Medicinal herbs contain substances known to modern and ancient civilizations for their healing properties. Until the development of Chemistry and, particularly, of the synthesis of organic compounds in the 19 Century, medicinal plants and herbs where the sole source of active principles capable of curing man's ailments. They continue to be important to people that do not have access to modern medicines and, moreover, modern pharmaceuticals rely heavily on the same active principles, be they natural or synthetic. The active principles differ from plant to plant due to their biodiversity, i.e. to the plant's genetic coding ability to produce them.
With thousands of active principles yet to be discovered or fully evaluated, it is no wonder that biodiversity is a fundamental topic on any nature preservation agenda. The genetic material of old and new herbs and plants are coveted for their potential in discovering, combining, manipulating and synthesizing new medicine. Thus, even if people are not aware of or the pharmaceutical industry does not stress the point, medicinal plants and medicinal herbs continue to be the source of proven medicaments and of new and revolutionary drugs. If the active principles of synthetic drugs are so important and can be found in many plants and herbs, cheaply and easily bought at your home market or Herbalist, why not use them? History is full of examples that these medicinal herbs saved man's life on number of ocassions. Herbs have been the source of many of mankinds most basic medicinal therapies, and form the foundation of the modern pharmaceutical industry. While many medicinal herbs contain powerful compounds that, if used correctly, can heal. Not all plants are necessarily safe or useful.