Traditional medicine

A photograph of two women plucking tea leaves in a tea plantation Herbal remedies have been used throughout the world for many centuries. Photo credit: Mary HughesTraditional medicine comprises medical treatment with ancient roots that has been passed over generations to maintain health, as well as to prevent, diagnose, improve or treat illnesses. The development of traditional medicine has been influenced by the different cultural and historic conditions in which they were first developed. Its common basis is a holistic approach to life, equilibrium between the mind, body and environment, and an emphasis on health rather than on disease.

Rational use of traditional medicine has many aspects, including: qualification and licensing of providers; proper use of products of assured quality; good communication between traditional medicines providers, allopathic practitioners and patients; and provision of scientific information and guidance for the public. The World Health Organization supports Member States in developing their own national policies on traditional medicine guidelines and strategic research.