The medicinal properties of herbs are complex.
While they have been used for centuries for all sorts of ailments, the herbs are usually thought of as an herbal treatment for particular conditions.
The medical profession, however, is often hesitant to talk about them.
They are often viewed as an exotic, exotic remedy, and people often shy away from asking for advice or information.
Today, it’s not uncommon to find herbalists in India and abroad asking people about shifaia, or herbal medicine, and whether or not they can prescribe it to them.
A few years ago, Shifaa, the oldest and largest herbalist in the world, began to educate its customers about its medicinal properties.
Its website, www.shifaherbal.com, now features videos and a daily newsletter that details how to use the medicinal herbs and what they can do for your body.
To this day, it has more than 6 million followers.
Dr. Sunil Chavan, who heads Shifahal’s research department, said the herbalists are keen to share their knowledge with the public, particularly with those who may not have been educated about the herbal medicine before.
“We want to be the first to provide the public with information about the medical uses of herbs,” he said.
Shifaias can be used for all kinds of ailments.
They can treat inflammation, depression, allergies, cancer and more.
“The main difference is that we don’t prescribe them for any particular ailment,” he explained.
The herbalist has also been educating its customers on what they should do with their herbs.
“People are interested in this stuff, so we are providing them with information that is very easy to understand,” said Chavan.
Dr Sunil said he has seen a sharp rise in the number of people asking him for herbal medicine advice, as well as patients looking for help with allergies.
“There is a trend in the country for people to start using herbs to relieve stress and anxiety,” he added.
He believes this is because many people don’t realise that the medicinal properties are more than just an occasional benefit.
“When you talk to someone about the medicinal benefits of the herbs, they often don’t realize that they are getting an advantage from the herbs.
That’s why we are educating the public about the herb and its medicinal benefits.”
He also believes the herbal community is getting more educated about its role in the health system.
“A lot of people have gone into the business of medicine in their early years, but in their late teens or 20s, they start to realize that the business has a lot to do with the quality of life in India,” he continued.
“In their minds, they are still getting a medical education from the medical profession.
This helps them realise that they need to go to school and get a qualification to practice medicine.”
This can help people realise that it’s their own work and not their profession, he added, adding that many people who were trained as physicians or dentists may not realise that there are other kinds of jobs besides medicine.
“They have a medical career and a career in other professions, but they are never aware that they have to study for medicine.”
The herbalists say they want to educate people about the use of herbs in their everyday lives.
“I am happy that we are doing this for people and we want to provide a lot of information to our customers,” said Sunil.
“If we don, they will be reluctant to ask for it.
They don’t want to lose their jobs and they don’t have the knowledge.”
Dr. Sunlakh Chavan (left) is a retired pharmacist, while Shifabha, who has been a practitioner of herbal medicine for nearly 20 years, is currently a consultant with Shifaland, an herbal company.
Source: Al Jazeera