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Interesting Facts About Medicinal Herbs

  • The World Health Organization estimates that 80% of the world’s population uses herbal medicine.
  • One out of three medicines prescribed in Germany is an herb.
  • 7,000 compounds used in modern medicine are derived from plants.
  • Only 50% of all medical schools now offer courses on alternative medicine, which include the study of plants as medicine.
  • China is a largest medicinal herb producer in the world. It has over 600 herbal production bases and 13,000 farms specializing in medicinal herbs production. Over 860,000 acres of land are devoted to the cultivation of medicinal plants.
  • It is important to collect plants at certain time of the month, day, or moon cycle. Time of the year and age of the plant are also important.
  • The best collection time is when the part of the plant has the highest content of active ingredients and when the plant will give the maximum quantity. Underground parts are collected when a plant has: reached maturity, brunches, leaves in the summer or early fall, flowers just before opening, fruits, and seeds upon ripening. The age of a plant is important. For example, the Rhizoma Coptidis content of alkaloids increases only when it is 3 years of age, and its content is highest in July and lowest in the January-March months. Natural environmental condition also important. Another example: Honeysuckle flowers from Shandong, China, contain as high as 5.87% of chlorogenic acid, while from Sichuan they only have 0.13%.

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