Herbal Medicine: A Choice

Herbal Medicine: A question of choice for our society

Most of English dictionaries do not include the words "phytotherapy" and "phytotherapeutic", simply put, by the French Larousse Médical, it consists of "the treatment or prevention of ailments and diseases through the usage of plants". Actually, there would be nothing extraordinary about that if it was not the socio-political context surrounding the medical care practice in the western world.

Ever since the progress in the field of chemistry have succeeded in synthesizing the active principles from plants and other sources. And ever since the science of chemistry has become a chemical industry, the western civilization has had the peculiar idea of putting its faith exclusively into the products created by this industry to solve all the health problems one might suffer from. So much so, that almost all of the state healthcare systems of all of the "industrialized" countries refund "industrialized" medical products exclusively. Is that a fluke?

It is not our purpose to deny the efficiency of chemical pharmaceutical products, however we question the sectarian exclusivity status they enjoy from the government authorities. It seems indeed limitative to simply put aside many thousands of years worth of knowledge about the curative virtues of plants and natural substances and to replace all that with a blind faith in the results of synthesis procedures which have nonetheless shown some flaws.

It is not our objective either to impose phytotherapeutic medicines as the only drugs to recommend and prescribe. We consider that the health professionals as well as the individuals should be free to choose the medical option the most adapted to the situation. This choice being based on a corpus of knowledge in constant evolution, and also based on the availability of synthetic and natural products.

Synthetic chemical medication is certainly required in some cases, but often, associated to their qualities also come some of their flaws. Their efficiency and strength is often the result of a treatment aggressiveness that comes along with a procession of side effects often in disproportion with the disease to cure. It is on this basis that alternative products must be made available for the sake of having a real choice in treatment options.

We present those ideas and considerations in order to properly interpret and position, in their own context, the decision made by the patients/customers who deliberately choose to trust phytotherapeutic products to treat their ailment, paying out of their own pocket for a treatment which is vaguely "tolerated" by the authorities, since it is not refundable. This is a decision that people are resolved to make after having suffered from the failures of the "chemical" approach, or to avoid side effects that affect their quality of life almost as much as the illness they suffer from. Those decisions are more then just a simple consumer’s choice; they are a choice of society.

This is why it is very important that the products made by BOTAVIE / IRELIA really earn the trust of the people who choose a phytotherapeutic approach. Consequently, the Botavie approach to production of phytotherapeutic compounds is concerned by the quality of raw materials (selected plants are grown without chemical fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides) as much as with the refinement of the extraction methods that allow capturing the active principles from those plants.