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Herbal Medicine

Botanical Medicine

What is botanical medicine?

Botanical medicine is the practice of using medicinal plants and extracts to improve overall health and treat illness. Botanical medicine has a rich history that dates back at least 60,000 years and has been an important part of many cultures throughout the world. Today, the wisdom of the past is combined with current research that helps us understand how botanical medicine works. Many conventional pharmaceutical drugs are derived from plants, such as willow bark for aspirin and the Madagascar periwinkle for chemotherapeutic drugs.


Naturopathic doctors complete 130 classroom hours of botanical medicine education. They are trained in the traditional use of medicinal plants and to evaluate the scientific literature for their use. Naturopathic doctors are able to formulate botanical medicine recommendations for individualized therapeutic outcomes. ND’s can also identify drug-herb interactions and contraindications in order to make safe and effective recommendations.


While botanical medicine is powerful, it can also be quite gentle, making it suitable for all age groups. There are a variety of ways to use herbs for medicinal use, including teas, tinctures, decoctions, and extracts. Dr. Ruschkowski will make recommendations that fit your lifestyle. 


What is botanical medicine used for?

The vast range of herbs available to us allow botanical medicine to have extensive applications. Botanical medicine can provide benefits in a variety of conditions including:

  • Digestive system conditions such as indigestion, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, gallstones, gatroesophageal reflux disorder, and gallstones

  • Respiratory system conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema

  • Conditions of the immune system such as colds and flus, sinusitis, other infections, auto-immune disorders, and allergies

  • Hormonal concerns and conditions of the endocrine system, such as Type II diabetes, hypothyroidism, and libido challenges

  • Female health concerns, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, fibroids, endometriosis, vaginal yeast infections, menopause and menstrual concerns such as PMS, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, and irregular menses

  • Mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression

  • Pain management and musculoskeletal conditions, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

  • Other conditions such as skin conditions (acne, eczema, psoriasis), chronic fatigue syndrome, overweight/obesity, and arthritis

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