Herbalism is a traditional medicinal or folk medicine practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts. Herbalism is also known as botanical medicine, medical herbalism, herbal medicine, herbology, herblore.
The scope of herbal medicine is sometimes extended to include fungal and bee products, as well as minerals, shells and certain animal parts. Traditional use of medicines is recognized as a way to learn about potential future medicines.
Plants have evolved the ability to synthesize chemical compounds that help them defend against attack from a wide variety of predators such as insects. Some of these compounds, whilst being toxic to plant predators, turn out to have beneficial effects when used to treat human diseases. Such secondary metabolites are highly varied in structure, many are aromatic substances, most of which are phenols or their oxygen-substituted derivatives. Chemical compounds in plants mediate their effects on the human body by binding to receptor molecules present in the body. Many of the herbs and spices used by humans to season food yield useful medicinal compounds
Chromotherapy , sometimes called color therapy, colorology or cromatherapy, is an alternative medicine method. It is said that a therapist trained in chromotherapy can use color and light to balance "energy" wherever a person's body be lacking, be it physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental. The practice has been labelled pseudoscientific by its critics.
Color therapy is unrelated to light therapy, a valid and proven form of medical treatment for seasonal affective disorder and a small number of other conditions.
Acupuncture is a type of alternative medicine that treats patients by insertion and manipulation of solid, generally thin needles in the body.
Through its origins, acupuncture has been embedded in the concepts of Traditional Chinese medicine. Its general theory is based on the premise that bodily functions are regulated by the flow of an energy-like entity called qi. Acupuncture aims to correct imbalances in the flow of qi by stimulation of anatomical locations on or under the skin called acupuncture points, most of which are connected by channels known as meridians. Scientific research has not found any physical or biologica,l correlate of qi, meridians and acupuncture pointsand some contemporary practitioners needle the body without using a theoretical framework, instead selecting points based on their tenderness to pressure.
Proponents of acupuncture believe that it promotes general health, relieves pain, treats infertility, treats and prevents disease. Scientific research has not found it effective for anything but the relief of some types of pain and nausea.
There is general agreement that acupuncture is safe when administered by well-trained practitioners using sterile needles but does carry small but serious risks and adverse effects including death. Accompanied by calls for more research, the use of acupuncture for certain conditions has been tentatively endorsed by the United States National Institutes of Health and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, and the World Health Organization, though most of these endorsements have been criticize and it has been questioned whether research on acupuncture is a good use of limited research funding.