In the last few years there has been an exponential growth in the field of herbal medicine and these drugs are gaining popularity both in developing and developed countries because of their natural origin and less side effects. Many traditional medicines in use are derived from medicinal plants, minerals and organic matter. A number of medicinal plants, traditionally used for over 1000 years named rasayana are present in herbal preparations of sub-continental traditional health care systems. In sub-continental systems of medicine most practitioners formulate and dispense their own recipes. The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed 21,000 plants, which are used for medicinal purposes around the world. Among these 2500 species are in sub-continental region, out of which 150 species are used commercially on a fairly large scale. Sub-continental region is the largest producer of medicinal herbs and is called as botanical garden of the world.


An herb is a plant or plant part used for its scent, flavor, or therapeutic properties. Herbal medicines are one type of dietary supplement. They are sold as tablets, capsules, powders, teas, extracts, and fresh or dried plants. People use herbal medicines to try to maintain or improve their health.


Many people believe that products labeled "natural" are always safe and good for them. This is not necessarily true. Herbal medicines do not have to go through the testing that drugs do. Some herbs, such as comfrey and ephedra, can cause serious harm. Some herbs can interact with prescription or over-the-counter medicines.
If you are thinking about using an herbal medicine, first get information on it from reliable sources. Make sure to tell your health care provider about any herbal medicines you are taking.