. The wisdom of plants is seen in the example of Dandelion, which is a diuretic but also contains potassium. Many pharmaceutical diuretics are given with potassium because of the increased excretion with use and side effects that occur. This is one example that demonstrates the synergistic effects of using the whole plant in herbal remedies vs. the extracts of plants made to use pharmaceuticals.
Herbal medicine is continuing to be researched and proven for its efficacy above and beyond medications modeled on or derived from chemicals found in plants. An example is the heart medication digoxin, derived from foxglove. Using plants as medicine provides significant advantages for treating many conditions. The therapeutic activity of a plant is due to its complex chemical nature.