Medicinal plants and herbs are the plants used in various cultures because they are believed to have positive effects on the human body and even psyche, in some cases. Of these plants, some of which have been used for centuries or thousands of years now, there have been proven to have actual physical effects through scientific experimentation. However, as you may have noticed, not all of them are considered 100% beneficial because no research has been done or because test results were inconclusive. Of those medicinal plants that have been scientifically approved, the regulation is done, in Europe, by institutions like the European Food Safety Authority or, in the United States, by the Food and Drug Administration.
Some medicinal plants are used directly in the laboratory where their beneficial ingredients are extracted and combined in order to form new medicine. Others are used fresh, as they are found in nature, or through infusion and other methods. Many cultures believed – and some still do – that certain plants were left on earth by divinities or gods in order to help us heal ourselves; thus, in almost every corner of the world there are instances where medicinal plants are used to cure headaches, bellyaches, indigestions, the common cold, fevers, infections and, more dubiously, infertility in both men and women.
Usually, in communities like these, medicinal plants go hand in hand with traditions and superstitions and that makes it difficult to establish which plants are actually effective and which are just used for show. However, it cannot be denied that some medicinal plants actually have medicinal value because it has been proven on the thousands of people who have tried them for different afflictions and found them successful with every use. There is also a field in medicine dealing with the research and validation of medicinal plants and that is pharmacognosy; this field actually deals with the research of medicinal plants and attempt to derive medicine from them.
Generally, medicinal plants act at a chemical and bio-chemical level with our bodies, regulating certain functions within our bodies and thus making us healthier. It is already well-established that certain fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and other helpful resources, so the conclusion can only be that there must also be other plants and fruits with medicinal properties. Some of the most common medicinal plants are the açai berries, Aloe Vera, arnica, blueberries, cayenne, chamomile, chili, clove, cranberry, elderberry, garlic, ginger, ginseng, ginkgo, guava and many others, all of which can be found on the internet along with their respective properties.